Obama: Speak more than just English speech causes uproar

Well, at least it caused an uproar in the usual republican circles.

In what I thought was a very good, down to earth speech, Obama suggested that American children should learn a foreign language along with English. OMG! NOT A FOREIGN LANGUAGE! AMERICANS?

Yeah, pretty ridiculous idea. Why should Americans, the rulers of the world – the superior race – the most intelligent people on the planet – the chosen people by God, have to learn someone else’s – anyone else’s language. DAMN THOSE HEATHENS! If they want to talk to us, they damn well better be able to speak our language. Even if we are in their country!

Guess what? Many of them already do speak your language. Because they have such a better public school system than exists in the US, because they understand the advantages of being bi-lingual, because they have a clue about being prepared for international business, their syllabus includes English.

Because Obama suggested that it might be a good idea for American people to be able to say more than Merci Beaucoup, or Si Senor when they are in a foreign country, the right wing biased, drippingly wealthy, racist msm jumped on it and tried to make it sound as if that was a bad thing. And the Americans will go, “OOOOO…” what a bad suggestion! He wants us all to be Mexicans! Or Chinese! Or some such idiotic ignorant bullshit.

You know what, gang? It’s a damn good idea for American children to be required to speak a second languadge. You know, like almost all of the other modern countries require. It’s a small world and who knows what business is going to look like even 20 years from now? We currently are teaching our children how to do the jobs that exist today. But many of the jobs, indeed about 50%,  that will need filling in 20 years don’t even exist now.

Not to mention the fact that, if the US stays on its current course, if it continues to sink into economic depression, if it continues to produce failure after failure internationally and to lose respect around the world, if it’s weakened knees finally give out and it crumbles, your children would be well served to be able to communicate with foreign people from perhaps the new, more powerful nations.

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13 Comments on “Obama: Speak more than just English speech causes uproar”

  1. Buffalo Says:

    I don’t understand why that would cause a flap. A few years ago kids were being encouraged to learn a second language; in fact were offering some languages in early elementary years. Guess things are changing.

    I grew up bilingual. All my playmates were Mexican. In high school I studied Latin, which was one of two classes that I’ve actually used since school. It has been so long since I’ve spoken Mexican I’ve forgotten most of it. The word attack skills given me by Latin still work fairly well.

    • Joils Says:

      I trully am sorry to dissapoint you, just so that you know you didn’t speak Mexican. You spoken Spaniss, just like you don’t speak or write American it’s called English Man!

  2. Bill Chapman Says:

    As a citizen of the United Kingdom, I won’t comment on the USA’s politics, but I hope you’ll allow me to comment on a linguistic matter.

    It would be good if Americans were to look more favourably on learning languages other than a form of English.

    I would like to argue the case for learning and using Esperanto. This is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states. Take a look at http://www.esperanto.net

    Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing in a dozen countries over recent years.
    Indeed, the language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I’ve made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there’s the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries.

    What do you think about Americans making wider use of Esperanto?

  3. expatbrian Says:

    While I am familiar with the idea and think it a very good one, Americans won’t learn it because “they don’t have to”. Americans are a lazy bunch, evidenced by the obesity problem in the states. They like everything done for them and still believe that if they do nothing at all, like the 50% who don’t use their most cherished right – the right to vote – everything will turn out just fine because we can trust our ‘leaders’ to take care of us and make the right decisions.

    Of course, when your leaders are criminals, that doesn’t work so well. Anyway, Americans won’t learn the language of large segments of their own local populations, and immigrants to the US are not likely to spend time learning esperanto in addition to English. Lastly, Americans who travel abroad won’t take the time to learn the language because the people where they are going have probably already spent the time to learn English. And if not, Americans will simply hire a translater, all the while complaining about why the stupid foreigners don’t speak English.

    And by the way, feel free to comment on American politics here or anything else. No subject is sacred and we protect no one. Besides, we all know that the current US administration is a disaster.

  4. Buffalo Says:

    With all respect I must disagree with your comment in response to Mr. Chapman. It is a sweeping generalization that is only partially factual.

  5. Mockingbird Says:

    Long live to America’s cultural and media imperialism. It doesn’t really matter whether Americans learn a foreign language or not. English is the whole world’s lingua fraca. It is a detriment and disadvantage to anyone in this world who doesn’t speak English.

  6. expatbrian Says:

    Yeah, Buf, I know. But sometimes the blog is just for getting it off your chest, as you so eloquently do on yours. And while it is indeed a sweeping generalization, there is truth in there as well.

  7. Buffalo Says:

    True

  8. Terry Says:

    I don’t think anyone will argue with the fact that Americans should be bilingual. However, the subject of the speech was immigration. “Instead of worrying whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your kids can speak Spanish.” What faster way to commit national suicide than to allow the formation of a ‘Spanish’ Quebec in the American Southwest. Language is the most powerful force in binding a nation together. How about stupid Americans who can’t speak English? translater?? I think before we emphasize Spanish in American schools we should probably teach them English first. You want disastrous administration, vote Obama for president.

  9. expatbrian Says:

    No one is disputing that English is first and foremost and the primary “shared” language of international business and commerce throughout the world. On the other hand, that may be because the US dominates international business and commerce and is the worlds biggesst trade partner because of the rampant consummerism.

    But that may not last. As the economy collapses, if China becomes weary of our money policy and decides to quit lending us money, or even call in its current debt, as other countries shy away from a sinking dollar, that dominance may recede and be replaced with that of an emerging and booming economy like China’s.

    One way or the other, there is no good argument against children learning how to speak a second language. It’s good education, its culturally expanding and can certainly lead to better understanding between cultures.

  10. Paula Says:

    Two things on the “great” Obama. People are so mermerized by his oratory they forget that the content is meaningless.

    (1) Anyone in the United States who goes on to college is already expected to take a second language in both high school and college. Obama’s suggesting this is not a new thought. It has been in place for years.

    (2) Other counties are smaller and border on countries where people speak different languages. Because of this those countries often learn the languages of the countries around them. Because “the sun never set on the British Empire” English became an international language, one that became ours also since we were originally British colonies.

    We speak English not because we’re arrogant, but because it is already spoken everywhere else. And many Americans who travel to other countries learn the languages there.

    The only effective thing Obama did with this speech is ignore the above and put down, yet one more time, the people he says he wants to lead.

    I once talked to a woman who was disgusted with something an American had done in Europe. Her comment was “oh those terrible Americans”. I asked her if she would have done such a thing. “No”. What are you? “Oh, I’m an American.” And I responded “I guess we’re not so bad after all.”

    My real question to Mr. Obama is this: what would he have done if he were president on 9/11? No one in the running wants to answer that. Bush was a new, untested president when 9/11 hit and I, for one, was real glad he was our leader. He has been tough and didn’t back down on what he said he would do. I think history will prove him right.

  11. expatbrian Says:

    Thanks for your comments, Paula. Perhaps we will agree to disagree. Firstly, you are incorrect about a second laguage requirement in high schools and college. In universities in California it depends upon your major. The language requirement for Sociology was dropped in 1979, allowing me to graduate from San Jose State University early. My three children, who went to high school in that same city, had no 2nd language requirement.

    You make a good point about landlocked countries and their exposure to other nearby peoples. No doubt it is why many of them are multi lingual.

    I never said we speak English because we are arrogant. I said we speak ONLY English because we are arrogant. And lingually, poorly educated. Even for those students who do have language in high school, the requirement is just 2 years and much of that classtime is conducted IN ENGLISH. That doesn’t work. I teach English all day to foreign students and I conduct the entire class in English. They are forced to learn quickly and they do.

    As far as Obama and 9/11 that is nothing but conjecture and speculation and really has no place in a serious discussion. However, one thing he probably would not have done is contrive a false propoganda campaign to rally American support to invade and devistate a sovereign country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (as Bush’s own intelligence community told him repeatedly)

    I’m quite confident that, even if Bush and his band are never formally prosecuted, history will show he was not only wrong but criminal in his behavior as president.


  12. learning english is quite easy, there arem any tutorials on the internet and some audiobooks too *.:


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