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« Priorities for the Future | Main | Cajun Town Bans Excessively Saggy Pants »

June 18, 2007

Comments

Tim H.

Amen, Jimmy!

It's not exactly the same situation, but I've got a similar story.

My wife's Rumanian, and despite months of poking around with a "Teach yourself Romanian" book and CD, I did my quickest learning when her mother came to visit for a few months. She speaks no English, and my wife was gone on a research trip half that time, so I had to do all the translating. After that visit of hers, I was able to carry on some extended conversation in the language. And she, of course, quickly learned some English during that time, since there's definitely no "Rumanian language media" around here.

Funny (and sad) that even an immigrant like Schwarzenegger can get accused of insensitivity on this point.

Karen

You're very right, Jimmy, all things equal.

I can think of one legitimate reason for this being difficult to the point of practically un-implementable, in some situations, though: Depression. Depression doesn't make sense anyway. It's a-rational. It sucks you in, and even though you know what you should do, you don't. I'm just throwing this out there as a possible explanation.

In a foreign country, where it's a matter of survival to be there, and you aren't seeing it as a cultural adventure, and you're depressed and miss your folks and would rather not be where you are... I imagine it's very depressing. In your down-time, I'd hardly blame you for indulging in media that's easily comprehended.

Like I said, I'm just throwing that out there as an explanation. Not necessarily an excuse. An identifiable problem that perhaps we can resolve, so long as it gets identified.

Like you, I too, completely threw myself into German culture for the first five years I lived here. I went to a Volkshochschule for lessons, and they placed me in the most advanced German class. I was doing all I could. But then I got hit with depression; now I can't move away from all of this fast enough. I just want English. Here's also why: Couple that with the tendency we all have, after age 30, to lose the ability to filter out background noise. I read better than I "hear", and not just in German--in English, too! I have trouble understanding my own sister on the phone, because she has adopted a twang that I'm not accustomed to hearing. I have trouble understanding English movies that we watch--and English is my native language.

I'm guessing it could be quite a bit more complicated than just a matter of immigrants on some grand cultural adventure, as if they were tourists or young exchange students.

All things being equal, though--I agree with you wholeheartedly. One who is unhindered, should at least try, and follow the method you suggest. One who's hindered, needs to look at solutions to what's holding them back, whether it be depression, anxiety, or poor hearing.

Kevin

My wife from Poland -- learned a lot about speaking English by watching the EWTN Children shows.... :)

Eileen R

I once met a woman who moved from Hungary to Canada as a child. She quickly learned English, but her parents didn't. They got jobs where they didn't have to speak much English and basically relied on their daughter to speak English for them. Then, she grew up and married and moved away. At which point, they suddenly learned English at a remarkable speed.

It's amazing how a lot of people can adapt when the language crutch is taken away from them. Not everyone, of course, but most, I think.

Karen, in Germany, isn't there also the complication that a lot of younger people *do* speak English? I think that would make it very hard for me to learn German there. (I already know German is hard, because I took a year of it and can't recall *anything* about it, whereas two years of Spanish has given me basic newspaper reading comprehension.)

Leo

This might seem like a dispute about the practicalities of immersive language learning, but as Jimmy and others indicate the heat is caused by other factors.

I think this has often happened:

1. Newcomers, who look or sound different, arrive - with the same aspiration for their families as old-established residents.

2. A (perhaps understandable) redneck anxiety and hostility to the newcomers - especially if they fear there is a lack of opportunity.

2. A fair-minded/liberal/christian discomfort with this xenophobia produces efforts to welcome the strangers including affirming and appreciating their differences.

3. Some of these good people forget that the next step in being truly helpful is to help the stranger to swim unaided in this sea by learning our language and the 'rules of the game' which they need to mastered in order to succeed independantly and no longer be a newcomer.

4. Perhaps the trick is to make it clear that encouraging the learning of english is not about 'go back home'/'stop being different'/'stop changing our neighbourhood' but about helping newcomers to make a full contribution to and take the full benefit of the economy.

It's not really an either/or. The most successful immigrants have learned that a fish which can swim in two seas has not lost anything, but has a tremendous advantage.

paul zummo

"I'm sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that,"

Yeah, what would the Governor know about leaving the land of one's birth, travelling to an entirely new country, and immersing oneself into the language and culture of said culture?

SDG

When my sister moved to Mexico, she stayed with a family that spoke English -- but she absolutely insisted that they NOT speak English to her. She was highly motivated to learn Spanish as quickly as possible.

As a result, she's so fluent she can pass for a native, and she is now a full-time Spanish teacher.

Our home parish is probably something like 3/4ths Latino, reflecting the makeup of the neighborhood in which we live. As you might expect, there are significant language barriers in our parish. In a Latino enclave, native Spanish speakers can easily go a long time without real English language immersion.

Unfortunately, the language barrier is also an opportunity barrier. By not learning English, many Latinos are limiting their employment and self-advancement prospects.

pseudomodo

I have travelled quite a bit and was once very concerned about trying to learn other languages on my travels even if just some simple phrases.

But the more I travelled the more I learned that the internatinal language of everything is not Esperanto, it's ENGLISH!!!

So I stopped buying phrase books and I stopped saying 'ciao' and 'Bonjour' etc...

I learned that almost every single person in almost every single country wants to learn and speak in ENGLISH (except France - no surprise here!!) so I accomodate them as much as possible on my travels and NOT even try to offer a quick stab at Malay or Japanese.

I am doing them a service.

Karen

Karen, in Germany, isn't there also the complication that a lot of younger people *do* speak English?

You'll have that in some parts where Americans are a common sight, but not so much where I live. I still conduct everything in German. It's taxing, though, especially given the fact that I don't hear as clearly as I used to... I say "Wie, bitte?" a lot when I didn't catch what they said. It's not that I didn't learn the language, because I did. It's just that German will always be a second language, and by virtue of that, second nature. Sure, I've had dreams in German, even. I seem to read German just fine--I read German all of the time. But anymore, I don't welcome "surprise" as much, when I encounter something new, whether written or verbal. Or else I welcome it and soon forget what I learned. And I'm straining to hear. It's such a pain when you have to strain and hear people who speak your own native language, let alone a foreign one.

I guess a lot of this is over-come-able; my point was also that maybe this, and/or depression, is an identifiable problem, and that in identifying what holds people back, we might help them.

Beau

pseudomodo -

I still think there are two VERY important phrases to learn in the local language of every country you travel to:

1) Where is the bathroom?
2) I'd like another beer please.

:)

Foxfier

This is a serious problem-- and the Governator's state is a great example of one of the biggest examples.

I've been in the military with three different guys who are third-generation US citizens. They didn't learn English until they were teens, because they grew up in Tagolic-only areas. One had an arraigned marriage when both were 17 to a girl who is so scared of being in an area where folks only speak English that she choose to live with her parents for the two years I knew him.
One of them I helped study for his ratings exam because he simply *had no idea* about reading comprehension in English-- his level of understanding was about that of a twelve year old. Not because he was stupid, but because he was still learning a second language....although all three had lived in Cali for their entire lives, prior to joining up.

How on earth can anyone think *that* is fair?

xavier

Jimmy:

Good advice. Now let me interject a counterintuitive example: what happens in places like in Spain where you have minority languages that also need to compete with Spanish for the immigrants' knowledge? One of the biggest headaches in Catalunya is that the immigrants faced mixed signals from the 2 levels of government: on the one hand, the Gneralitat has historically asked that the immigrants who come here to learn Catalan while Madrid says sure but it's not as important as Spanish.
So there's a constant turf fight between both levels of government but it's hard to know with much accuracy which predominates or if both are being learnt.

Which brings us to another overlooked point: language policy is both invariably political and easily politicized and Americans aren't quite ready for the ensuing debates.

xavier

Kevin from Ohio in Virginia

Interesting quote by Senor (with a ~) Terminator... and I like.

Also interesting when you consider that a common tactic of Spanish teachers at both the high school and college levels is to allow only Spanish to be spoken in the classroom, even in beginners courses where little or no Spanish is known or understood. These educators believe that in order to learn the language, the students need to hear it and speak it as much as possible.

Kay Cee

Several years ago, I worked as a substitute teacher in a southern California public school district.

One day I was given a first grade class. When I showed up at the school office, they took one look at me and said, "You do speak Spanish, don't you?" I informed them I didn't. Why on earth would I need to speak Spanish to sub a first grade class?

Well, it turned out the class was taught in Spanish. The aide taught the class, while I just sat in the room and observed (you have to have a credentialed teacher in the classroom).

To this day, the entire incident just burns me up.

1) What kind of eventual job training was teaching these kids in Spanish preparing them for?

2) Since these kids weren't going to be taught in Spanish in the upper grades, how was this preparing them for their future education?

3) Since it's easier to learn a language when you're young, why was this school waiting to teach these kids English?


Jamie Beu

Jimmy,

You're forgetting a major difference between you and the illegal immigrants - you would actually *want* to learn the language of the host country. They, on the other hand, want to make the entire U.S. part of "North Mexico". (I'd use the term "NEW Mexico", but it's already taken.)

We need to face facts, and the first fact is that these are not immigrants, but invaders. A few thousand, even tens of thousands, of people moving legally from one nation to another is "immigration". When you get to hundreds of thousands each year, none of them documented... That's an invasion, even if not all of them are carrying weaponry (although many are packing heat - just ask the border patrol agents). And lest we forget, part of an invasion is changing the culture of the country you are invading.

Those that are willing to call our experiment in Iraq "an invasion" had better be willing to use the same term to describe the flow of people from Mexico (and other Latin countries) into the U.S. After all, we went into Iraq with about 100k troops and we are attempting "regime change". What's so different about the 12 million illegals (over the last 25 years since the last amnesty bill - that's about 500,000 per year) in the U.S. changing our culture. And they get benefits and maybe even the vote? Talk about regime change!

I'm sorry, but why should I have to "press 1 for English" anytime I want help from a U.S. company? English should be the default, period.

I'm not intolerant of someone struggling with the language - I will teach them the words they need to learn. (I'm not going to fool them into using phrases like "Please extract me, I have no goat.") I am intolerant, however, of people who choose to remain ignorant of the dominant language of the country they are in. Ignorance, with no intent to learn and grow, is laziness, and that is (and rightly should be) intolerable.

/ soapbox

6up

People can say anything they want about what they think they would do when faced with life in a foreign country but until you have actually been there done that you have no idea how your language learning will go.

I for one know what it is like and know very well that unless you have a good base of vocabulary, grammar and so on you could watch tv for hours a day and rarely pick anything up. For most foreigners the best way is to attend language classes and find something they like doing in the new language a sport, hobby or even a tv show or two they like in the new language. Then after a long day in a new, strange and at times very frustraiting country watching tv in your native language can be priceless.

Esau

you will learn the language faster and better if you use a total immersion methodology, which means denying yourself access to material in languages you already speak.


Jimmy,

That's just it --

Back then, when our parents or even great grandparents came to this country, there was nothing available in their language. Thus, due to necessity, they had to learn English.

However, these days, you can find materials/sign posts in almost every language.

In fact, I'm surprised they don't go as far as providing things in Sanskrit given the variety of languages!

Because of this, people are less motivated to learn English.

Some people think that accomodating folks in this manner is a great thing.

Yet, it is this very thing that causes the problem of folks not wanting to learn the English language. Because of their being pampered in this manner, no wonder these folks are less inclined to learn the English language! They see no reason to do so given how they're accomodated to the point that it's become unnecessary.

Perhaps in the future, when we have the National Anthem played, it'll be done not only in English, but in other languages as well!

They were doing it in Spanish that one instance way back when. Why not be fair and do it in every conceivable language like Chinese, Japanese, Farsi, etc.?

As my father once remarked, "If you're to call yourself an American, why wouldn't you learn English, the very language of America?"

During his days, you can hardly find the same 'luxury' you have these days where several materials have become available in several languages. Yet, he didn't mind at all. He wanted to be an American and wanted to learn English because this was the language of an American just as he had to learn American History and American Government; and in all that time of learning, he took pride in his studies because his dream was to become "American".

However, given how English is treated so remarkably as the primary language in the U.S., I guess in the future, almost every conceivable language on the face of the earth will end up being considered the "American" language.

John

Funny to read this and these posts on a Catholic blog, where you have an entire group of clergy and laity for that matter within our very own church who cant read Latin, the language the church has used for the better part of 17 or so centuries, whose encyclicals and teachings are the lifeblood of the church and direction she has taken

The ongoing travesty of the Mass which since 1970 still cant get translated correct, at least the way that in some way resembles the TLM with (4) different consecration "norms" in the new mass as the ICEL in their political ploy continue to "reinvent" and retranslate to their liking for the most part because they know that the clergy and laity dont know and cant even rebuke them because they dont know the language themselves!

So I guess people in glass houses shouldnt be throwing stones!!

Esau

John,

Can you read/speak Latin?

I've been trying my best to avoid you at all costs, but for you to attack me in this manner just because my parents were immigrants and actually learned English is not only uncalled for but viscious.

If you truly believe that Latin is the Language of the Church, then demonstrate it!

Prove to me you can even write Latin!
In fact, write your response in Latin!

I remember in another thread when I was making an argument for Latin being the Language of the Church where you even said:

I could care less about the Latin
Posted by: John | May 3, 2007 7:44:09 PM

You're such a friggin' hypocrite!


Others here may bow down to you, paying their utmost respects to you, but those who know Scripture AND Tradition can distinguish such fruits!

Jn 8:44:
44 You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. (DRV)

Jordan Potter

Ah, there's our buddy, Johnny One-Note . . . .

Jamie Beu, sorry, but a massive peaceful immigration is not a violent, military invasion. Words mean things. "Invasion" is not the word for what is happening (though it is the right word for the manner in which we originally acquired the northern third of Mexico).

Cajun Nick

At the time that my grandparents were little children, French was still being spoken in the homes of South Louisiana. However, at about that time, there was a concerted effort by their parents' generation to force their children to learn English better so that they could get better jobs and have a better life.

So, what did they do? They forbade the speaking of French at school! That was it; no more French at school. French was still being spoken at home, so our grandparents grew up still speaking French. This was to accomplish a better integration into American society.

And, mind you, this is from a people that have lived on the same patch of land for over 150 years.

But, when my grandparents' generation moved out and had kids, they stopped speaking French in the home; and spoke English to their children (my parents' generation.)

Today, people of my parents' generation did not speak French at home and did not pass it on to their children (my generation). For all intents and purposes, French is a dead language in South Louisiana.

There sure are some regrets among people my age that they never learned the language. Something of the culture is dying out with the loss of language.

But, I agree with the intentions of my great-grandparents' and grandparents' generation. We needed to learn English to fit into the American economy.

And there was no better way to do it than to be forced to speak English.

Cajun Nick

As an addendum to my previous post:

I am very fortunate that I speak French.

But it is not really due to my heritage (though that surely has something to do with it).

I learned French because I married a francophone Belgian, whose family does not speak English. During the summer of 1991, when I spent more than 2 months at their home, I had to speak French in order to have any communication.

Television was in French; radio was in French; the newspaper was in French; my dinner was being served in French. There was no way around it: I was going to learn French.

Nothing like total immersion to learn a language.

Esau

Today, people of my parents' generation did not speak French at home and did not pass it on to their children (my generation). For all intents and purposes, French is a dead language in South Louisiana.

There sure are some regrets among people my age that they never learned the language. Something of the culture is dying out with the loss of language...And there was no better way to do it than to be forced to speak English.


Cajun Nick:

That is indeed a tragedy there.

If only there was a way to have preserved your French heritage.

I can empathize since because my parents forced me to learn English instead of their language (they wanted to bring up their children as "Americans"), I grew up unable to speak their native language, which makes me somewhat incapable of truly relating to the culture of my parents since the various aspects and ideas of a culture are often intimately tied to a language, which many times are inexpressible in English as the full force of their original meaning is lost when translated across into the English language.

Like your great-grandparents' and grandparents' generation, they found no better way than to force their children to learn only English.

Still, I gotta admit; I remain grateful.

Thanks for your story and God Bless!

Augustine

Well, the "governator" is absolutely correct. I myself am an immigrant and we came to these shores (legally) with 6 and 11 year-old children.

My youngest only started to learn English when I decided to get cable because of Cartoon Network. In less than a month he was already understanding the cartoons. In six months he was correcting me and my wife.

But even I and my wife benefited from watching TV exclusively in English. In the beginning, when we weren't well trained in listening to English, we relied a lot on closed-captioning. After a few months, we realized that we were relying too much on CC and decided to turn it off, when our understanding improved quite a bit again.

We know of fellow countrymen who pay for expensive satellite channels from our home country who are alienated from current events in America because they don't understand news casts in English. And their accent is far thicker than ours.

The "governator" is right about this and I commend him for being politically incorrect this time. If only he were like this more often...

Augustine

By the way, when I got tiles installed recently, the whole crew was made up by Hispanics, but the boss was the only one who spoke English. If this isn't enough motivation to learn English quickly, I don't what would be.

Foreign movies are better with English subtitles than when one knows the language.

John

Esau posted:

"I could care less about the Latin
Posted by: John | May 3, 2007 7:44:09 PM

You're such a friggin' hypocrite!"

Esau-You failed to respond and as always had to resort to name calling, as I dont recall mentioning you in my post at all

Jimmy-are not profanities "friggin" as far as I know is not in the Websters dictionary-worthy of a warning to our friend Esau???

John

Esau posted:

"I grew up unable to speak their native language, which makes me somewhat incapable of truly relating to the culture of my parents since the various aspects and ideas of a culture are often intimately tied to a language, which many times are inexpressible in English as the full force of their original meaning is lost when translated across into the English language."

Hey Esau-Sort of like the Church today which has thrown away Latin to be "modern" and knows nothing about her roots , her traditions and past history, unless of course that was all by design as Latin has actually been removed from the seminary teachings of the church

Thanks! You just proved my point exactly, you should be commended!

Cajun Nick

Esau,

Thanks for your comments.

The Cajun Culture is still very strong, and it survives in our sense of family (which is maintained by our deep Catholic faith) and in our food.

Although I wish a middle way could have been found so that we could have adapted better to English while keeping our French language, I appreciate the rationale: our great-grandparents wanted us to have a better life than they had. They understood that this meant integrating better into American society.

caine

All of you people are guilty of violating the great commandment of modern Catholic Social Teaching.

Thou shalt not say anything in support of enforcing US immigration laws, or else thou shalt be called a mean, intolerant narrow-minded racist who wants millions of children to starve.

Leo

Maybe John is trolling but ...

most people here are extolling the benefits of learning the vernacular of their adopted abode.

vernacular: everyday common language of a country. Not Latin anymore.

caine

and YES, any opinion supporting the learning and usage of English by immigrants is at the very least ignorant, and at worst hatefully nativist. Consult your local diocese' Social Action office if you are confused about that.

Marcel LeJeune

There can be a balance of learning a language (necessary to success if they live here) and retention of culture (also important).

There should be a concerted effort in the Church to assist immigrants to the USA in learning English (free ESL classes, etc.) as well as an opportunity to worship in their native tongue. Balance seems to be the key in my opinion.

A Simple Sinner

A couple of the spanish speakers at work seem to have enrolled in some ESL courses and busily spend their breaks reading grade-school level mystery novels in English. I have noticed marked improvement in the past few months.

I have also noticed in the large Spanish speaking community that works where I do that a total support system in Spanish is available to them with one caveat - it simply allows them to function in at a subsistence sort of working poor level.

For the record, I live in a midwestern state, not the SW. And my county is now 11%+ Spanish speaking.

By not stressing the need for English, we are basically saying that "Don't worry, you can live and work in Spanish speaking environments on the lower end of the wage scale your whole life." In my broken Spanish that I have been picking up out of my necesity to communicate with some co-workers who don't speak any English, I have come to learn that more than a few of them have been in the US as long or longer than I have been alive. Some of these folks who have been here as long don't have the English language skills to communicate some of the most basic things. 30 years!

For the record, more than a few of them are so smart and hard-working, I believe if they spoke English, they would be MY boss.

I am not so much trying to convey some exasperation that they don't "Go native" here in the US speaking English, just saddened by the fact that this lack of language skills has relegated many of them to working two dish-washing jobs, or housekeeping work, or the like. You can faithfully cook or clean or do whatever for 30 years, but the promotions and upward mobility will simply NEVER be there in many instances.

To the detriment of many immigrants, the "Shadow Spanish" sub-culture that sustains MANY at first, goes on to enslave them.

Sadly, immigrants who remail Spanish-only will end up in a servant class permanantly - the niche has already been created here in Ohio - I can only imagine LA.

Does the nation need or want an unassimilated sub-group that is servant class?

Esau

All of you people are guilty of violating the great commandment of modern Catholic Social Teaching.

Thou shalt not say anything in support of enforcing US immigration laws, or else thou shalt be called a mean, intolerant narrow-minded racist who wants millions of children to starve.

and YES, any opinion supporting the learning and usage of English by immigrants is at the very least ignorant, and at worst hatefully nativist. Consult your local diocese' Social Action office if you are confused about that.


Caine:

For your information, my parents came into the country LEGALLY and are, in fact, American Citizens!

Mind you, they worked considerably hard in order to obtain their U.S. citizenship way back when (decades before all this 'amnesty' b.s.) and in spite of the many hardships, they nevertheless remain proud of all their hard work to that end since it was their dream to become American Citizens and knew the value of it.

To this day, they continue to value their U.S. citizenship (unlike some folks who take their American citizenship for granted or those who would usurp it without even a thought to what it actually means to be an American Citizen).

Now, why don't you find an appropriate blog that shares your prejudicial views and voice your hateful rants there!

This blog shares many views, including Esau's own bigoted views.

Esau

This blog shares many views, including Esau's own bigoted views.

How are mine bigoted?

Oh how brave you are, hiding in the shadows, just like the father of shadows!

BIGOT: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

as in: why don't you find an appropriate blog that shares your prejudicial views and voice your hateful rants there

Esau

Like you are intolerant of mine???

See the 'mirror'!

Leo

There is no room for xenophobia, racism or prejudice in the Christian life. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees in Egypt. Many of the Children of Israel were economic migrants in Egypt. Heck, most of our ancestors left Africa as nomads for 'economic' reasons. If we take this anti-immigration thing too far we'd all end up in Olduvai gorge.

Intolerant of yours? Hardly. I enjoy it, and Caine's and everyone else's, sarcasm and all.

Jordan Potter

Esau, I think you missed Caine's point. He was speaking sardonically.

Esau

Leo,

If you take a look at my posts, I have NOTHING against immigrants, unlike Caine.

Anon is just behaving like the son of the shadows he is and trying to twist my comments to suit his agenda.

In fact, it's no wonder he doesn't identify himself.

Leo

Esau, I know, was supporting you.

Suzanne

Jimmy, you are spot-on.

I studied Spanish in Mexico with a small group. We lived in an Hacienda together and I relied heavily on my roommate who was advanced (I was a complete beginner). My professors noticed this and began to separate us more and more God Bless them! They made more situations available for us to communicate with the locals. I became fluent after 3 semesters with them. I ended up living, studying and working in Mexico for three years and now teach part time at a Juco. If it weren't for those professors kicking me out of the nest and making sure no one was speaking English to me, my Spanish would be terrible!

Esau


Leo:
Esau, I know, was supporting you.

Thanks and God bless!


Cajun Nick:
Thanks to you as well!

Although I wish a middle way could have been found so that we could have adapted better to English while keeping our French language, I appreciate the rationale: our great-grandparents wanted us to have a better life than they had. They understood that this meant integrating better into American society.

It goes to show that even though we come from different cultures, there is a sharing of similar values nevertheless; the product of all of us having been a creation of the One God, no doubt!

God bless you, too!

Anon is just behaving like the son of the shadows he is and trying to twist my comments to suit his agenda.

Your comments suit yourself.

Ignore the anonymous voices! the voices!

That includes the anonymous who hide behind fictitious names.

You're jealous because the anonymous voices don't talk to you.

Esau

Just as long as they speak English.

Esau

Just as long as they speak English.

THAT WAS NOT MY COMMENT!

ANON,
It is YOU who are the BIGOT!

Ahnuld

"Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

Ahnuld

"Anyone out there that feels offended by my comments, I just want to say I'm sorry, I apologize." If I were to hear my children make similar comments, "I would be upset."

Ahnuld

I also apologize for my statements that California should "close the borders" with Mexico to control illegal immigration. I had misspoken because of a "language problem."

"The bottom line is, I misspoke, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone."

M L

This is why we need the Traditional Latin Mass back.

Ahnuld

Please,

Jason

Immigrants should learn English for the obvious practical reason that it will help them succeed economically. But, I definitely have no desire to keep English culture for the sake of preserving some idea of America. Culturally, the Spanish have as much a claim on the history of this land as the English. I wouldn't mind if we were all speaking Spanish someday, although it should happen naturally. I would continue speaking English, however, I just happen to be a lover of my native tongue.

Jeb Protestant

Mexican Americans have a higher rate of divorce, abortion, illegitmacy and crime. They overwhelemingly vote Democratic and thus pro-abortion(California hasn't gone to the Republicans in a presidential election since 1988). "Catholic" Mexico just legalized abortion in the largest province (Mexico City). So I think there are very good reasons to have a moratorium on immigration until we can assimilate recent immigrants.

Grandma Moses

If someone wants to get ahead economically in my business, English-only speakers don't cut it.

Ahnuld

If it weren't for my difficulty speaking English, you might never have heard of me.

Ahnuld

Yes, it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful but now I recognize that I offended people.

If I have molested you, I apologize.

Steve

On the other hand, mexicanos only need to wait another, say, 20 years, before they demand that minorities in America learn Spanish.

Rick

If English speakers turned off the English language TV and started practicing their Spanish, they might be ready in 20 years to speak the language of this nation.

Eric

You've got to turn off the Spanish television set

I didn't know the Spanish made television sets. Mine's Japanese.

Brian

Esau and Leo,

When did Caine say anything against immigrants? All he did was sarcastically point out the way that one is allowed to hold any position on immigration as long as it doesn't involve enforcing the law. I think he's absolutely right in doing so.

Sin begets sin. Illegal immigrants come to this country because employers want to save money by paying them lower wages than legal workers. We could have stopped this when it started by enforcing the law and then fixing immigration laws to meed the needs of both our economy and the immigrants. But we're all greedy. We may not be willing to break the law ourselves, but we're certainly willing to benefit from illegal aliens doing the lowest level of work at the cheapest wages to keep the prices of the goods and services they provide low. And decades later we're in the mess we're in now. What do we do, now? I don't know for sure, but I know the solution resides in increased lawfullness not increased lawlessness. Put the people who hire illegal immigrants in jail. Provide some type of amnesty for those who have put down roots here. Stop those who continue to try to come here illegally and send the ones who make it here illegally back before they can settle into a job and home. Once the law is restored, we can accurately guage our immigration needs and adjust the quotas to make them equitable to all. Then they can earn a full wage under the protection of the law and participate in the American way of life. Whatever we do, the current level of lawlessness is good for no one.

we all came from somewhere else

Immigrants should learn English, but we seem to expect more of them, more quickly, than in generations past.

When my family immigrated to the U.P. of Michigan in the late 19th Century they attended German-speaking schools, spoke German at home, and lived in communities of fellow German immigrants. As is typically true of Italians, Jews, and Irish.

People forget. They forget that it took their family time. That it probably took a generation, a generation that was born in the U.S. before English became the predominant language in the household. The influx of Mexicans into the country makes them a target like the Irish once were in New York.

Give those that are immigrating to this country a generation and they will be speaking English.

I lived for seven years in New Mexico and some of the harshist racism that I witnessed was from Mexican-Americans towards Mexican immigrants, believing themselves to be true Americans and those immigrating to be a burden on their reputation as Americans.

Those that come here will learn English in time, or their children will. We should not be in such a rush to villify those that come here to be part of America.

Jeb Protestant

"Give those that are immigrating to this country a generation and they will be speaking English."

I doubt this will be the case. In any event, when people came to the US in the past, they didn't become enthralled with pluralism and multiculturalism. They didn't see themselves as non-whites, victims of the white majority. My grandparents were from Italy and their values were far different from those of today's immigrants.

Jason

Why shouldn't immigrants see themselves as non-whites? America is full of black and white natives, and many brown natives as well.

Jason

*By the way, this country is based on pluralism. That is why we have chinatowns and Little Italies and Oktoberfest celebrations.

we all come from somewhere even Jeb Protestant


"Give those that are immigrating to this country a generation and they will be speaking English."

I doubt this will be the case. In any event, when people came to the US in the past, they didn't become enthralled with pluralism and multiculturalism. They didn't see themselves as non-whites, victims of the white majority.

Really? So your family didn't learn English in a generation. You must be quite the exception. Though being white, I agree it is unlikely your family believed itself victims of the white majority. Good call there.

Along those lines, we have always been mulitcultural and plural. We are a united country with regional differences. The elitist northeast is very different from my Spanish Catholic New Mexico from my Brooklyn working class neighborhood to my Wisconsin labor roots. The U.S. are multicultural in every sense of the world. Too many people think multicultural has to do with race.

Even Jeb Protestant comes from somewhere

"Give those that are immigrating to this country a generation and they will be speaking English."

" - jeb protestant - I doubt this will be the case. In any event, when people came to the US in the past, they didn't become enthralled with pluralism and multiculturalism. They didn't see themselves as non-whites, victims of the white majority."

Really? So your family didn't learn English in a generation. You must be quite the exception. Though being white, I agree it is unlikely your family believed itself victims of the white majority. Good call there.

Along those lines, we have always been mulitcultural and plural. We are a united country with regional differences. The elitist northeast is very different from my Spanish Catholic New Mexico from my Brooklyn working class neighborhood to my Wisconsin labor roots. The U.S. are multicultural in every sense of the word. Too many people think multicultural has to do with race.

Jeb Protestant

I don't think America has ever been multiculutral and pluralistic in the sense it is today. When my grandparents came to the US did people teach that "pluralism" required "tolerance" for homosexuality? Did they teach that, because of "multicularism," we should consider Mohammadanism as anything but a false religion? Did people teach that "BC" and "AD" should be replaced by "BCE" and "CE"?

The influx of immigrants has dramatically increased these trends.

Jason

Homosexuality and intolerance for Christianity are part of American culture today. We don't have to be multicultural in order to have those things. We already have them.

True multiculturalism has nothing to do with homosexuality or anything like that, but is about people having a diversity of culture and respecting that. America is not only white and English. She is black and African. She is brown and Mexican. She is red and Indian. There is nothing wrong with that.

Even I come from somewhere

I agree that America is very different pluralistically (sic) than other times here. But previously, "pluralism" didn't allow for Catholics in many parts of the country.

Should Protestants consider Catholics as anything but a false religion? Should Catholics consider Protestants as anything but a false religion? Should Christians consider Islam for anything but a false religion? Should Muslims consider Christianity for anything but a false religion?

Your argument is too simplistic. We're right because we believe we're right. That's everyone's arguement!

Dr. Eric

Having a Lingua Franca holds a culture and civilization together. If those who don't want to learn English stay here it will create a breakaway culture which will split off of the United States. Look what happened to the Roman Empire. This is why we have Spain, France, Germany, Romania, Greece, etc...

As the language got farther and farther from Latin and/or Greek the peoples drifted from their Empires. Those who want to have English only are interested in protecting the integrity of the United States by having a common language to keep the people united.

Jeb Protestant

Jason, please don't misrepresent what I said. I never said that America shouldn't have different kind of people.

I simply made the point that the increasing number of immigrants has been used by certain groups to advance the leftist agenda of multiculturalism. I think that is beyond dispute. Obviously part of the reason why there is such a push to replace traditional holidays (winter vacation instead of Christmas vacation), use "BCE" and "CE", etc. is at least in large part due to immigrants. I would point out that most of the main leftist groups such as the ADL, AJC and ACLU are very stronly in favor of incresed immigration. Obviously they realize better than many so-called conservatives what the result of immigration is.

Jason

Jason, please don't misrepresent what I said. I never said that America shouldn't have different kind of people.

You said that your ancestors didn't identify as "non-white" and seemed to suggest that it is un-American to do so, as if America were a white nation and whiteness is a characteristic of being American. If I misunderstood you then I apologize.

I simply made the point that the increasing number of immigrants has been used by certain groups to advance the leftist agenda of multiculturalism. I think that is beyond dispute. Obviously part of the reason why there is such a push to replace traditional holidays (winter vacation instead of Christmas vacation), use "BCE" and "CE", etc. is at least in large part due to immigrants. I would point out that most of the main leftist groups such as the ADL, AJC and ACLU are very stronly in favor of incresed immigration. Obviously they realize better than many so-called conservatives what the result of immigration is.

The secular agenda has nothing to do with immigrants. I would be willing to bet that there aren't many Mexicans coming over the border who have any desire to see Christmas replaced by a "winter vacation." The immigrants have nothing to do with abortion, divorce, or homosexuality. If they are voting for these things, it is because they are being assimilated into them by Americans who are defining the culture (irony?). The problem is not with immigrants or multiculturalism, but with Americans who are pushing these things in their own society. This is seen in western groups that bring condoms and abortion to third world countries. We aren't being overrun with decadence, we are being destroyed from within and exporting it.

JasonT

I agree with Jimmy on a lot of issues and have tremendous respect for his defense of the faith, and insight into Holy Mother Church. However, in this regard, both Jimmy and Mr. Governor are misguided. Just because Latino-immigrants or immigrants of any other country for that matter, stay tuned into their native languages to stay up to date with news and such, does not necessarily mean that they are "Anti-English." to the contrary, most probably long to learn the language and master it as of course, that would make life much easier in the United States, where the predominant language is English.

Also, this notion of "Hey, this is America. when my (insert relative/generation here) we didn't have a penny to our name and didn't speak a lick of english and we made it ok" is absolutely irrelevant when speaking about groups of people in general. This discounts numerous complex social factors that vary between individuals which affect the rate and amount that they learn. My parents came to the US from Vietnam and had to learn english. Now they are successful business owners and have raised three college-graduated children including myself. While we "made it" in america, again it is irrelevant to the discussion.

It is easy to say "just learn english" when you come from this nation and it's the only language you know. it is also easy to say that if you are a White person, whose members are dominant in society. Moreover, it is this type of speech that breeds hatred and prejudice attitudes against minorities and people of color.

May God Bless America and the entire world.

jason

Jeb Protestant

Jason,

Of course, most Mexicans don't have any desire to replace Christmas with "winter vaction" or AD with "CE." (Although they aren't particulary conservative on divorce or abortion. The illegimacy rate in Mexico is the same as the US.) On the other hand, they are being used by leftists to promote these ends. If all it takes is crossing the border and a few years in the US public schools for Mexicans to become as liberal as the average American, then their attachment to the conservatism of their culture is pretty tenous to start with.

I would point out that if you go to our major cities such as LA, SF and NYC you will see that a massive influx of immigrants hasn't made them conservative. The only Republican that California will elect statewide is a liberal like Schwarzenneger.

I don't blame immigrants for our cultural decay, but they aren't helping the situation. In fact they are making it worse.

Jason

Immigrants may or may not be the hope for our country when it comes to Christian civilization, but the problem is not with immigration. Whether the people come from other countries or from people who are being born, our culture is sick, and is leading everyone astray. There is no unique danger of immigrants become pro-abort militant secularists than our own children. We need to heal the culture, period, for everyone.

Jeb Protestant

Jason,

Do you agree that leftist groups are strongly supportive of immigration because these groups believe that large number of immigrants will help secularize America?

Jeb Protestant

Jason,

I would also point out that because of the economic level of Mexican and most other Hispanic immigrants, they will tend to vote Democratic and therefore leftist. (Kerry won over 60% of the Hispanic vote.) The Republicans may not be great, but importing millions of Democratic voters is no way to help the country.

Jason

Do you agree that leftist groups are strongly supportive of immigration because these groups believe that large number of immigrants will help secularize America?

You may be right. I think some of the more radical leftists want to globalize their evil ideas. That's why they bring abortion and condoms to other countries. If they can bring non-Americans here and establish foreign roots, they can spread their agenda. Maybe that's a little conspiratorial and I don't they do all of this consciously, but I think it is a part of it.

However, just because they want to use immigration to globalize their agenda doesn't mean the problem is with immigration. It means the problem is with them, and we need to convert both them and the immigrants. Whether the immigrants come here or not, they will be trying to change America with their agenda.

I would also point out that because of the economic level of Mexican and most other Hispanic immigrants, they will tend to vote Democratic and therefore leftist. (Kerry won over 60% of the Hispanic vote.) The Republicans may not be great, but importing millions of Democratic voters is no way to help the country.

If we don't like their politics, then we should work to change them, just like we do with all Americans. More importantly, we should work to convert them to Christ, along with the American secularists who are already here.

Jeb Protestant

Jason,

Of course we should try to convert them, but giving the democrats an electoral lock by importing millions of nominal Christians doesn't do the immigrants or the natives much good.

What if Mexicans were Moslems who wanted to impose Sharia on the US? Would you say "well, let's just convert them once they get here"? I'm not saying the situation is the same, but I think it illustrates the point.

An immigration pause would give our culture a chance to regroup.

Jordan Potter

An immigration pause would give our culture a chance to regroup.

What culture are you referring to?

The culture that kills millions of babies a year, that encourages and celebrates sexual deviancy, that is the leading creator and exporter of pornography on earth? The culture that produces snuff flicks and calls it entertainment?

Somebody explain to me why that culture should be shown any mercy or given a chance to regroup.

What if Mexicans were Moslems who wanted to impose Sharia on the US? Would you say "well, let's just convert them once they get here"? I'm not saying the situation is the same, but I think it illustrates the point.

They're not Muslims, though, so it doesn't illustrate your point at all. Mexicans belong to a culture that is European and Christian in origin. Sure, it's a corrupt and secularised culture, quite a lot like ours, but it's a lot easier to convert nominal Christians than it is to convert zealous Muslims.

Hispanics tend to vote Democratic. Yeah, that's a problem, even worse than if they tended to vote Republican. But not all that long ago, blacks used to be Republicans, and now they're almost all Democrats. Political affiliations change. Not easily, but they do change.

Bill Q

As an Orange County resident, I'm annoyed daily that the local PBS station has programming in Spanish. Why should tax dollars be spent enabling people to remain linguistically disenfranchised from society? Besides, I seriously doubt PBS gets a dime in donations from people who can't speak English. What kind of jobs do non-English speakers in the United States have where they have $150 to spare on the washed-up-sixties-performer CD that PBS is hawking at any given moment that could be purchased for 10 bucks on Amazon? Seriously.

First off, the English language was chosen as the one to spread the worst immoral corruptions for a long time, so there it is disadvantaged.

Secondly, English was held in low regard by European monarchs. I forgot what king said something like this:
Spanish for the People, Latin for God, French for the Government, German for the Millitary and English for the Horses.


But you have to learn the language of the locals...

But watching TV in an way constitutes an occasion of sin therefore cannot be watched.

And I don't care who disagrees.

Jeb Protestant

Jordan,

No one denies that our culture is depraved. On the other hand, making the situation worse through mass immigration doesn't help. And as bad as things are, there is a strong remnant of Christians in our country. Compare the US to, say, the UK or France.

Hispanics who convert to evangelicalism tend to be more conservative. Who knows, perhaps the catholic church in the US could get its act together with respect to Hispanics. But flooding the country with nominal catholics isn't helping. Iowa may be a secular state, but it isn't California. Millions of immigratns would make it another California.

Jamie Beu

Jordan wrote: sorry, but a massive peaceful immigration is not a violent, military invasion.

I never said it was a violent invasion. However, when they are sneaking across our borders (read: covert action) and seeking to change the culture, that is still an invasion.

In spite of the disputes and name-calling, there were a couple of important issues raised in this combox in the past 24 hours:

1) English is vernacular and wanting to enforce it destroys the argument for Latin in the Church

This argument is incoherent - it practically assumes that Latin was the original language of the Americas, but because we all spoke English, we changed it to our vernacular. The reality is that Latin was the "Lingua Franca" (so to speak) of the Church. Opening up the entire Mass to the vernacular means that we now have 3 generations of Catholics that don't know what part of the Mass is "the Sanctus" or "the Confiteor". It also means that we have to wait several years for English translations of "important" Church documents. We also end up dependent on others translating for us (more about that later!).

For my part, I grew up going to the Latin Mass. I chose to take Latin in school, because I wanted to understand what was going on at Mass. The way we learned Latin was very simple: "Latine colloquamur" - "we speak Latin" or "Latin is spoken here". I am convinced that understanding Latin has helped me to understand my faith and the history of the Church far more so than my friends and acquaintances - it was total immersion into Catholic history and the culture of the Mass.

This is why anyone who doesn't speak English in the U.S.A. will be at a loss. English is the language of the U.S.A. just as Latin is the language of the Church. Relying on Spanish-language news about things going on in the U.S. is like relying on English-language CNN or NY Times to tell us what is going on in the Vatican. We get told their version of what is important about the latest encyclical or papal statement. (How many times has Jimmy had to explain to us the real/full story that the MSM neglected to tell us?)

2) construction crews speak Spanish but the construction boss speaks English

My father-in-law is a retired construction worker. He was passing by a site one day, struck up a conversation with one of the supervisors, and the guy was so impressed with his knowledge and wisdom that he offered him a part-time supervisory role on-site.

Unfortunately, this man with 40+ years of experience lasted only 1 day, because nobody at the job site could understand him - and this was regarded as his fault for not being bilingual!

We are already starting to see the effects of laborers who cannot read or understand building codes. Look at how many new houses have shoddy workmanship that becomes more and more apparent over time. (I'm not just talking about bad hammering of nails in posts. I'm talking about electrical and plumbing as well - jobs that are supposed to require some level of skill and competence and definitely require an ability to read and understand codes and regulations.)

3) the American culture and importing nominal Christians

This is a moot point. The U.S.A. has been importing nominal Christians (at best!) for centuries.

4) helping vs. enabling

In the 60s and 70s, in our "compassion" we decided that we would help the poor blacks by creating a "Great Society", i.e., give them money for free. We all know how well that worked out - it was enabling, and it nearly created a permanent poor (and often criminal) class of people. Thankfully, in the 80s and 90s, we started to change it from "welfare" to "workfare". The results: aside from the top 1-5% of income earners, the fastest growing income bracket in the U.S. over the past 10 years has been from the bottom 30%, who have seen their mean incomes rise nearly twice as fast as middle-class incomes over that time.

But now we're going to legislate a new "slave class" and enable them with their native language to keep economic opportunities and better understanding of their new country away from them.

Tell me, how nominally Christian is that?

caine

So sorry the silliness of my snarky, snide, sarcasm was so subtle.

Thank you to Brian for defending me against Esau and Leo who I did not mean to offend.

It just goes to show that you can't even joke about the Church's involvement in the immigration reform (aka amnesty and open borders) movement. Dour righteousness has no sense of humor.

Deport them all!! Let God sort out the legal ones!

John

Leo posted:

"Maybe John is trolling but ...

most people here are extolling the benefits of learning the vernacular of their adopted abode.

vernacular: everyday common language of a country. Not Latin anymore."

Please expand-did some official document come out somewhere these past 40 years which said that all church documents written in Latin including the Mass are not to be learned??? Trolling-Is a troll someone who points out your inadequacies with respect to Catholic teaching, morals, tradition and faith and you dont seem to like it, sort of like that voice in back of your head which tells you to change the channel when something you shouldnt be watching on TV is on but you continue to watch, and then of course along with the rest of your sins (because the church today preaches nothing but love and does not recite before mass or during the sermon the rules for receiving communion in the Novus Ordo because now all can get to heaven, per the Popes of Modernism)-and you go up anyway to receive our Lord while those who actually have a conscience sit down?

If that is a troll than that is I..that little voice in back of your head which tells you that the New Mass and all that goes with it is bad for your salvation because it has broken all past ties with church teachings and traditions.....

Foxfier

John- A troll is someone who makes bad arguments for the attention it gets him. Someone who revels in disrupting the peace.

Calling someone a hypocrite for not caring about Latin is a pretty poor argument.

A Simple Sinner

A troll is someone who rides a hobbyhorse so mercilessly that even topics that are not germain to his crusade see him surfacing to make it an issue.

How John got to turn even this topic into a forum for his SSPVesque rantings befuddles me.

Jamie Beu

A troll is someone who lives under a bridge but is fooled by the 3 Billy Goats Gruff.

(Sheesh, people - learn your nursery rhymes!) ;-)

Foxfier

*giggles*

Some Day

Deport them all!! Let God sort out the legal ones!

Who ever wrote this probably wrote it in bad faith,
yet the saying is a modified quote from I believe Godfrey(a awesome crusader) who ordered the killing of all the inhabitants of some city, mostly muslim, but there might have been some Catholics, but regardless said "Kill them all, let God sort them out!"

John

Sinner posted:

"A troll is someone who rides a hobbyhorse so mercilessly that even topics that are not germain to his crusade see him surfacing to make it an issue."

Gee, I guess holding fast to the faith, morals, teachings, and the language of the church before the Catholic "reformation" that took place in the 1960's and after is a "hobbyhorse" and a troll

Possibly that makes me a true Catholic uncompromised by the secular world?

Possibly that makes me a true Catholic uncompromised by the secular world?

A "True Catholic"?

You mean a "True Catholic" is one who defies the Authority of the Pope?

Sounds more like a "Protestant".

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