The Old Broad Speaks

You need to speak English while we devour your culture.

In 2000, 15% of Colorado’s population spoke a language other than English. Roughly 422,000 people spoke dialects of Spanish, almost 31,000 spoke German, and approximately 19,000 spoke French. Also included in the count were Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Just this month, California reports that more than 200 different languages are spoken in that state and, since Colorado is growing rather quickly, I assume our numbers will be the same.

Walk through any Denver neighborhood, probably most American neighborhoods, and you’ll be sure to find restaurants representing numerous ethnicities, from Afghanistan to Mexico, Poland to Cuba, and all the stops in between. Americans love food. We will swarm a new eatery and make it a point to pronounce the menu items correctly and tease our friends who don’t know the proper way to say pho, baba ganoush, or injera. And of course, we know the customary way to eat whether that’s family style, chopsticks, by hand, or any other way. We prove that we know.

And for this reason, I find it humorous when some individuals state that America should be English Only. There are some who struggle with accented English. It’s a fact that even I must use English subtitles anytime I watch a movie with a UK cast. However, I have been in discussions with others who complain that no other language should be allowed. No surprise that the majority of those individuals have either never attempted to learn, or have no proficiency in, a second language. For various reasons. Some claimed that everyone else in the world should know English, some feared they sounded stupid when speaking a foreign language, and some legitimately struggled. The least legitimate reason I’ve ever heard came from an individual who thought that others spoke foreign languages just to gossip about her. Regardless of these reasons, America should never be an English only country.

Just imagine walking in to your favorite Italian restaurant, but you can’t use Italian words, and ordering a dish of noodles. No, not the ones with the bend in them, the long ones. No, shorter than that and they’re stuffed. Not those, and not the ones that look like a big pillow either. The round ones. No they look like tubes. The big round tube noodles with cheese. White cheese. The other white cheese, not the sweet one. Not that one either. The crumbly melty one. With red sauce. No, no meat in the sauce just the essence of meat. Beef. Okay…now for the appetizer…

Author: Amani Newell

One Response to "The Old Broad Speaks"

  1. Pingback: Pardon my English – deadlinedrivenblog

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