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Another good myth shot to ____: melting pot still working

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 14, 2006 11:42 PM PDT
Immigration no threat to English use in U.S.: study.

>> U.S. citizens concerned that Latino immigrants will have them singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish can rest easy, according to an academic study published on Wednesday.

A report in the Population and Development Review found that far from threatening the dominance of English, most Latin American immigrants to the United States lose their ability to speak Spanish over the course of 1-2 generations....

The study by sociologists Frank Bean and Ruben Rumbaut of the University of California, Irvine, and Douglas Massey from Princeton, drew on two surveys investigating adaptation by immigrant communities in California and south Florida.

It concluded that by the third generation, most descendants of immigrants are "linguistically dead" in their mother tongue.

"Based on an analysis of language loss over the generations, the study concludes that English has never been seriously threatened as the dominant language in America, nor is it under threat today," the researchers said.

"Although the generational life expectancy of Spanish is greater among Mexicans in Southern California than other groups, its demise is all but assured by the third generation," it added. <<

That's my observation among our Hispanic friends here in Texas -- and it's also what my father reported about Polish back in Minnesota when he was a boy in the 19-teens. The only difference is that "No Spanish need apply" signs are illegal -- much to the chagrin of some.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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OK then,
by duckman / September 14, 2006 11:47 PM PDT

No more road signs in Mexican, or tax forms or voting slips or school classes etc

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Those are needed for the first and some second geners,
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 15, 2006 3:34 AM PDT
In reply to: OK then,

Duckman. Besides -- have you been to China? There are road signs in English in all the major cities -- think they should be removed? Xenophobia rears its ugly head once again -- we make lots of money from tourism, and should do eveything we can to encourage it!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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and why should
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 3:46 AM PDT

america an english speaking country speak spanish

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(NT) (NT) Relevance?
by Evie / September 15, 2006 4:07 AM PDT
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Hellooooo! English is the universal language DK.
by Kiddpeat / September 15, 2006 8:21 AM PDT

That's why there are English signs in China. It's ludicrous to compare that to Spanish.

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Not ludicrous at all, KP.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 15, 2006 12:53 PM PDT

In fact, according to this Wikipedia article, the ranking of languages in the world by number of speakers is Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, and English -- in that order!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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if you want to speak a dif
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 1:03 PM PDT

language move there as were English speaking country

and if foreigners want there own language they should stay home

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Let's face it
by Diana Forum moderator / September 15, 2006 1:45 PM PDT

Mandarin and Hindi come from countries with over a billion people. These languages are usually in addition to their native language. China and India have many languages in spoken in their country.

India has about 50 languages. I talked to one woman and she said that another woman she knew lived in the next province and spoke a different language. That's why Hindi and English are so widespread there.

I wonder how much is true. The article says that this is native speakers. If you look at the actual numbers there are Mandarin (850 million native and secondary), Hindi (495 million), Spanish (460 million) and English (510-515 million). That makes English number 2.

All this is based on an article that has factual accuracy warning as well.


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Plus according to Wikipedia ...
by Evie / September 16, 2006 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Let's face it

... there are EIGHT dialects of Mandarin. I went to grad school with several Chinese and many of them couldn't understand each other in their native dialects. They would even communicate (those that knew enough) in English. Grin

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Yeah ...
by Evie / September 16, 2006 4:10 AM PDT

... Mandarin is the universal language. HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

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That's more than a bit dumb DK.
by Kiddpeat / September 17, 2006 7:04 AM PDT

English's status as the universal language is not based on the number of people who speak it. You do claim to be a scientist don't you? You really don't know about the status of English, and why the Chinese might use it on their signs?

HINT: It's really all about the ability to communicate a body of useful, and usually technical or business, information.

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Always thought the National Anthem was a great example
by Ziks511 / September 15, 2006 12:09 PM PDT

of inclusion. I mean, at every ball game we get up and sing "Jose, can you see?" This gives the United States a wonderful appearance of welcoming the Latin American segment of the population.


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(NT) (NT) thats so funny rob remind us to laugh
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 1:03 PM PDT
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Tourism a red herring in this debate, IMO
by Roger NC / September 17, 2006 6:50 AM PDT

Is the implication that almost all of the tourism money of non-US citizens is Spanish speaking?

...we make lots of money from tourism, and should do everything we can to encourage it!

Why just Spanish is the question I want answered when people start claiming we need multiple language forms for everything. Guess what, never heard a real answer that I recall.

Road signs are mostly now symbols anyway, and numbers are pretty much interlingual. The few words, besides city names (or would you have all them 'translated' too?) aren't too much to ask.

While I understand businesses bowing to the pressure of having Spanish speaking employees because they most deal with the public to make a profit, that doesn't translate into the need for a dual language school and government system.

Sorry, requiring bending over backwards for a second language in a country that has been traditionally one dominate language (with many others present still)for over 200 years isn't sensible.


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Might be valid if....
by EdH / September 14, 2006 11:56 PM PDT

there was not a fresh flood of Hispanic immigrants coming in all the time. It's not like the Poles or Irish who are here and whose wave of (LEGAL) immigration is long over.

Are all those signs in Spanish an illusion? Come on. No one is worried that Spanish will take over as the language of people already here. What they are worried about is that the new immigrants will NOT assimilate and change language in a couple generations, and will someday outnumber the Americans who are here LEGALLY. Then we will be a biligual nation, which is NOT a good thing.

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That is true. But now the differences.
by Angeline Booher / September 15, 2006 12:18 AM PDT

Many of us know children of immigrants who translate for them.

The difference I see today is that some expect everything to be bilingual, including in official government business. One of our nearby towns has now declared that all cit government business will be conducted in English. part of it is in the cost of printing everything in 2 languages, employing so many bilingual employees, etc.

Another difference is that this is the first time in my memory when bilingual was pushed so hard. It wasn't the case for other immigrant populations. Even without classes in English in the public schools, they became productive citizens.

We have a large number here of immigrants from Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., and they do not demand such be available in their native tongues. Yet they have established successful businesses.

I have a neighbor who immigrated from Guatemala. She tired starting her own English class, but could not draw any students.

Another difference is the huge influx of illegals, who are afraid to get involved in anything that would identify them.

I don't think anyone wants immigrants to cast off their traditions, or to not celebrate their heritage.

My objection lies in the lousy government of Mexico that wants to dump their unskilled and uneducated (for which that government is responsible) on us so they don't have to be concerned about them.

Speakeasy Moderator
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We're more enlightened now than a century ago, Angeline!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 15, 2006 3:39 AM PDT

Or at least the educational establishment is. The problem with English-only classes for immigrant students, rather than bilingual education, is that except for thus lucky few with a knack for learning languages, they lose a couple of years in all the OTHER subjects (math, science, social studies) while becoming proficient in English. Even with bilingualism now, less than fewer of science PhD's each year are Hispanic, yet that's the most rapidly growing demographic segment of the population. OTOH, I certainy agree that bilingual classes shouldn't continue forever for such students -- 2-3 years should be the normal max before "mainstreaming."

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 3:48 AM PDT

my grand parents spoke only german, and other set grand parents russian
they came here and learned ENGLISH!!!!
you kowtowing to the lawbreakers shows me again your cut

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My mother returned to this country after WWII ...
by Evie / September 15, 2006 4:50 AM PDT
In reply to: bs

... having forgotten much of the English she learned in early childhood. She was put back a year. She managed to get caught up, get an academic scholarship and get a Math degree all without bilingual education, affirmative action and "need based" loans.

Evie Happy

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Not kowtowing to anyone -- and many of those 2nd generation
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 15, 2006 12:58 PM PDT
In reply to: bs

in the process of learning English are citizens. Your jingoism seeks to punish legal residents and even citizens of this country, mark -- you don't need to know English to get a green card, and above a certain age, you don't even need to speak English to become a citizen: "For example, you will be exempted from the English-language requirement if on the date of your examination, you are 50 years old and have been a lawful permanent resident for 20 years or more, or you are 55 years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 15 years." From The CUNY citizenship info web site.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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when a imigrant comes to america
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 1:05 PM PDT

they should learn our ways speak our language asimilate us not they us
or why come to america

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(NT) (NT) wtg DK...... eons since i saw the word jingoism ;-)
by jonah jones / September 15, 2006 1:18 PM PDT
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Hmmmmm, so you wait till you're 50 or 55 to vote?
by Kiddpeat / September 17, 2006 7:07 AM PDT

Sounds like a plan. Not a very good one, but a plan.

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by Evie / September 15, 2006 4:09 AM PDT

The children learn the language best with immersion. You don't even need a study for that!

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The unspoken message behind DK's patter is that the Spanish
by Kiddpeat / September 15, 2006 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Nonsense

kids are 'disadvantaged'. While other groups could cope and adjust on their own, THIS group cannot. They don't have the same abilities. They need full time teachers (labor union members), and LOTS of additional funding to 'make it'.

The same line starts slipping out of the educators when asked why certain schools (black in this area) are not keeping up with their peers in the same school district.

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I was angered this past weekend
by Cindi Haynes / September 15, 2006 3:19 AM PDT

When we were at the Pastor's house for dinner. While we were enjoying a lively game of Rook, one of their kids (about 3rd grade, I think) came to show her Mom her ENGLISH homework, which was some reading.

Half of the words in the story being read were Spanish! In an English class! Do not kid yourself, one way or another, English will soon be the second language of this country, and all you politically correct fools will usher it right on in. Sad


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not make me happy
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2006 3:29 AM PDT

dk maybe as he seems the kind to welcome these criminals

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I can't help but wonder, Dave...
by J. Vega / September 15, 2006 4:54 AM PDT

According to the article, the conclusion "drew on two surveys investigating adaptation by immigrant communities" and was about the Spanish language.
I can't help but wonder if had the language been Chineese, and the immigrant communities what are called "Chinatowns", would they have drawn the same conclusion. I guess I should also mention French and "Cajun" communities.

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Study doesn't reduce my concerns
by dirtyrich / September 15, 2006 6:34 AM PDT

as the report merely looks at the demise of the Spanish language. It does not look into the use of Spanish-English hybrid languages, which I at least have seen among similar populations. I have spoken with Spanish teachers who have said that these students really are not speaking "Spanish," and I can certainly attest that they are not speaking traditional English.
Also, I'll have to look at the report (I'll try to find more of it), but there's always the issue of validity with the report itself - how representative it is of the actual population, what methods were used to measure use of Spanish vs English or whatever.
I'm actually getting ticked off recently about many of these studies that are being reported in the media. Many, it seems, are just being released (in full or abreviated form) in professional journals, so that there has been no true peer review of the studies. Recent scientific scandals and continual flip-flopping have shown the need for such measures.

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another statistical non-sequitor
by Dick White / September 15, 2006 7:30 AM PDT

The study concluded that the past three+ generations of immigrants learned to speak English and discarded the language of their ancestry. This occurred during a period when the politically incorrect dead white people's culture of the discredited past required them to learn English in order to be fully assimilated into the local society. Ergo, a new politically corrected social policy of welcoming immigrants in their own language and not requiring them to learn English (and indeed, requiring us to learn their language so they won't feel so bad about themselves...) can be expected (by the twisted logic so commonly found in the sociology field these days) to produce the same result in the future.


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