Thursday, June 15, 2006

Holy Macro


HI!!!!!

Since it's been so long since I deigned to even glance in the direction of my blog, I thought I would do something charitable and actually post something of interest. However, according to many of my readers, what constitutes "of interest" to them is anything sans the mushy Chris stuff, so now I am going to have to think hard to find something to say since almost every thought I have in my head is connected to him some sort of way.

Hmmm........

Ok, here's a thought. We live in the United States, right? At least most of my readers do (and for those that don't, put on your self-righteous, egotistical thinking cap and pretend your an American for a minute, ok?) Alright. Now, we're Americans. Our official language is English. Less than a third of Americans have had any foreign language instruction, and of those that have had foreigh language instruction, lets be generous and say 2% of them can speak the language fluently.

Ok, now....official language: English. Almost no one - from the order taker at McDonalds to the policeman that responds to my 911 call - can speak anything but English. And let's pretend I'm an illegal immigrant, ok? Now, my number one priority, you would think, would be to learn the native language of the population in which I am attempting to become a member. You know, blend in and everything.

But NO.........!

Every major corporation starts out the voicemail by saying, "If you speak English, press one. blah-blah-blah-espaniol-blah-dos."

Yesterday I went to JC Penney's and the door said, "Push" (which don't even get me started on why Americans are so retarded they have to be told whether to push or pull on a door) and then right below it was the gobbledy gook word for push in some other language (I am going to assume here it was Spanish.)

Ok, people. You live in America. A-Mer-I-Ca. We speak English. Comprende? Don't make us strain our brains to learn your language. Don't cost our evil corporations any more money having to say everything twice. Let us just stay nice and ignorant, speaking only one language and don't bother us with having to figure out what you are trying to say.

Oh, and another thing....about that accent.....

20 comments:

DaveM said...

C'mon, when the kids were young I watched Sesame St. with them and my generation in the UK are sure Spanish is the main language,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, unos dosos trosos,[sic] Lets hear it for Big Bird
Good to see you're back posting.

bunnyjo georg said...

Hi Dave! Actually, I'm a huge proponent of people studying foreign languages, particularly because we live in a global culture (just look at the blogworld!) But most Americans are too ignorant or immigrant-hating to bother. Especially in my part of the country. Intolerance is considered evidence of patriotism, but that may be because we have so many migrant workers that come here. As a matter of fact, the local horse track had to build temporary shelters because so many illegals were working there and sleeping in the horse barns! Sheesh!

Veeflower said...

In high school we had our choice of learning Spanish or German. I took Spanish and wish I hadn't skipped so many classes. Making the pinatas sure was fun, though, and I still make them to this day. And I am not being facetious. You make some excellent points. I stick to my guns on this one, though...when you go to another country to live, you do need to learn the language. Duh! Little words like STOP and Wash Hands Before Returning To Work, and Wrong Way. Having said that, yes, we should be learning Spanish at least. But where in the hell are th pictures you promised? And did you pick the hottest day of the year so far on purpose for the open house? ;)

grandlar said...

the pictures dont show up on my blog...? oh I see....you dont have them ready yet....? ok...I can speak pig latin...does that count? love ya keep blogging..on any subject you want to...we will read and enjoy.....I also speak some Indian....not sure what tribe or what it means but was taught it as a child...(one sentence)ahhhma fadossie...pour pour pajausie.....not sure its spelled correct...

grandlar said...

this is the rest of the sentence....I remembered it after I TYPED IT....AH-MA FA-DOSSIE CHUCK-AH-WAH FOO PORE PORE PAJAG AHH- UN. i HAVE A FEELING ITS A NAUGHTY SENTENCE BECAUSE WHEN i WAS FIVE THE PARENTS OF MY INDIAN FRIEND TAUGHT ME THIS AND LAUGHED TILL THEY HAD TEARS IN THEIR EYES WHEN I REPEATED IT..of course I never forgot it because it made me a center of attention whenever I was asked to repeat it...over and over....never knew what it meant but .....maybe its better I not know....lol

grandlar said...

ok another mistake. cha-ahh- muck a wah foo......

shortensweet said...

Grandma..how many meds ARE you taking? :)

Chill Daddy said...

Good one, bunny, I don't think you've ranted in a while.

Since nobody's really been blogging much, maybe it's time we passed around another tag of some kind.

Radmila said...

This is something that you just have to get used to in a bi-lingual country.
Everything here in Canada is in English and French.
What irritates me is when it's in French first, and I have to sit through the whole thing in French before I can get to the English.
We have one province that is predominantly French. Our government behaves like the guilty Stepparent who has to spoil the stepchild to prove that they love them.
Quebec sometimes behaves like the spoiled child who insists on coming before everyone else to prove that they are important.
Don't get me wrong...I love Quebec, as a place...but the politics causes the rest of Canada to treat the French language with overblown importance.
Most Canadians don't speak French fluently if they speak it at all.

sorry...I didn't mean it to turn into a rant on Canadian language politics...but I see the parallel to English/Spanish in the states.

DCveR said...

Sooooooo soooorrrryyyyy!
Imagine that, immigrants who can’t speak proper English!
And what about poor Americans away from the US?
How inconsiderate of the rest of the world not to speak English to appease the American EEG flat liners!
You know, my American friends all speak at least another language, maybe because of that I thought only red necks couldn't speak other languages.

grandlar said...

im taking a hand full of meds and getting more every year it seems....but I am not kidding that is a indian sentence...and I do not know what it means...I have remembered it since I was a small child...I will say it for you when I see you ...honest....

DaveM said...

Its not only some Americans that refuse to learn other languages, Brits are poor at it as well, a throw back to colonialism. Watch Brits aboard and the standard way of getting a message over to locals is to talk slower and shout. Then they walk away muttering..... surely my dear everyone should be able to understand English....what is the world coming too!!!

What did happen to those pictures ???

Chill Daddy said...

I sort of feel cheated by my high-school and college education. I'd love to be bi-lingual, but I was never forced to take a foreign language class. (didja catch that? It's their fault for not 'forcing' me)

Actually, I loved art, and somehow that took up my electives in high school. I could have done without political science, though - government sucks.

VeeFlower said...

More comments: Actually English is not the official language in our country. We have a national bird but not a national language. There is a bill proposed to make it the official language that is making its way through the law-making process. Also, there is a grass-roots movement that wants to make a second language a required course in school. BTW Dcver, nobody expects immigrants to know English when they arrive. They get lots of help here navigating our system in spite of not knowing English. But it is harder for them to work and pay taxes when they can't speak the language, and they are expected to learn it sooner or later in order to become self-supporting. We do expect them to learn English for that reason. Our local schools here have finally begun bi-lingual education for immigrant children. They learn the same material as the English-speaking students in their own language. Then they have English class. And incidentally, providing these classes meant cutting out other important budget items which means other taxpayer's kids will not receive something from which they would have benefited educationally. Yet taxpayers are willing to sacrifice. The American taxpayer is becoming overburdened, and when they see that there are many who come here seeking bounty but not willing to contribute, it's a sore point, as it would be anywhere in the world. I am referring to the everyday citizen who is just trying to make a living, not the twisted government here.

grandlar said...

I agree with your comments vee. Its not fair that some get all kinds of goverment handouts because of their low wages, even if they dont speak english. That puts a burden on us taxpayers that are trying to keep our heads above water.

bunnyjo georg said...

Bravo TV channel (I think) has been running a very interesting documentary about illegal immigrants from South America who come to the big cities, organizing complex crime syndicates, much like the mafia in days of old, terrorizing their neighborhoods and keeping the business community in a financial stranglehold - and the citizens, as well. For instance, this braggart they were interviewing for the documentary was the head of what is known as the MS13 in Las Angeles - a world-renowned gang, renowned for their brutality and "business savvy" in the way they run their streets. He was bragging that he takes 50% of each shopkeeper's gross profit for "protection." Now, you are talking about an already poor neighborhood. Imagine you are a straight, law-abiding citizen there working as say a hotel housekeeper trying to support your family. How would you feel about paying $7 for a box of cereal so that $3.50 can go to your local gang? And the real kicker? 95% of the gangmembers are illegals and don't speak a lick of English. So, they get carted back to where they came from only to kill and come back. It's really horribly frightening.

Radmila said...

But they have the freedom to protest about being illegal immigrants. Something they wouldn't have a right to do outside of North America.

Bonnie Blithe said...

I recently read an article that talked about gangs sending members to enlist: They're serving in Irag learning all kinds of things about urban warfare. Apparently it's a serious concern.

Chill: I'm forcing my kid to take 4 years of Spanish. She has to be at school next year at 6:30 am every day just to satisfy my cruel whim. I know it's going to be worth it to her later, though. I feel the same way about my single-languaged-ness as you do.

Marcheline said...

The reason they put signs up saying "push" and "pull" is because doors to businesses often have handles on both sides, and the hinges are hidden in the frame. If a door only opens one way, there's no way to tell which way is correct unless there's a sign.

I don't know about you, but in a rush I've tried to open some of them the wrong way (even though there WAS a sign), and nearly broke my damn nose.

My complaint is not the signs - it's why don't ALL commercial doors open BOTH ways? In an emergency, that could make all the difference.

Re: languages - As long as the sign is in English, why should it bother anyone how many translations follow? Not all immigrants are young - old people have a very hard time learning new languages, and they still have to grocery shop, use the bank, etc. Why not help people when it's so easy to do?

English is my first language, but I have a BA in Spanish (studied it for ten years, junior high through college) and speak it fluently.

Most of my friends and family in Europe speak at least three languages, and don't consider themselves exceptional. We Americans are the only ones that think we're hot shit because we can say "Donde esta Susana? Susana esta en casa."

- M

bunnyjo georg said...

Marcheline, I'm not sure what you just said, but it was probably smart. Poop. I just hate missing stuff like that.

I agree that Americans are backwards when it comes to multi-culturalism in all its various manifestations, particularly, though, where language is concerned. I think it is because most Americans are so obsessed with their own culture and with the ease of life that doesn't require them to stretch their brains in any capacity. Oh, I believe this is what the common person refers to as "laziness." That's my take, and I'm sticking to it!

Bonnie: As you know, I attempted to force my Frencophilic intentions on my children while taking French, but was largely unsuccessful. However, when they hit middle school, they WILL be taking foreign language - even it I have to get up early to take them (God help me).

Radmilla: Ah, good point. They live in a country that allows - albeit not necessarily respects - their right to protest their illegal status. Imagine...in a middle eastern country they might just be all thrown in jail. In communist Africa, they'd probably be shot dead. Problem solved. Lucky they chose America, eh?