“U.S. Hispanics need to learn to speak English!” Says who?

Many people get very upset when they hear of someone who has been in this country for years and does not speak any English; and the failure to learn English appears to be increasingly more prevalent among Hispanics. It seems to be an issue that strikes a chord with many Americans. “Why are they not making an effort to learn to speak English like all other immigrants did?” I venture to say that the main reason why many Latinos are not learning English as fast as others did before is because our society no longer requires it. That’s right; my contention is that, as a society, we give Latinos permission to keep their culture and language; and consequently, learning English becomes much more difficult than what other immigrants experienced years ago.

When other big immigration groups came into this country a few generations ago the situation was very different from what it is today. Many early immigrants made the hard decision to come to America with an understanding that they were breaking ties with their old country. Learning a new culture and a new language was not a choice. Our society was a true melting pot and immigrants were expected to fully assimilate into the American culture. They complied. Ever wonder why the children and grandchildren of the Italian immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island in the late 1800s never learned how to speak Italian? These early immigrants understood the importance of becoming American in every respect; and that included speaking only English. Speaking Italian was not important; in fact, it was detrimental in a society that expected assimilation- but things have changed; and assimilation is no longer expected. We are no longer melting into one pot because we no longer believe in that antiquated idea of the melting pot.

It amazes me how the same people who are troubled when everyone around them is speaking Spanish will turn to me and remark on how “important” it is that I teach my children Spanish. “You should speak Spanish to them at home,” they will say. While I wholeheartedly agree that it is important for Latinos to teach their children how to speak Spanish, I want to emphasize that this was never important before. The American society now understands that we live in a multicultural world and that knowing more than one language is beneficial. Our society now also supports (and even exalts) diversity. It is now considered appropriate to uphold and celebrate diversity, especially when it comes to culture and ethnicity. Forcing everyone to melt into one homogeneous pot is no longer considered appropriate.

While our country was founded on the idea of diversity, the practice of diversity was never as alive as it is today. With diversity comes not only permission to speak the language of our ancestors, but also the empowerment to maintain every aspect of our ethnicity. The American society promotes this understanding at many different levels. At a commercial level Latinos see most product labels and instructions written in English and Spanish; ATM machines ask us for our language of preference; and telephone companies insist that we keep in touch with our relatives in Latin America. From a government perspective most services are also offered and/or communicated in Spanish. At a community level there are hundreds of neighborhoods across the country were everyone speaks Spanish. Can someone in one of these neighborhoods get along perfectly well without ever having to learn English? Absolutely! Our society allows it.

We cannot as a society promote diversity and the use of the Spanish language and then wonder why some Latinos are having difficulty learning English. Everyone knows that it is much easier to learn a foreign language when you live in a foreign country and are immersed in a society that only speaks that language. In our society we speak English; but we also speak Spanish. For some Latinos learning English while living in a neighborhood where everyone speaks Spanish is akin to an American student taking a foreign language in school and not grasping it because nobody around them speaks that language. We need to stop pretending that our society expects Latinos to speak English when everything is laid out to make it easy for these new immigrants not to learn the language.

NOTE: Please do not take this opinion to mean that I do not feel that Hispanics should learn the English language. I believe that speaking English in our society is extremely important and encourage everyone in our Latino community to make every effort to learn the language. Being able to speak English opens the door to a myriad of new opportunities for success and paves the way to achieving the always cherished American dream.

100 comments on ““U.S. Hispanics need to learn to speak English!” Says who?

  1. pure and simple explanation here. Most of them have the attitude “WE WILL NOT COMPLY.” And those that wont, don’t have to. PERIOD.

  2. Personally, I don’t care if the hispanic immigrants don’t want to learn English. If they wanted to better their lives, they could take advantage of the various programs to learn English i.e. ESL at community colleges, Learning Unlimited classes etc. A simple fact is if they don’t learn the language, they will have menial, low-paying jobs. Period. No habla inglés…it’s okay. Just like the old adage says: The world needs ditch diggers and food court cleaners.

  3. bittone on said:

    yes learning english is an option, however keep in mind the world no longer starts and stops in America. We are a global economy where the US is no longer the dominant player. We are a globle society and although Spanish is tolerated in the US, English is the dominant language globally, from China to Africa. Every other country is speaking english as the first or second language. In China, India, Russia, Africa and 100s of other countries are learning english at fast rates. Unfortunately immmigrants coming to the US and refusing or failing to learn english will fine themselves left behind as we continue to become part of the global economic force.

  4. Danielle Medina on said:

    Well, I’m an American and have decided that I will not be bossed around by immigrants from any nation who are too rude to have manners to assimilate and speak as Americans. The vast majority of Americans prefer ONE public language to this day (hint: not Spanish), and we don’t care if you speak other languages at home, just that you speak English in public. Since I am not the one who moved to another nation, I should only have to use another language to speak to foreigners living OUTSIDE the country, tourists, and the like-not the bums who attempt to “Latinize” America. The only people who have the right not to speak English are those who are Native American, Hawaaiian and Alaskan by ancestry (since they were invaded) and the very elderly and mentally handicapped. If you don’t fit those categories and wish to be accepted as a “real” American you will speak English in public!

  5. Mexicans in California tell me they refuse to speak english cause a) they refuse to assimilate to a “white culture” and b) they dont want to become “white washed”

  6. American FF on said:

    Its not because we don’t make them…It’s more like if Americans complain that latinos refuse to speak english…then Latinos go to their only battlecry…”RACISTS” when its more like a bunch of 10 yr olds who don’t want to do what they are supposed to and then cry about it…then they threaten with the EEOC…so Americans let it alone. Latinos are arrogrant, self serving and extremely disrespectful. I see it on a daily basis here in S Florida. They come here…mostly illegally and then they act as if WE (Americans) are in their country. It’s disgusting and frankly unbelievable.
    Word to the latinos…come to this country LEGALLY, Learn English, stop making comments about Gringos. Gringos made this country not latinos and in fact Anglos are responsible for building Western civilization. It sure wasn;t the Latinos…they were still worried about cutting out hearts and praying to the sun gods. LOL Now, just like every other minority they come, they complain and won’t go home and then they actually justify their skanky behavior by saying that Americans need to learn spanish…yet, I never hear ANY Latinos complaining about buying dead peoples birth certificates, SS#’s and anything else so they can stay here. IT’s pure and simple…Latino arrogance…they think they’re the prettiest, smartest and everybody SHOULD want to be Latino…isn’t a funny FACT that not one but all latino countries are nothing but corrupt and deceitful…I dare anyone to show differently.

  7. American FF on said:

    True, there is another whole set of problems in CA. The D/Asses think that the US stole their land. This shows just how stupid they are…First, the Mexican government sold territories to the US…secondly, they lost and will always lose wars because they are weak…the young ones think they’re tough and they’re waiting for white society to die…why wait…are you tough enough to do it NOW! just like before Nope! you’re not…just a bunch of loud mouths spouting off about LaRaza…MEChA and how they are going to take CA back…back to what? the cesspool that is officially Mexico…it’s just an excuse because they are not smart enough to do the work. I say kick their sorry Asses back to where they came from.
    and I don’t care if I offended the “Latino” lovers out there…Assimilate or get out

  8. American FF on said:

    They also say that we have to address the 45 million hispanics…it should say address the 30 million LEGAL hispanics and the other 14 million ILLEGALS need to go back to the cesspool that they came from…

  9. Pretty simple people. In my first generation American family we speak 95% English 5% Spanish. Why? Well this is AMERICA and in order to succeed you need English. Even the Mexican president speaks English. It’s the international business language. The arabs,chineese,Europeans know that, because is the only way to do business with the most powerful English speaking nation in the world the United States of America. PLUS. I don’t care if my kids speak Spanish in a English speaking nation. And you know why?? because ill be DEAD one day so to be honest I COULD CARELESS!!! ill be in a grave worry free so what will l care.

  10. As a teacher in a Latino community in the Bronx, I can tell you that Hispanic parents are doing their children a HUGE disservice by not focusing mostly on English. Yes, some communities can function entirely without English, but not all of America. Also, many of the students I teach speak both English and Spanish poorly because their training in both languages is so stunted.

    Also, as a white person, and this is me being honest…I look down on people who cannot speak English properly. Whether we like it or not, this is a white-English society and if you want to get ahead in education or business, you need to play the game.

  11. Mariela Paez on said:

    well i think all the people should speak at least two language because it is important for your life
    and you can also learn about cultures and your incomes will be increasing. im not talking only about latinos and probably its pretty hard to speak another language but it becomes easier when you put it on practice

    trust in God and your life becomes even better
    and remeber nobody is perfect but you can try and succeed in life

  12. Xochitl on said:

    I believe that anybody that comes to this Country must abide by the rules and Laws of this country. They should learn to speak English and abide by the Laws that rule this country regardless of their place of origin. I am a disabled Veteran from Desert Storm, but I was also born and raised in Mexico, however, HOWEVER….I learned to speak, read and write in English before I set foot on this country which now is MY country! I agree that most Latinos are arrogant and self serving, not just Mexicans, but people from Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador, Spain and other Latin Countries. I just had a heated conversation about this same very issue with a friend from Argentina, she has lived here for over eight years and she still CANNOT speak, read or write English!!!!! I find that disgusting! Why? Because she told me that if anybody wanted to do business with her they would have to speak Spanish! She refuses to learn English!!! I told her if people come to this country they MUST learn the language and the customs as well, she says she doesn’t have to learn English and that she plans on moving back to her country once she raises enough money to settle in Argentina. I think that people who come from other countries with the intention of leaving and just draining America’s money they need to be sent back to their countries of origen. I am here to stay, I served the U.S. Army because I felt the need to do this, since they allowed me to stay here, I consider the United States of America my own country! I will defend the flag and the United States of America because I swore to defend her against all enemies, foreign and domestic! I love American and I will die for America! And all the Latinos who come to use the country to drain all the money out and send it to their country are just using the United States, they are not worth a damn!

  13. They need to learn english or gtfo. If I go to mexico I sure as hell better learn spanish. They don’t cater to english there. There are no english or spanish on the atms. Its spanish or gtfo. Personally I would deport or shoot anybody in the U.S. who has been here for 5 years or more and hasn’t bothered to learn english. Thats basically saying they don’t care about this country and the people in it they are just here to exploit the free handouts.

  14. It’s not necessarily the law to not speak English. The United States has never announced the official language but how can someone think that living in the U.S.A. and not speaking English is reasonable? I do agree with Xochitl’s comment. Living in the U.S. and not speaking English automatically makes one incapable of helping the United States in any shape or form. It hurts the US economically, educationally, politically, and hurts any way of communication. Hispanics that never learn English will never graduate high school and will never step foot on any college campus unless they are working at minimum wage somewhere on campus. If they don’t get education, they automatically are forced into hard physical labor for money or causing crime for survival. Then the US begins spending tax money on people who suffer financially, spend more money in the police force to fight increasing crime, spend more money on food stamps, and more money on healthcare. Living in the US should be a privilege and not a free ride to just lope around.

  15. Tony Marquis on said:

    In what part of America do you speak English? You speak American. Get over it. I’ve lived and worked in both the USA and UK for many years. The two languages are miles apart.

    And while I’m ranting. You are all Americans. I assume that if you took like perhaps 4-6 generations before you American citizenship then you are American.

    Nowhere else in the world except America do I hear people claim to be 1/4 Italian, 1/4 Spanish, 1/4 Greek, 1/4 French, 1/4 Polish etc. The basic maths doesn’t add up to start. Keep your traditions by all means but you are American. A country founded by diverse immigrants that were only to keen to leave their homelands to start a new life as Americans.

  16. I am an English speaking American, Not only is it my families primary language, It is the ONLY language we speak. My children go to a school where they allow both English and Spanish to be spoken. I thought I was fine with it until recently. My Youngest daughter has just started school, Her teacher gives a morning speech about what they will be doing for the day to inform parents, But she only gives the speech in Spanish. I simply brushed it off the first day figuring I would simply ask my daughter at the end of the day what she had done at school. On the 2nd day, The speech was given in Spanish Only again, this time parents asked questions (In Spanish) and it began to bother me that I remained uninformed. Then Today…My daughter came home with a paper she had done at school, The paper was simply to practice her NAME. But, it read Nombre, confused myself I googled the word and learned that it ment Name. As my annoyance grew I asked my daughter if her teacher spoke English or Spanish. She said “When I ask something she speaks english, but when someone else asks she speaks spanish cause they speak spanish” Now this bothers me, why is my child feeling uninformed in her class? Possibly the questions asked and answered in spanish could help her learn too. So, I feel she is not only going to feel isolated among her peers but it will affect her education. This bothers me more and more because we are English speaking American citizens and being made to feel like we are the ones in a Foreign Country.

  17. RealityCheck on said:

    Says the people that have to change their lives and learn Spanish all because Hispanics come to our country and refuse to learn English. I would never go to Mexico and expect them to start learning English. I would try to learn and speak Spanish the best that I can while I am there. Common sense…

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  19. redrabbit on said:

    “I venture to say that the main reason why many Latinos are not learning English as fast as others did before is because our society no longer requires it.”

    On the contrary, Hispanics are learning English faster than any other immigrant group in US history. There are communities where you can spend your whole life with just Spanish but most learn English to at least basic conversational degree and their children are fluent. If anyone held on to their “foreign” language longer than others it was the Germans of over 100 years ago!

  20. toni wachuu on said:

    more than anything i feel sorry for foreigners who dont make an attempt to learn english….in the long run theyonly hurt themselves.

  21. Arturo Siew on said:

    I am racially Asian and culturally Hispanic (Southern Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish). I think most people missed the point of this blog, the blog is about why Hispanic population have such a hard time learning English despite living in America for many years, not why Hispanic refuse to learn any English. I am fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.

    However, I feel that service provider should provide service to whatever language that the customers are comfortable in. Like the Chinese said “You do not need to know the language of the seller but if you want to make profit, you should understand what your customers want”

    I do believe that American should be Bilingual but at the same time, Hispanic service provider that can speak English should provide instruction in English to people that speak primarily English as their first language or Spanish to people who speak Spanish or other related language such as Portuguese.

    Learning English open doors to many opportunities and help you to communicate with many people. As for English speaker, learn a second language so that you can make friends and understand other people from culture.

  22. When you learn to speak English predominantly, then you will be an American citizen. Until then, you are still a foriegner.

  23. Rick Santos on said:

    Being a 2nd Generation US Born of Hispanic Ancestary –
    Yes I agree MANY Immigrant Hispanics do no speak English very well/at all… because they are catered for in Spanish for many things, or live in Ethnic Enclaves/Areas (as many Immigrants before hand did as well).

    HOWEVER Ultimately what will defines if Spanish (or whatevr other language) Survives in the USA, is weather the VAST MAJORITY of their US Born kids (the US Born Hispanics are nearly 65% of the US Population and rising) will speak mostly Spanish… This is not the case from the census and various recent reseach/studies + from my personal observations having travelled to various US Cities/Regions with a LARGE Hispanic Population. Generally the vast majority of US Born Hispanics Speak English Mostly/Pre-Dominantly or Only….

    Immigrants = Mostly Spanish
    2nd Generation = Mostly English (with some Spanish)
    +3rd Generation = Pre-Doninantly English with a little or No Spanish.

    Add to that the Very Substantial US Born Hispanic Inter-Marriage rate (about 50% and rising) – will also have a major impact on Spanish Retention. I think the coming decades will be interesting for this country considering the Massive Inter-Marriage with Whites mixed with Hispanics and Asians…

    With Immigration from Mexico/Latin America slowing… And considering Lat-Am’s slowing population growth (Including Mexicos)… In the Medium Term Immigration will likely slow very sig or stop. The US Born Hispanic Population… Will keep growing… And add to that this country is nearly $17 Trillion Dollars in Debts… Entitlement will eventually end or we will face the Great Collapse.. Back to the Topic.

    I mean lets be Honest Univision and Telemundo are Overwhelmingly watched by Immigrants and Not US Born Hispanics who watch and get there info in English… Even the ever popular Jorge Ramos + Maria Elena Salinas mentioned this fact a number of times…. There is also a ever increasing and it will Eventually boom US Hispanic English Soeaking Market that has largely been untouched until a few years ago… Why do US Born Hispanics who were born here or lived here for Generations get lumped in with Hispanic Immigrants here for say 10 years or less…

    If we look at the markets… its fundementally 2 different Markets… I wonder why the Marketeers / Advertisers / TV / Demographers and Government does not Split the US Born Hispanics and Foreign/Immigrant Born Hispanics to get a more realistic/better picture of US Hispanic Americans???

    Unltimately what has defined ALL language survival is weather the US Born Population retains it… Ultimately
    US Hispanics are not retaining it mainly due to Intergration and Inter-Marriage. There are of-course always exceptions… but that will most likely be the general rule, as it has been to date!

    Just my 2 Cents…. What are your thoughts??


  24. [...] that Hispanics have to assimilate in America today, I’ll let a couple of Hispanic writers dispel that notion. I challenge anyone to go to Laredo, Texas and try to spend one day speaking only English. [...]

    I lived in Laredo for 6 months. I got by fine with English only. Sure its a Hispanic Majority City. But bere in mind its right next to the Border… Most US Border cities speak a fairly high degree of Spanish… Due to the Proximity of Mexico…. However that said… the street signs/other signs were all in English.

    Managed just fine speaking English only… Maybe I was in a good part of town…

  25. Ricardo A. López on said:

    @Rick Santos: You are absolutely right, the use of Spanish does change with 2nd and 3rd generations as well as with acculturation. However, something that many do not take into account is that acculturation itself is changing because the American culture is largely Hispanic in many big metropolitan areas.

    If you look at the Puerto Rican population in NYC that is in its third generation from the original influx of the 1930s, they have followed exactly what you have observed and Spanish is only evident in a sprinkle of Spanish words that are mixed with the English. Yet, the Puerto Ricans there acculturated to a city that was mostly English speaking and not at all what we see in other areas of the country. Acculturation in many US cities today is closer to what we have witnessed in Miami.

    Miami is unique in that it has been catering everything in Spanish since before the Cuban revolution of the late 50s. If you look at the large number of 3rd generation Cubans who are now in their 20s and grew up in Miami- they speak Spanish! And they do so while at the same time being acculturated in many other respects. Of course, they also speak English and constantly go back and forth between English and Spanglish but not at all to the extent of what we see in NYC. My prediction is that in many U.S. cities the children of today’s new immigrants will follow an acculturation pattern that is closer to what evolved in Miami.

    @JayS – You are right, all Mexican border cities are unique in that they speak a lot more Spanish. My point was that it is difficult in a lot of these US cities to live without being surrounded by Spanish speakers.

  26. Rick Santos on said:

    I think you maybe right about the acculturation pattern to a degree, However I am not sure if Miami will be the future.

    Because having been there a number of times most of the 3rd/4th Generation seem to be English Dominant (though they may speak some Spanish). However I think it will be more “regionalised” issue So Miami and Chunks of the
    South-West due to Proximity to Spanish Speak Latin-America may hold on to some degree Spanish (Including the Border Area), but the rest of the Nation I don’t think so, due to the 3 Generation Formula + Large Scale Inter-Marriage.

    However please see long link below. I think Cubans are more of an “Exception” than the Norm amongst Hispanics (and especially what they’ve done to Miami), for large parts of Miami they have truly built/made a “Little Havana”. This is due in part to their High Education level (of the 1st and 2nd Wave Immigrants)… This is not the case for 3rd and 4th Wave Cuban Immigrants. However I also noticed there are manay other High Educated Hispanics from Arg / Venz and Colobia + a few other Countries based in Miami… Its certainly America Pre-Eminent Latin-American Financial Hub.

    However that said, In the end, Spanish is Entirely (or at least 90%) dependent on continued MASS Immigration from Spanish Speaking Countries (and so too are many of the shows/news on Spanish Languae TV are focused toward 1st Generation Immigrants).

    Also like Western Countries in the 1960′s much of Lat-Am growth rate/baby boom (surplus population) is now swiftly reducing to just over 2 kids per women (replacement level), their Economies are improving/more stable and thus the need to come to the US will diminish, plus add to that US Hispanic Fertility had dropped consistently since 2007 to just over 2 (in the Early 2000′s it was the about 2.7 or 2.9 in the early 2000′s). The US Economic mess is impacting Hispanics very Significantly. I’m not an Economic Guru but lets face it, this is no “minor recession”, historians will see this as Americas Second Depression (I’m been quite serious)…

    In additiona to the above the US Financially is in a (real Sh*t) the Economy is a Mess, unemployment is at an all time high, may Immigrants Legal and Illegal are leaving. Add to that I see a tightening of Immigration and Border Enforcement, which will all impact Growth…

    I personally feel America will be more like a Giant Brazil of the North in the coming decades (rather than what some fear a Balkanized/Divided Country)… With a “Great Mixing of Hispanics / Asians and Whites”…. this is already happening is large numbers… Where there is a Diverse Populace I personaly think that a Good thing (IMHO).




  27. Joe Gonzales on said:

    One big reason why they should learn to speake English . Better job opportunity So many I see cleaning. Bathrooms. Using leaf blowers. Speake English. Find better job opportunity. That. Simple

  28. Gina Huntington on said:

    Yes I believe that Hispanics should learn to speak the English language. I’m not prejudice at all cause my ex-husband was a hispanic and my kids are half. He didn’t even know any Spanish. I believe it is very unfair that they claim discrimination based on language and we as Americans who were born here can’t. I went to school and spent good money and now I’m having trouble finding a job due to I speak English only and don’t have the time or the money or time to learn Spanish. Well of course I do I was born here and to say I can’t have a job just because I don’t know Spanish is just not fair!! Even the Indians who were here before anybody learned English and to say I can’t have a job because I don’t know a second language is not fair at all.

  29. America is the only greedy country that would allowed immigrants to not follow the rules of the land you come here by boat planes trains illegal banana boats and america have jobs waiting for you and them when get that new job from your cousin another american is out of a job /you people don’t pass the torch only to your own kind and say that nonsense we dont want the jobs young adults men can’t learn building skills or even deliver a beer soda, and other goods around the country my jobs you got whole families working on the job just came in from DR to USA and gets city jobs people take the test for them to get them those jobs while real american suffer from the badge of lazy stupid,and dont want to work/ our children cant get jobs at all //backward dumb country MLK FAILED US TOO

  30. JULY the 4th.
    America was fighting for its freedom from Tyranny. by defeating the English American fighters (Italian, English, Indians, and many more) became a country of Many and freedom to be. Obviously I wish everyone knew English, simply because its a tool for success, but imposing it woould defeat the basis of our constitution and would defeat the purpose why we came to this land called America ( a melting pot).

  31. I meant the 1776 against the British. The Americans: Indians, Italian, French, Latins, Blacks: Free and Slaves, English, and many more fought for Freedom. AMERICA, America is all of us, All Nations, All People that want Freedom as Niche and as the Basis for progress. UNITY.

  32. 1775-1783
    and the Spanish ** and many more fought to create AMERICA.

    While many Americans are aware of French support for the United States during the Revolutionary War, few realize that Spain was a crucial U.S. ally and that Hispanic Americans fought the British alongside other American patriots. Troops from Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean region, along with Hispanic Americans, were instrumental in defeating British forces along the Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola and Baton Rough to Natchez and Mobile, thus securing the fledgling republic’s southern flank. During the last major battle of the war, at Yorktown, Va., the French and American forces were able to sustain their triumphal efforts and pay for salaries, provisions and ammunition, thanks in large measure to financial donations received from Hispanic women in Havana, Cuba.

  33. I am a 55 year old widow. Most good job require me to speak Spanish. I do not think it is fair. I think Hispanics should learn our language. Most of them know our language but pretend to not know it. My last job was an office manager at a national/international cleaning company. I put apps on my cell phone to translate. That was not good enough for the maids. I was fired after the Mexican office manager came back after short maternity leave. I went through horrible times as being office manager at this company. The owner of the francise had a son that is a meth head. I was verbally assaulted twice by his son. His dad never called police either time. The company is Molly Maid. The owner is Vic Whitmore his company is in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. His son is Matthew Whitmore. I was dead in the water when I took over the position.

  34. Boobie on said:

    I do believe that immigrants of all nationalities who come to this country should learn ENGLISH. Because if you go to their countries of orgin you would have to speak their language are you would not survive. The same should happen here in the United States “immigrants” legal or illegal should try and learn and master the english language. This will only help them in the future. My husband is a mexican immigrant and he is trying to learn and master the english language and he is doing quite well. I am also learning some spanish words myself. I agree with the previous post about it not being fair that an american born person have to learn a foreign language in order to be gainfully employed. Especially, when that AMERICAN born person has busted their butt to become educated and qualified for a position but to be told since they do not know “spanish” fluently for instance they cannot work for that particular company. This happens a lot in the southwestern part of the United States and this has to come to an end. I believe it will when more hispanics that are native born to the United States began to speak english more and stop catering to those who do not speak english. Yes, the United States is greedy and this is what is destroying this nation (GREED). Greedy people who want cheap labor and take advantage of those who do not speak english and who are not aware of the United States employment labor laws and those who are afraid to stand up for their rights as employees because they are afraid of being deported.

  35. Nathaly Mateo on said:

    Obviously some of the people posting comments here are being very arrogant and selfish, I myself am a Latina who came here to US 3 years ago. Now, I understand that English is a very important language and everything but I don’t think it is necessary to know English. Why? Because some immigrants are unable to, and they may not have the opportunity to learn the language. I’m getting really annoyed by how some are saying that if Latinos don’t know English they should be deported and some stuff like that. MANY Latinos have made a sacrifice to come to this country in a very dangerous way, starving themselves and going through seas/planes and doing things a lot of people wouldn’t have the courage to do. So if you are against them not learning English, DEAL with it because they’ve already made too many sacrifices just for a future. IF YOU STILL DONT AGREE, Do this.
    Leave your homeland, go to another country with no money, adapt to the weather and culture, Live homeless or in shelters for a period of time, work your butt off cleaning bathrooms for 6 dollars an hour and then have to learn a new language. Sounds easy right?

    Such a greedy country.

  36. Maxim M on said:

    You monolingual Northamericans are the worst. Firstly, english does not belong to your countries: it belongs to England: arguing, that “This is America” —btw the correct term is USA, America by contrast is two continents=north+central+south America— and that therfore English should be spoken, is as invalid as “this is China, so speak Japanese!” Secondly, the USA has no official State-language. Wake up! You are all immigrants from Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Russia, etc.

    You uneducated Northamericans are ruining the world, not just where you are, but when you come to our lands, as your lack of education forces us to dumb down everything for you lot, instead of fostering rich immersion in the 2-4 Languages of our neighbouring lands. Halfwits like you go to the Ukraine without speaking a word Ukrainian or even Russian, and think you can “help out”, or you go to Spain, Germany and France and complain, that the localers don’t speak good english even though you’re the foreigner; or worse still, you travel to England, and complain about the diverse british pronounciations — even though, this is the home state of the language!

    Fazit: Please, learn other Languages, and stop demanding that everyone be simpleton Monolinguals. You might just learn, other languages are superior in many ways to your simple genderless, caseless, toneless, unsystematic language…which lastly cannot even be called your language.

  37. Chris Phillips on said:

    The ‘melting pot idea is antiquated’? Hardly. The melting pot made us ‘E Pluribus Unum’ — one out of many. Also, I lived in Canada for 16 years. It is a nation much weakened by government sponsored multiculturalism and bilingualism. On the other hand, I do not want Hispanics in America to learn English. Instead, I hope they marinate in their language and their (provenly unsuccessful) culture. That way, Hispanics can clean the houses of my children’s children.

  38. AntiMaxim on said:

    Maxim, get off your high horse.

    Some of the comments you read obviously tweaked your opinions the wrong way so you spent half your post arguing semantics to try to validate your viewpoints.

    First of all, no shiz Sherlock. America is a continent. But it goes without saying that everyone here is referring to the US. Apologies if everyone didn’t go to the effort of thoroughly wording every online comment correctly for your critical review satisfaction.

    Secondly, English isn’t our native language. To your point we have none. We are a melting pot that [ideally] celebrates different cultures. That having been said our nation recognizes English as our official language. What you speak in your own home is your business, I support keeping your culture, but generally when interacting with others in public English is what we “should” be speaking. Statistically certain races have a higher adoption rate of English in the US than other races.

    Next, there are a lot of dumb sheeple out there, in many countries. The US is in no short supply but you’re badmouthing people for stereotyping an entire group while doing the same thing yourself.

    For the latter, I suspect you had a few bad personal experiences with people from the US and drew your own assumptions. When I, or anyone I personally know travels abroad from the US we do not expect people to speak English, do our best in their native tongue, and are flattered when they do or slow down their language to assist in our translation.

    That having been said, you can say anything you want to say but you’re just as biased as most of the other people in here. Preach by example.

  39. General Response on said:

    Without wasting the time formulating a response to each anti-english comment I’ll just leave it at this general response.

    If I truly and deeply cared for a country I was committed to throwing my lot in life in, I would make some half aced attempt to learn their language. When I travel out of the country I do my due diligence to learn at least the basics of their language.

    Frankly, I get pissed off when I hear all this crying that life is too hard to waste learning another language. You think life was any less hard for immigrants in the past? Furthermore, you make it sound like you went out of your way to come to the US and you’re being put out. Everyone and their dog wants a better quality of life. If you’re thoroughly committed to earning it you’ll make a genuine effort. I’ll refrain from getting into why everyone sees the only possible solution of going to a new country instead of working towards the long term of addressing the issues in their own.

    In summation, it seems to me that when people say they want a better quality of life and to live in a better place, while making no effort to assimilate, that they are really saying they like the benefits. They want to have all the benefits of a good life without a lot of the effort. To recap: More for less. That, my friends, would be a classic example of laziness.

  40. General Response on said:

    On a side note, to anyone who is at a loss as to why US citizens get worked up about this or think they’re we/re racist, consider this. Many of us work our butts off and pay our taxes for benefits that we don’t see. Do we expect them? No, but its pretty damn aggravating to see the fruits of your labor go to someone who is getting the maximum bang for the effort buck. It kind of feels like slavery, and we all that’s still not forgotten.

  41. Armando on said:

    Let’s not say things about Mexico because most of you do not know what happens in Mexico. Everyone in Mexico knows they should learn English (as a starter, if you speak French, German or Japanese, even better) to get a better job, to get scholarships, etc. All the big businesses offer the option “For English press X”, even some government agencies do that, when calling them. Also, many Americans do not speak English when they come here, and people, if they know some English, try to help them with their problems. Also, if Mexicans are in the tourist industry, they speak English to some degree. So Americans do not really have to learn any Spanish and can completely get by. Back to topic, yes, any immigrant should learn English to at least a basic conversational level.

  42. Ben DiBanana on said:

    If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong. Knowingly refusing to learn English in America is rude, disrespectful, and detrimental to both sides. I worked with many Central Americansin multiple forms in the past and I had to tolerate backstabbing, lies, racism, and belligerence. And, yes, while I did experienced this with people of many races, including white, it was the most prevelant in the Spanish-speaking cultures. I’m Not taking sides, but stating a factual scenario that I had to endure repeatedly.

  43. Lisa on said:

    I have worked in schools for years. I find it insulting that anyone, Mexican or not, will come to this country and live here for over 10 years and still not even attempt to learn English. They expect us to cater to them. I do agree that this country has been way to lenient and accomodating. But even if I moved to a country where English was spoken 1/2 the time I would still want to learn the language. I do not want to isolate myself but this is what Mexicans who dont want to learn English choose to do- Not assimilate. It is rude and selfish.

  44. fred flintstone on said:

    Beleive me …It’s now july 2014 and as you know spanish will soon be required to survive in this United States. Great.

  45. fred flintstone on said:

    Send la raza and illegals to N. Korea.

    They will see what true oppresion is and be made to bow down and suffer extremly….

  46. fred flintstone on said:

    In fact send “american” traitors to N. Korea as well…..

  47. My family is from Italy. They learned English because before coming to California they wanted to be able to communicate with Americans. Dmv- nothing but Spanish and English. Why isn’t there any Italian prints? Its complete discrimination. Why do only Latinos get to keep they’re language in public while other nationalities must only speak there’s at home? Then they get offended because we don’t spic e Spanish. Well then why don’t you speak Italian?

  48. thestruggleisreal on said:

    This article is very stupid. First of all, one had to come before the other. You are basically saying that all Latinos were chilling in their own countries, then America decided it wanted people to know Spanish. America responded to its circumstances, which included several Latino immigrants (illegal and legal) coming to America, and not knowing English.
    Why compare Latino immigrants to immigrants from decades ago? What about immigrants from 3 years ago? What about the immigrants from countries in Africa that learn to speak English and don’t need translators? You don’t hear any of the languages in Africa being spoken at the airport!
    Name me another people that come to America and chill knowing they can’t speak English. According to your logic, if enough of those people immigrate to America, it will no longer be necessary for them to learn English because “the American society” will understand “that we live in a multicultural world and that knowing more than one language is beneficial.” Soon no one in America will have to speak English, right? Twwww.

  49. I think it is important to hold onto your culture and your language, BUT if you make a life in another country it is important to learn the native language. It helps communicating and getting a better job. Whenever I get on a public bus I feel like I’ve crossed the border and I need an interpreter.

    I work at a home depot and I’ve had hispanic customers that I wish I could help but I find it very difficult to help them when we can barely understand each other.

    There are many places offering ESL classes, why not take advantage of them?

  50. Chris Phillips on said:

    One factor not mentioned is that Hispanics from Mexico and Central America come from a poor and anti-intellectual cultures. Education is not important in these places. Finally, I.Q. tests show Hispanics to be consistently lower than whites, Asians — and especially Jews — in intelligence. The results of these factors are predictable: Hispanics learn slowly.

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