Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bilingual America

I loved Spanish class in high school (shout out to Senora Fitch).  I felt like in learning a foreign language, I was also learning more about my native tongue, the origins of words, etc.  Not to mention the headstart being bilingual, trilingual or better gives you in traveling and communicating with people from all walks of life.

I have the extreme pleasure of talking with a lot of people from different countries in my line of work, all of whom have a firm grasp of English (better than most citizens here in America), which I appreciate so much.  Because if they couldn't speak English, I wouldn't be able to communicate with them.  Yes, Senora Fitch taught me a million things and she taught them amazingly well, but as it turns out there's very little importance placed on being bilingual in my society at large, and I would like to say that it's just plain silly.

How many thousands upon thousands of languages are there in the world?  I've heard there's an estimated 6,500.  I really wish my school system, going all the way back to pre-school, had put more of an emphasis on teaching about them, or making sure I learned a few.  There are 6,500 languages in the world, every one with its own culture and history, and I only know one.  That seems very inadequate.

I'm going to pick up Spanish again, since it's also widely spoken in my country.  And I want to thank Senora Fitch and all the other foreign language teachers in the world for their efforts.  Perhaps I'll never be fluent or even very good at speaking Spanish, but I would like to be able to have a stilted conversation with someone in their native tongue, just to show how much I appreciate that so many of you have bothered to learn mine.

I'm doing the wave for a bilingual America.

Hearts to all you awesome people for reading my rant!



SP said...

Estoy de acuerdo! Puede aprender tantas cosas sobre su primer lengua cuando aprendas una segunda lengua.

Enseño ingles y español, pero deseo que pudiera practicar mi español más. Cuando solamente hablo a los estudiantes que están empezando español, nunca necesito usar las varias formas del imperfecto, por ejemplo.

Estoy emocionada que escribiste que es importante aprender dos lenguas, educación bilingüe. Estoy de acuerdo. Ojala que nuestro país, los Estados Unidos, decide que esta idea es una prioridad en educación algún día.

Ari said...

I've been living overseas for ten years and speak Spanish (mostly fluent) and Chinese. I know a smattering of phrases in about fifteen languages, though, because I travel so much. But yes, I agree - America needs to become bilingual, and fast. More emphasis should be placed on Chinese, too.

Moonary said...

Eiwa, I found myself crying right now.
I totally agree with you, I'm from Argentina, in South America, and my country language is Spanish -that's the reason why I have this weird English xD- But I've been learning the language since I was five, and I have to admit that I'm in love with English. So that, I think it would be awesome if our two languages could make a bilingual America.

Kendy said...

Moonary, I'm also from Argentina :O
And English is a very nice language but here EVERYONE should learn the language. On the other hand, It's not as difficult as other languages. But, you US people learning Spanish is wonderful as it's not an easy one.

juegos de ben 10 said...

English and spanish are language need not just for one person i mean for everyone , As english open many doors spanish does too.

mensajes claro said...

Both language are need in a open world !