Excuse me,I don't care what language you speak

@dfollin (12770)
United States
June 22, 2008 3:58pm CST
About 12 or 13years ago I was told about how an apartment building was on fire.The fireman were standing down under the window where a woman stood,yelling holding the tarp for her to jump in.Other fireman were standing around waving for her to jump and yelling for her to jump.She apparently was too afraid to and stayed in there and burned to death.The county was blamed for her death because the firmen did not speak spanish.No matter what language you speak you know when where you live is burning to the ground all around you,fireman holding a tarp and waving for you to come down.Well,Duh!! And new law was made that all emergency personel had 6 months to learn basic spanish.Then why doesn't spanish people coming our english speaking country have 6 months to learn basic english? Is this ridculous or what? What do you think?
17 people like this
43 responses
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
22 Jun 08
wow! For me that is unfair for the fireman, the moment he was yelling there, for sure, it is an indication that he is there to catch or assist her and it was the woman's choice to save her life that time!
4 people like this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
23 Jun 08
In my opinion she killed herself because it was obvious,I don't care what language you speak, what the firemen were telling her.
2 people like this
• Canada
22 Jun 08
There are other languages besides English and Spanish. What if the next person to pull this is German or Danish? Are people going to have to learn every language? I agree with you. Some things go without saying, and jumping out of a burnging building defintely qualifies as one of them.
3 people like this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
22 Jun 08
I was thinking the same thing.What if the next person was french,polish,italian or whatever? If the fireman can wave for a person to jump,then he already knows basic sign language,lol.Right?
@fluffysue (1463)
• United States
22 Jun 08
I was wondering the same thing. It is possible for me to go out and hear 5 different languages besides English in one day. I can't imagine what would happen if all our emergency personnel were required to learn all of them, especially since our firefighters and EMTs are primarily volunteers. Even if they are paid, to expect this is ridiculous. I cannot imagine that this woman did not understand that she was to jump. Most people would realize they have a better chance jumping than staying in the burning building. I really believe she probably panicked.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
23 Jun 08
That is the very first thought that I had when reading this discussion. What if the person does not speak either of the languages that the person speaks?
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
This is one of my pet peeves. My maternal great grandparents were from Germany and had to learn english to come here. If I go to any other country I am expected to know the language. Some tourists spots have english speakers for convenience, but if I had to fill out any documents in the country they would be handed to me in that country's language. I think it's ridiculous that I'm expected to learn a second language to live and work in my home country. We need to heed Theodore Roosevelt's words: "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." Theodore Roosevelt 1907
3 people like this
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I had never seen that quote before, that is great! Thank you for putting it up.
1 person likes this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I have never seen that quote before either.Maybe it should be sent to the president.You should be very proud of your great grandparents.
• United States
22 Jun 08
That is utterly ridiculous! The last thing that emergency personnel should have to remember is another language--that time would be much better spent on their learning new techniques to help save lives! What community is this--if it's in the USA, the last I heard, our national language is ENGLISH. If you're coming to America, learn our language or stay home!
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Exactly,if they can't learn english then they have no business being her.Iam really tired of american's having to bend over backwards to accomadate them.Laws are made like it is our fault that they are here and don't know english.That lady could tell what she was supposed to do,jump or die.And she chose to die.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 08
My grandfather was a LEGAL immigrant here in 1919 and he taught himself the English language through school and a dictionary! When he came here, until he learned English, EVERYONE (kids) made fun of him, so he became determined to learn the language! And he was offended to hear people identifying themselves as African-American, Irish-American, Polish-American, Italian-American, etc.--to him, you were an AMERICAN, end of story. While he was proud of where he was born (Italy), he was even more proud to become a citizen!
• United States
23 Jun 08
Okay well that is just plain stupid. I mean you must have known that she should have jumped. She probably was too afraid and it probably had nothing to do with her not knowing english. I wasn't born here I was born in the Dominican Republic and even though my first language is spanish I speak english perfect like if I was born here. Now my mother talks spanish but she has been here long enough that she knows enough english to get by. There are people that come here and it's hard for them to learn english. Especially older people. But I do think it is kind of ridiculous in this kind of situation.
2 people like this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Good for you and your mom for speaking english.That was stupid thou.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
22 Jun 08
Oh dfollin, what a sad tale. Well if that person is working in an environment were there is a lot of different persons to encounter on a daily basis it is good to know another language. Especially if this language is the next one that speak very frequently. I know that it is sad when you have to bend backwards to accommodate others but for the peace and harmony of the PeaceCorp it is good to follow it. It is just ignorance when someone migrate from his/her own country to go to another and do not understand the basic knowledge of that language. Survival depends on how far you want to go to makes you happy.
2 people like this
@luvinu617 (185)
• United States
22 Jun 08
It's ridiculous. Anyone coming into this country not speaking english should have to take basic english courses. I really started encountering this ridiculous problem in high school. Beginning of freshman year the announcements were done in english and that was it. My freshman year, by the way, was the same year as 9/11, I was in my homeroom class when 9/11 was happening. Couple months pass and the school decides that they need to do morning announcements in spanish as well. Well, that made the middle eastern portion of our school get mad about their rights and why their language isn't on the morning announcements too, so the last day I ever stepped foot inside the school was the day they did the announcements in three different languages, you couldn't turn off the speaker in the classroom, and it's took 20 minutes to do five minutes worth of announcements. Ridiculous!
• China
23 Jun 08
It's really a sad story.Was she more frightened than savine her life,or what would the woman do if she knew a lot of knowledge about firebreaking?on the other hand ,we should do and speak the Rome does,if the firemen can speak english, they were always right .
1 person likes this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I thought that school was to educate not accomodate! By the time they get tell everything in all the different languages there is no time left to teach.Duh again.
• United States
23 Jun 08
Well that was exactly the problem. It took twenty minutes to get through the announcements when my first period, which was my history class. But the period was only 50 minutes long and twenty of it was spent on just the announcements. It's ridiculous, if they can't speak english then they shouldn't freakin live here. They need to go back to their own countries anyways.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
I think it should work both ways. We English speaking Americans should know a few words in Spanish and our new Spanish speaking Americans should know a few words in English. Anything that makes communication better. America doesn't have a official language but most of us speak English. So unless A Spanish speaking person stays in their own little hood where they only speak Spanish, they will need to learn English sometime.With that said, it wasn't the firefighters fault the lady didn't jump.That could have happened with a English speaker too.It was a matter of fear and trust.
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
23 Jun 08
America may not have a "legal" offical language, nevertheless, the accepted language of America is American English. Our legal documents are in English. The Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, all new laws, all court rulings; are written in English. For the first 200 years of our existence English was the accepted language of this country. All public schools were taught in English. The Pledge is spoken in English. The National Anthem is sung in English. When you become a citizen your intent to do so was spoken in English until about 20 years ago. Until about 20 years ago Spanish was taught in schools as a foreign language, along with German and French. It should not work both ways. I should not have to learn Spanish within the borders of America to enable communication within the borders of America. I should not have to learn any language except English to get along within the borders of America. Within the borders of America I should be fully literate in English and English only.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
Since the beginning of the United States the majority of Americans already speak English so of course everything was written in English, But things are changing and in another 20 years the majority of Americans could be speaking Spanish.That is when you will Need to learn Spanish. But now to learn Spanish is an option so you can really communicate with our new citizens.If you don't want to, that is okay.
@robert19ph (4584)
• Philippines
23 Jun 08
Hello dfollin, Wow, How could they blame the language in here! The sign language might not be universal too but you are already burnin, how could you not jump? Do you think the heat will not drive you to jump? There is something going in there why the woman did not jump. Teaching the language should be two way process. You can teach the emergency personnel basic spanish and it should be required also for spanish speaking people to learn basic english.
1 person likes this
@focjop20 (233)
• Puerto Rico
23 Jun 08
You got it right, something keep her form jumping, but no one thought about that.
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
22 Jun 08
That is so sad. However the firemen are certainly not to blame. I think she was just too scared to jump. I am pretty sure she would know that's what she needed to do.
1 person likes this
@dfollin (12770)
• United States
23 Jun 08
You'd think she would understand.Is doesn't take the education of a rocket scientest to figure that one out.
• Nepal
24 Jun 08
I don't know but this may be love to mother tongue but i am opposite of that I can understand and speak english and hindi too..apart from that I am Nepali. Language helps man in trouble .Language is a kind of knowledge.. so it helps you when you are far from your place.
• United States
23 Jun 08
Okay this is insane. The fireman does not need to learn spanish. Dont get me wrong, im sure its helpful to a point, but if a building was on fire, and someone was holding a tarp for me to jump into .. i think no matter what language i spoke, I would be able to comprehend what They wanted me to do. In my opinion the lady should have jumped.. and if she was scared.. something should have been done by the fire department to help her. Why did they just let her burn?! Thats messed up.
1 person likes this
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
23 Jun 08
I agree with you. People who come to our country should learn how to speak English. Also with the signs that they were making for her to jump she should of knew what they were meaning. I don't see anywhere at all where this was the fire fighters fought.
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
22 Jun 08
amen. nuff'said.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
23 Jun 08
This is what comes of catering to people. As harsh as that sounds. It isn't any better, it is worse. You can barely pick up a package that doesn't have English and Spanish written on it. We have dumbed down for them. I have worked with Hispanics before and while some try to understand and speak English there have been some who only understand you when they want to. Otherwise it is "no speaka the English". We shouldn't be learning Spanish, they should be learning English. I've known those who were taking English, then only speaking Spanish at home. You can't learn it if you don't use it.
@reshadar (112)
• United States
23 Jun 08
Wow! I really can't believe some of the things that people write here. No, I don't think that it was the firemen's fault for not knowing Spanish, but when I read posts like this one, it makes me really sad. "we have dumbed down for them"???? What??? The truth is, like the rest of the world, Americans should be at least bilingual. Schools should start teaching a second language in kindergarten. How is knowing more than one language "dumbing down"? I have no problem with English being the main language of the United States, but we should not be so limited that we can't learn about other cultures and that we can't speak other languages. How can you say that even if someone is learning English that they should have to speak it in the home as well? That is basically saying that people should abandon their heritage when they come to this country. Again, I have no problem with non-English speakers being required to have a basic grasp on English. I do have a problem, however, when someone insinuates that English is the only language that should be spoken here.
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I was talking about the ones who refuse to learn English. Not bilingual speaking. And I stand by what I said.
@reshadar (112)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Actually, if you re-read your post, you weren't only talking about those people that refuse to learn English, but that's neither here nor there. My response was geared towards the fact that there are many people like you that think that if we have to learn someone else's language then we are "dumbing" ourselves down. I have no problem with English being the main language of the USA. I do, however, have a problem when people insinuate that English should be spoken everywhere (even in the home). To me, that is like saying that everyone who lives here should forget about their own culture and adopt only the American one. I also have a problem with the fact that the schools don't teach a second language. How would that be "dumbing" ourselves down?
@rsa101 (16190)
• Quezon City, Philippines
17 Jul 08
This is indeed unfair. It is pretty obvious that the firemen were signaling for her to jump at the tarp. I guess maybe they could have been advised to make other means like putting up an effort to reach her if its possible via the ladder or anything to reach her. But then I don't think they deserve to be punished because they could not speak Spanish.
• United States
17 Jul 08
The County was blamed unjustly, I would say. Under those conditions, unless she was blind too, she knew to jump. I quite agree with you about people who can't speak English coming to an English speaking country and US having to learn to speak to them. This is sooooo wrong! It makes me very mad to see the tax dollars that have been used to put up signs in Spanish here. If they can't read English, then go back to where you came from. Period, dot dot!
@trish32 (1471)
• United States
5 Jul 08
I believe that when it's people within our own country that we're encountering they should have to know our language, not us be required to know their language. If they're coming to live in our English-speaking country it is they who should be required to know our language. Where I live we have many immigrants from all around the world and it would be virtually impossible to require all public servants to know all the different languages spoken by the immigrants. We have spanish-speaking people from a variety of countries, people from Rwanda, Cambodia, Laos, Nigeria, various Arab nations, etc., etc.. Are we to expect our police, firefighters, EMS, hospital workers, etc. to know all of these languages? I think not. I work for a company whose clients are from all around the world. When we take on a project in a non-English speaking country we hire contractors who are bilingual English to assist us. Our company does not expect that all of its employees should be multilingual. It's just good common sense.
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
5 Jul 08
You are completely correct. Those firefighters should in no way be responsible. They should have tried to establish programs for ESL instead of these ridiculous rules on Americans they should put the responsibility on the immigrants themselves.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
29 Jun 08
BEYOND ridiculous! Scary even. Where do you think we are headed?