Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Absolut Insanity

I work with several individuals who do not speak English as a first language. They are hard-working, and they try to accommodate their co-workers by speaking English; however, there are plenty of difficulties, especially for me.

As a four-year resident of Miami, I learned little more than how to order an ice cold cerveza. And this, after spending a goodly deal of time with two Cuban-American and one South American women.

So, when faced with the prospect of a daily dose of Espanol, I took matters into my own hands. I started speaking auf Deutsch. Exhortations of "hast oben!" and "gehen Sie hinaus!" echo throughout the shop. "Schnell!" rings when people slow down. "Gut, danke." when people ask how I am doing. It is the perfect response to the proliferation of people speaking Spanish.

In a perfect world, we (as Americans) would demand that English be made the official language of the United States. We would require people to speak English (and to read and write it, too) because illiteracy is a death sentence. In the main, the person who can not (or will not) learn English is the person who will be stuck doing the scut work, with no hope of advancement.

The reason that the European immigrants succeeded in America (along with the Chinese immigrants) is that they learned to speak English because no one accommodated them. The accommodated the nation, they learned English, and they thrived. Don't get me wrong, I admire and respect the hard-working immigrants that come to our country. I respect their culture (unless it involves female circumcision, beheading, or 72 Virginians for killing me). I also realise that if I pack up and move to Spain, I had better learn to speak Spanish, because they sure as shit are not going to learn to speak English just for me.

Back to the European immigrants. They didn't forsake their culture, but they didn't forsake ours, either. The melting pot was alive and well. Now, the only thing that the opponents of assimilation care about are the melting ice caps and the pot that they are going to smoke (for medicinal purposes, of course).

Speak English. And, so will I.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

du bist solches a mofotardwit!