sapphoid (sapphoid) wrote in seattle,
sapphoid
sapphoid
seattle

"we speak English in Seattle" ?

Inspired by a comment by wistfulmuse from a post that has now apparently been deleted, in which she said "we speak English in this country" regarding having a difficult time communicating in a retail situation, I offer the following information.

According to the US Cencus Bureau, 1 out of 5 Americans speaks a foreign language at home and on a regular basis, as their primary language. That's right, Americans. Also, enrollment in higher education foreign language classes increased by 17 percent in 2004, so I assume that means that English-speaking Americans are realizing that it benefits them to meet the needs of their country's demographics. To say "we speak English in this country" harkens back to a time and mindset that may not be very effective anymore and is quite possibly racist.

I think this is particularly true in communities such as Seattle in which we have a population of foreign language speakers from Latin countries, African countries, the Middle East, etc. etc. I have heard, quite a few times, from American born English-speakers in Seattle "jeez, can't they just speak English?", in a situation in which the speaker actually was speaking English, but with an accent. Sad but true.
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  • (no subject)

    Recently the sweet poodle I have been walking for 2 years died. It was an ideal job--he needed walking between 11a-12/noon, was close to home, and…

  • glitterophelia

    Here's a friend who needs help. She is not in Seattle - she is in the southern part of the state. But maybe there is some place in Seattle that might…

  • VentlessGasFireplace - FARK

    “Look before you leap “is an evergreen idiom. Review is the short word that describes this saying. We need a manual to understand and…