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Canada is officially bilingual (French/English). Most Amish are bilingual (English/German). Should the USA have:


Florida Voters

For years the subject of English/Spanish has come on the ballot (south Florida usually) and it has NEVER passed. Sorry but living in South Florida has made me a bit biased. When I first came to South Florida 30 years ago there were almost no Cubans and now it's almost nothing but. There are times you can go into a shopping mall and in the biggest department stores the sales people only speak Spanish. Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with that. Makes you look around and wonder if you made a wrong turn off I-95. Even a large quantity of the road signs & advertisement has been changed to all spanish. Miami area still caters to tourist therefore English should be the official language with a second of spanish.

Hope I didn't hurt anyones feeling. Just expressing my thoughts.

Diane

Correction ...

In all truth, most Amish speak three languages:  German, English, and High German. 

Leah

Good Point

So they are trilingual, like many Europeans.   Learning other languages  enhances one's understanding of the first one.   That was always the rationale for learning Latin [the supposedly dead one] in high schools.  Well, I can tell you that learning its structure, helped me to finally understand how English works. 

In addition, the vocabulary, which I thought I'd not done well with, stayed with me all the years I worked with young readers.  Somehow, when we'd be working on a new word, or more likely at their level, a new meaning for one, I would come out with, ". . .which comes from the Latin . . . , which means. . . . . "    Now, if anyone had asked me that, out of context, I wouldn't have been able to tell them. 

This also helped me answer some questions about other languages on the [long ago] National Teachers Exam, in addition to helping kids learn to decode the Spanish poems which appeared within their readers, decades later.  The translation was on the next page, but they loved to figure it out, first-----to a child, figuring out another language is like working with a secret code-----& kids are programmed to love those.  

Had some kids do the same thing with a book of maps printed in German-----didn't slow them down the way  it might with adults.   One realizes from it that 1] kids can do this easily, because 2] much of what they must learn is this challenging to them.  Thus, it is just one more thing, & they are 'up' for the challenge.  CS

Dictionaries

The above, led to the use of that part of dictionary meanings which shows where the word originated-----imagine the surprise & delight of children when they learn where 'squash' came from------they love  Indians [now called Native Americans] so.  We had the library discard unabridged dictionary in our room-----lots of good use still in it for them.  So, even if they now are using the on-line version, somewhere in their memories will be that musty tattered one they used in gr. 3/4 multiage.     CS

Languages

We may be officially bilingual here in Canada, but that certainly doesn't mean all our citizens speak one or the other. And I'm not referring to just the new immigrants. I've seen people who have called Canada home for 40-odd years who still don't speak a word of English/French. Cities like Toronto have such complete immigrant communities (ie, Little Italy, Chinatown, etc) that immigrants can function in their original language only. I fully support people keeping their heritage. I wish my family still spoke the Welsh or German of my ancestors. But people really need to be able to function in the language of the country they chose to call home.

re: Lanuages

Paula -

Interesting perspective.  When I travel throughout non-Francophone Canada they have the French/English signs throughout even though I suspect in some areas there are very few French (Windsor, for example).  What part of CA are you in?

Languages

Yes, so long as you aren't in Quebec (language police), road signs, etc are bilingual.  But if you go to certain areas, like Markham (outside Toronto) you will find store sign after store sign in many different languages that aren't French or English.

I grew up in Bowmanville, a small town outside Toronto.  But now that I'm married, we live on my husband's family farm that's an hour northish of Ottawa.  There is a bit of a French influence here (QC is just across the river).  But you can also find very English parts of QC.  It's a very different experience for me being here now, as Bowmanville is very English. 

 

True...

True.....but I - nor anyone - else can see who has voted for what, so it's a good anonymous pulse.....wait'll I do a "presidential preference" poll sometime within the next year...now that'll be interesting!:)

Languages

Oh my, the personal biases will come out on this one!   CS

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