Not speaking the national language....

Australia
December 17, 2006 7:39pm CST
Does it bother anyone else when you see people that can't speak the language of the country they are living in? Now I don't mean tourists - although as a tourist I do attempt to learn at least a couple of words in their native language. I'm talking about people that move here (Australia) to live or study and they don't bother to learn english! I'm sorry but you cannot come over here and make your own little Chinatown in a corner of our cities! It's just not on! We are Australian and yes we are multicultural, but that does not mean you can live here for 2 years and only bother to learn one or two words in English! I seriously think that our immigration laws should include something about knowing the language! How can you call yourself an Australian citizen if you can't speak English??? It's complete ****! Come on Johnny Howard! Stand up for our rights otherwise you are going to end up with a country that needs 4 translators just to have a simple conversation!
10 people like this
94 responses
• United States
18 Dec 06
I agree i live in South Florida this place is not part of the united states at all.! I am very sorry for whoever disagrees with me on this but its true. This is a third world country! about 95 % of the population in south florida doesnt speak english? this is ridicoulous you go into a shop and speak english no one understands you. I beilieve the government needs to make some policies where they include english classess for those who come live here becuase honeslty this is a serious problem!
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Not just optional classes! Make them compulsory! =)
@kesfylstra (1870)
• United States
18 Dec 06
I hear you, it is the same in America. People come over and become residents, but never learn English. So then of course we have to cater to them, being the wonderfully democratic nation that we are, so suddenly signs and boxes and notices have to be printed in English and Spanish, or sometimes Chinese, or Arabic, etc. We have a national language for a reason, if you can't bother to learn it, don't expect me to worry myself about it.
2 people like this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Exactly! Our national language is English - if you can't read it, too bad! We shouldn't have to put up additional signs etc in other languages! I certainly don't expect to go to Spain and see English signs everywhere...
1 person likes this
@bam001 (941)
• United States
18 Dec 06
I don't think we have a national language in the U.S. But, we need to get up off our B*** and push our elected representatives to get that bill in action. I am tired of enduring all the foreign languages. I am tired of a lot of things like that. It aggravates me that we have so many places catering to those who don't/won't speak English. I think I will start a letter writing campaign to lobby for English to be our national language...wanna join me?
2 people like this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Something occured to me here that could be quite funny...I think our countries leaders would find it a bit difficult if for example, the national language of USA was declared Mexican! rofl Does George Bush know Mexican? But that also brings to the point that most world leaders communicate in....English! Wow - imagine that! lol
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Welcome to one of the hottest debates happening here in the USA right now. I agree that it is important to know the language of the country you live in. Here in Texas it's not "Chinatown" but "Little Mexico". Now don't get me wrong, I am all for immigration. I'm not saying we should keep everybody out. I am simply saying that in order for a country to function properly, the people need to be able to communicate with each other. Now many of the elementary schools are teaching in both English and Spanish. How does this prepare the kids for their future? The only jobs available here that don't require fluent English are either minimum wage or hard labor!
2 people like this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Thankfully our schools teach only in English (for the moment!) but most will offer a second language as a subject - I learnt French - but they don't teach subjects in another language.
@BunGirl (2639)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Oh, yeah -- I completely agree that the students should learn a second language, but that's not what I'm talking about. They teach all the lessons in both English and Spanish so that the Spanish speaking kids can understand the lesson. Wouldn't it make more sense to teach the Spanish speaking kids English so they could be prepared for the future?
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
18 Dec 06
yes I agree
• United States
18 Dec 06
Absolutely! This frustrates me too. Where I live (USA) it has gotten to the point where our schools are hiring translators and have to translate tests, paperwork, parental notices, etc. for students and families who can't speak or read any english. I understand it takes time to learn but it drives me crazy when no effort is made at all and suddenly those who do speak English become the minority.
2 people like this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
And English is definitely one of the hardest languages to learn - but it doesn't take 2 years to become at least half competent!
@BuDell66 (46)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Proud To Be An American! - Bald Eagle
It bugs me all the time! I was born in the US and I only speak English. Twenty years ago I hardly ever ran into someone that didn't speak English. Nowadays people get mad at me if I can't speak thier language or understand what they are saying in thier broken English. Some people don't even try to learn English in this country and the government doesn't help when they compensate for them. At an example they give the driving test in like 10 different languages in some states. That's pretty scary when the road signs are posted in English. If you want to move to another country you should learn that language. No ifs, ans, buts about it!
• Australia
18 Dec 06
That is scary! I'm not sure whether they do that here but I certainly hope not!
@bam001 (941)
• United States
18 Dec 06
I completely understand your frustration. It is the same in the United States. I really get aggravated when I am out and a group of people are near me speaking Spanish, Arabic, etc. I think that if you are going to come into our country, take away our jobs...and send money home (now that really, really makes me mad), then learn our language. I thik you have made some excellent points, silverchic. I am in 100% agreement with you!
2 people like this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
It also bugs me when they bring their bad habits with them - getting off public transport in Australia it is generally polite to let everyone get off first then the new passengers pile on...common sense right? I almost knocked 2 young girls (again, Asian) off the bus one day when they got on pushing straight past an older lady who almost fell down the steps and then planted themselves across 2 seats each!
• United States
18 Dec 06
We have the same problem in the United States. My parents immigrated from Germany in the 1950's legally. They took the time to learn the english language, and became U.S. citizens. But this problem is aactually a world wide problem. Countries in europe are experiencing this problem as well. People are too lazy to make an effort to learn a new language, so that it's easier for them to talk to other people from that country.
• Australia
18 Dec 06
That annoys me from a foreign side of things as well - if I am going to be staying in a country more than a couple of days I do try and learn at least one sentence of their language - even if it is only something like "Please speak slowly - I'm only learning" lol But I know a lot of people who don't even bother with learning "hello"!
• United States
18 Dec 06
You go girl,i feel the same way. Now you tell me why Australia,Canada can speak English and here in the United States President Bush is to chicken to make English the national language. Go figure! We have so many Mexicans here that it's starting to look and sound like Mexico. They wave their flags and want US to speak spanish. I know how you feel and i just want to be president,boy then we'd really be in a war!
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
For us it is Asians...hence the mention of Chinatown. That's exactly what they do here - open up their little shops and if you actually want to go and buy something in there it's impossible because they can't speak ENGLISH! Grrr...
• India
18 Dec 06
hey silverchic dont drag all asians into it, we indians r good speakers of the english language n try to learn as many as new languages tat we could,but i do agree to u abt the people who come in from different countries and try settling down in an country whose language they cannot speak,they seriosly suck n sometimes they even try to own the place,they create groups mess around with law n order,the government should be doing something abnt this kind of people
• Australia
18 Dec 06
I wouldn't classify Asian and Indian as the same...or at least I don't think I would! :S It's just I have found that community to be the worst for creating their own little country inside another. They have their own little communities and sometimes go to the extreme of homeschooling their children simply because they don't want them to learn English!
@eonblue7 (45)
• South Africa
18 Dec 06
i do agree, but then i don't. your country has wonderfully said that it is the land of the free and now that all of them are ther, you wanna minscrud them?? wow, and you guys hated south Africa so much because of apartheid. in s.a. we have lots of cultures and beliefs, and its taken us sixteen years, but we all get on well. we all party together, we all share the same government, and we all live the same lifestyle. we have eleven official languages, and there are very few people who can speak all of them. however, the majority can speak at least three, so we compensate. your lovely country opens its doors and now you wanna take their culture away? you wanna remove their right to being an individual? to be of their race? how fart away is that from becoming a dictator?
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
I have never wanted them to give up their own culture! That is what makes Australia a wonderful place to live and learn. I never said they should give up their own traditional language! Just simply to learn enough of ours to communicate! If you are Indian and you come to Australia to live then you are Indian at the core but you are also Indian-Australian. You have to respect Australian values and cultures if you want to live here - and other Australians will do the same for you...the ones who come from China, England, Japan, Malaysia...wherever!
• South Africa
19 Dec 06
true, agreed, but it takes two to tango, and i detected a lot of rather let them bow down to you than you to them. in the end, we are all gonna be one big conglomeration of culture and trend, the end language is gonna be an abomination of all. so how about give them the time to learn yours instead of sitting in your ego-chair and pushing them down??
1 person likes this
• Australia
19 Dec 06
If you had actually read my post properly eonblue you would see that I am SPECIFICALLY talking about the people who have lived here for years, yet still can't speak one word of English. How long do you think is a reasonable time to let them learn hello, goodbye, thankyou etc? I would have thought they would pick that up in at most 2 months!
@198112 (335)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Actually no it doesn't bother me. I guess because I don't run into foreigners in the States that can't speak English often. I think the more we start getting foreigners in the States soon the schools might begin to add that particular language to the learning curriculum. The same way that now Spanish is a subject in school that most students must take, at least one or two years of it. And their are plenty of Spanish speaking people in the States who can't speak english. So I guess thats why learning Spanish have really becam a must.
• Australia
18 Dec 06
So do you think Spanish should become a second language in USA?
@198112 (335)
• United States
18 Dec 06
Actually Spanish is like a second language in the States. Spanish (bi-llengual) is a plus when you apply for some jobs. There are so many spanish speaking people there living , opening business etc. Plus the spanish language in todays school system or high schools are implemented in the school's curriculum. I wished I would have paid more attention in my Spanish class. I thought that I would never need to use that language so whats the use. Silly Me.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
That's actually the reason I chose French in school! lol I went to France as a child (did the whole ferry day trip from England) and could only say hello (badly) and got frightened because I couldn't understand anyone!
@yuva11 (50)
• India
18 Dec 06
People moving for education or business to other countries should be able to learn the language which might help them to move freely with other people. some people are not interested to learn that language which makes a complete disaster to their living environment
• Australia
18 Dec 06
But that's the problem yuva - they change it around so that its us that have to put up with the problem. They create their own little country in a suburb so that they don't have to speak our language!
@isha900 (1459)
• India
18 Dec 06
yes sametime people use this envorment
• United States
19 Dec 06
Hear Ye Hear Ye! I am right with you sister. It is a shame when you have to press #1 for English, #2 for Spanish, ect.... When people obtain visa's or move to another Country, they should be mandated to learn the language! It is as if we are foreigners in our own backyards anymore due to all of the illegal aliens and immigrants. It use to be 100 years ago that the immigrants took pride in the fact that they were starting new lives and forced themselves to learn English, today, they (meaning the immigrants) are trying to force us to learn their native tongue weather is be Chinese, Spanish, or whatever. I agree that is is utter b******t!!! It needs to end!!!
• Australia
19 Dec 06
Well thankfully it is still #1 for English! lol We are still vaguely recognised as the majority!
@luzamper (1358)
• Philippines
19 Dec 06
It's funny sometimes to hear people living in a country who can't speak the language of that country especially English which is an international language. It's a slap on the face of Australians if the immigrants especially those granted Australian citizenship don't speak the language there. There are many Filipinos in Australia but I think they speak English as even here in the Philippines, we speak English. And Filipinos can easily learn other languages.
• Australia
19 Dec 06
I think that's why I've noticed it mainly in Asians - in China, Japan and most of the other Asian countries they DO only speak the one language whereas most Filipinos would have grown up with the two languages.
@lvhughes (545)
• United States
18 Dec 06
i agree the come to our country an because they dont spek our lanuage. our country makes them the minority and we are suppose to learn their language. to live in this country they should have to speak our language. after all english is supose to be the easiest to learn.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Actually no, English is meant to be the hardest to learn! =)
18 Dec 06
yes i think that about england. and if you dare express your views about them learning english you get called a rascist. its pi**es me off..if i moved to a contry that didnt speak english i would try learn the language before i went over there. these people just dont care.. they take our jobs in supermarkets , fast food restaurants and you cant even tell what most of them are saying.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
I've already had that happen in this thread artygirl! lol
@lafavorito (2960)
• Philippines
18 Dec 06
I understand how you feel. It's hard for chinese people to learn english, and most chinese people flee their country to get out of their communist government. Can't blame them, because even I don't want the government to dictate how much food I can buy. Immigrants like chinese, spanish people have very little money to spend so they work 12-18 hours per day just to survive, if they have a choice to buy food and enroll in english classes, they would most likely choose food. We also have a chinatown here in the philippines and most of them can speak filipino, but they have a funny was of saying the words so sometimes people make fun of their accent and eventually they get embarrassed and decides to continue speaking their language anyway. If people will stop making fun of their accents (chinese,spanish,french), they will be encouraged to learn english. And also instead of ranting over the net about the immigrants, I suggest you to speak with someone in the government and tell them to offer free english lessons to immigrants.
• Australia
18 Dec 06
But you don't even really need to take lessons - living in a country surrounded by a foreign language you can pick it up fairly easily if you try...just by communicating with the locals, going down the shops, at the bus stop etc etc
@luolei (166)
18 Dec 06
i am from china and i speak chiese and english,but when i online i find that my english is so poor to use!
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
But you have obviously been learning English...and it wasn't quite what I meant. I didn't mean that everyone in the world should learn English, just the ones that want to live in an English speaking country.
• India
18 Dec 06
Hey!! i know what you mean...its really sad to see that people just cant speak the laungage of their own country. Hindi is the national language of India. But if you go down south, you'll be surprised to see that there's hardly a person who can even understand(forget speak) the language!!! and whats shocking is their attitude towards the language...they donot even want to hear anyone talking in their own national language!!!
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
That's pretty terrible! That's their own culture - I mean it's bad enough when someone wants to live in another country and not bother learning any of the language but when it is your own native language and you don't want to learn! I just can't imagine it...
@cc1309 (22)
• United States
18 Dec 06
This is a VERY sore subject with me. I live in an area that is about 200 miles from the border with Mexico. We see a lot of mexicans here. At one point they were the minority and now I feel like that I am the minority without all the rights of one. It sickens me that they will come over here, steal our jobs for a lower wage, drive our employment costs even higher (insurance mainly), send the money home, trash out our parks since they don't know how to properly discipline their children, and we have to put up signs in a language just so they can live here. This is totally wrong. They should round them all up, ship them back, stabilize our economy to where it is livable again, and we will all be happy. Oh and they drive around blaring their circus music, like I really want to listen to it. There is my 2 cents.
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
I know what you mean cc1309! Another can of worms that discussion but yes I can definitely relate to it! =)
@lauriefnp (5112)
• United States
18 Dec 06
I'm an American, and I feel the exact same way as you do about immigrants who want to come to our contry, take advantage of all that we have to offer, and wall themselves off in their own little "Spanish Harlem" or "Chinatown". I couldn't have said this any better. I have to give you 2 stars for this one!
1 person likes this
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Thanks! I just don't understand why they want to wall themselves off? It's an amazing experience to live in another country and learn their culture...