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04-27-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Oh, Alabama...

Apparently the two biggest issues in Alabama this election are shaping up to be the legalization of bingo and deciding whether or not they should continue to administer the driver's license test in any language other than English. No kidding:

[yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9ohsvJHkbY[/yt]

I can't shake the feeling that this is an elaborate viral SNL thing...

04-27-2010, 10:19 AM   #2
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This whole 'Speak English Or Else' thing is a big 'issue' for a lot of people who are offended at not having total cultural hegemony.

It's cast as an ethnic issue, and stuff, no matter the cost to public safety. ...In reality it's a way any given bureaucrat can discriminate, (Not to mention the irony of having functional illiterates in their own language demanding PhDs from another culture learn the whole language before they can drive to work.)

I had to repeat a driver's test in Texas (Which you'd think wouldn't have needed re-taking to begin with, but I suspect the 'anti-government' sentiment they have there is precisely cause they themselves make government as annoying as possible to prove a point,) ...just cause of the local *dialect.*

Rough translation:

"What do you mean, "Go ahead and turn right" doesn't mean, " ...*go ahead,* and then turn right?"

I mean, I picked up on the figure of speech after a few months of repeated exposure, ...still use it myself to this day, but. That was time without being able to drive. In Texas.

---------- Post added 04-27-2010 at 02:41 PM ----------

Part of all this language-division stuff, by the way, isn't really about 'driver safety.' It's about obliterating cultures.


Not saying, "Hey, if you come here, it's time to learn English," ..it's about *punishing people for speaking another language.*

It's not to say that if sweetie and I ended up in, say, Scandanavia or Quebec, learning the local language wouldn't be about *top priority,* (And no burden: I happen to *love* languages and linguistics. Maybe too diffusely. I'm very good at the flows and patterns of it. As for memorizing a street sign? That's not the same. Over some years' sporadic exposure, I begin to understand something of Finnish, for instance. Ask me to say something in the language, well, I can say 'Thank you' and a very rude exclamation. ) With immersion, I'd pick up and retain a lot more and a lot faster, but not if I couldn't *go* anywhere.

But these measures aren't about teaching English, they're about *taking away the foreign,* not of welcoming, but about punishing people for being different.

I'm certainly Irish enough to know what that can do to a people.

'To Hell or Connaught,' they said of Irish-speakers.

It's neither right, nor does it make Americans.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 04-27-2010 at 11:41 AM.
04-27-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
This whole 'Speak English Or Else' thing is a big 'issue' for a lot of people who are offended at not having total cultural hegemony.
[/COLOR]Part of all this language-division stuff, by the way, isn't really about 'driver safety.' It's about obliterating cultures.
Not saying, "Hey, if you come here, it's time to learn English," ..it's about *punishing people for speaking another language.*

It's not to say that if sweetie and I ended up in, say, Scandanavia or Quebec, learning the local language wouldn't be about *top priority,* (And no burden: I happen to *love* languages and linguistics. Maybe too diffusely. I'm very good at the flows and patterns of it. As for memorizing a street sign? That's not the same. Over some years' sporadic exposure, I begin to understand something of Finnish, for instance. Ask me to say something in the language, well, I can say 'Thank you' and a very rude exclamation. ) With immersion, I'd pick up and retain a lot more and a lot faster, but not if I couldn't *go* anywhere.

But these measures aren't about teaching English, they're about *taking away the foreign,* not of welcoming, but about punishing people for being different.

I'm certainly Irish enough to know what that can do to a people.

'To Hell or Connaught,' they said of Irish-speakers.

It's neither right, nor does it make Americans.
Maybe its me but are these statements not contradictory? You say that you would be willing to learn another language if you ended up somewhere that didnt speak English yet you feel if someone coming here had to learn English in order to function in public we are destroying their cultural heritage? I actuall had this conversation with a friend this weekend and i said to him that all of this attitude can be traced back to our adoption of multi-culturalism, prior to that many immigrants came to America and spoke their language at home or in the community but in official dealings it was english and this was done because they viewed america as a melting pot. Now America through multiculturalism is a nation divided along language because we no longer feel we need to be one nation we need to be a coalition of unique cultures.
04-27-2010, 02:56 PM   #4
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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the legislated language English in the US, while the majority of US citizens now speak Spanish? I think the whole melting pot was fine with the US when the majority of people were English, but if you continue to use it, Spanish will slowly become the dominant language.

We have the same issue in Canada with French. In Quebec, it is illegal to have an English only sign on your business. All signs must be French and there is an army of "language police" running around to enforce it. Perhaps Alabama will get it's own set of language police to run around looking for non-conformers.

04-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the legislated language English in the US, while the majority of US citizens now speak Spanish? I think the whole melting pot was fine with the US when the majority of people were English, but if you continue to use it, Spanish will slowly become the dominant language.

We have the same issue in Canada with French. In Quebec, it is illegal to have an English only sign on your business. All signs must be French and there is an army of "language police" running around to enforce it. Perhaps Alabama will get it's own set of language police to run around looking for non-conformers.
you are hearby corrected no it is not legislated language of the US that would be denying people their cultural heritage and very wrong.
04-27-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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I don't think it is unreasonable for any nation to decide that x, y or z is it's national language. It adds unnecessary costs and steps to processes that really shouldn't need them. If you want to move to a country then it is incumbent upon you to learn the language of that country rather than that country have to make allowances for you.

Before you bitch at me for being a racist Rupert I speak, (to varying degrees), English, French, German, Mandarin and some Latin... and you speak.... ?
04-27-2010, 03:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GingeM Quote

Before you bitch at me for being a racist Rupert I speak, (to varying degrees), English, French, German, Mandarin and some Latin... and you speak.... ?
Texan.

04-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gokenin Quote
Maybe its me but are these statements not contradictory? You say that you would be willing to learn another language if you ended up somewhere that didnt speak English yet you feel if someone coming here had to learn English in order to function in public we are destroying their cultural heritage?

There's a difference between sharing *our* common language and *punishing* the use of another. ...Or making life hard in any way *instead* of letting people learn English.


Forbidding communication to get a legit driver's license (thus, even state ID, driver's test or not) or in any other way communicate with public services of any kind, is not helping people get along, (or to learn how to drive) ....it's just trying to exclude them before they necessarily even *can.*


This is never how it worked. Many immigrant groups, 'white' ones included, had first generations who never learned English, (the archetypal gramma who only speaks Italian, for instance.)

What, we should have laws that no public correspondence can be multilingual in an age of laser-printers? What to 'punish' grammere into learning something besides French? What kind of idiocy is that?





QuoteQuote:
I actuall had this conversation with a friend this weekend and i said to him that all of this attitude can be traced back to our adoption of multi-culturalism, prior to that many immigrants came to America and spoke their language at home or in the community but in official dealings it was english and this was done because they viewed america as a melting pot. Now America through multiculturalism is a nation divided along language because we no longer feel we need to be one nation we need to be a coalition of unique cultures.
Actually, this tension has *always* existed between certain people claiming to represent the WASPs and thus 'America,' and ...everyone else. Whoever was the newest immigrant group.

This *is* one nation from many cultures. The more the better, actually.

E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one.


We are 'United States,' a 'Union.' Not a 'Homogeneity.' a *Union.*

Sure, I may be 'White people' now, but it wasn't so for *any* of the grandparents that made me 'As American as' the corned-beef and moreto pizza I am today.

It's not just a 'being here,' friend.

It's a *coming* here.

And it takes time. And that's ...Actually OK.

Lady Liberty says, 'Gimme them,' ...doesn't say, 'Expect instant homogenization.'

(Come to think of it, even at times the 'melting pot' metaphor is a little misplaced. Crockpot, at best, and welcome to the chunky haggis fondue... Not a crucible. Not a blast furnace.. Not an end product. We do make a nice enough stew, though, if you give us a little while. )
04-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GingeM Quote
I don't think it is unreasonable for any nation to decide that x, y or z is it's national language. It adds unnecessary costs and steps to processes that really shouldn't need them. If you want to move to a country then it is incumbent upon you to learn the language of that country rather than that country have to make allowances for you.

Before you bitch at me for being a racist Rupert I speak, (to varying degrees), English, French, German, Mandarin and some Latin... and you speak.... ?

No, I don't see any racism in that thinking. What cracked me up and made me spew out my coffee was that guy in the Vid........"Hello, this is Alabama, we speak English..." ROFLMAO! Ever been to Alabama? I bet most there can't even spell English!

No I don't speak five or six languages...but I do speak a few and one of them is Squirrel....and I am very fluent!
Regards!
04-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #10
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OT, but that's a charming shot, Rupert.
04-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GingeM Quote
I don't think it is unreasonable for any nation to decide that x, y or z is it's national language. It adds unnecessary costs and steps to processes that really shouldn't need them. If you want to move to a country then it is incumbent upon you to learn the language of that country rather than that country have to make allowances for you.

Before you bitch at me for being a racist Rupert I speak, (to varying degrees), English, French, German, Mandarin and some Latin... and you speak.... ?
I agree with you, but at some point when your citizens will speak a different language from what was originally spoken a few hundred years ago. I don't know what percentage Spanish is for the States, and I don't think this would happen anytime soon, but if trends continue, why would you keep English if most people use something else? I see it as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Here on the west coast I think it would be beneficial for my kids to learn an Asian language. I don't know if they will be interested when the time comes, but if they are, it would open up opportunities for them that they wouldn't have otherwise. If I lived down south, it might be wise for them to learn Spanish instead of an Asian dialect.
04-27-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
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Rupert:

I mean this in the nicest possible way and with no malice intended but I think you need just a little help. Otis is very cute and remarkably photogenic but I'm beginning to get the impression he has delved a little too deep into your psyche... On the other hand, it's possible I have been mistaking your posts for the English language when, in fact, they are fluent squirrel...

SMC:

QuoteQuote:
I agree with you, but at some point when your citizens will speak a different language from what was originally spoken a few hundred years ago. I don't know what percentage Spanish is for the States, and I don't think this would happen anytime soon, but if trends continue, why would you keep English if most people use something else? I see it as an opportunity rather than a problem.
I couldn't agree more. But living in Detroit, (yes Shooz, I'm watching you... ), I have a hard time finding a fluent Spanish speaker but I have trouble calling even the smallest of companies that don't start their automated system with "Para la prensa un espaņol" or similar. That's overcompensation. Having made that statement, I've been through SeaTac and having everything in Japanese on the public address system seemed "normal"...

RML:

QuoteQuote:
What, we should have laws that no public correspondence can be multilingual in an age of laser-printers? What to 'punish' grammere into learning something besides French? What kind of idiocy is that?
One could equally argue that when you keep giving the translation in their own language so freely you do them a disservice by allowing them to not learn the language. I work with many Russians and have done for many years. The ones who speak the best English are those that had only the English speakers around them when they started. Now, I hear Russian all day as a matter of course, and the worst English speakers are those that have worked with us for less than ten years. Their English is rudimentary at best because they spend every day talking Russsian.
04-27-2010, 04:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
OT, but that's a charming shot, Rupert.

Thanks Ratlady........this must be the first time anyone has gone OT on this Forum....right?
I may not have much of this...or much of that...but Squirrels...I have plenty!
Best Regards!

This one heard me talking about Turtles up on a fence post, and decided to give it a try!
04-27-2010, 04:05 PM   #14
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That thing is stuffed... I can tell by the way he is so properly "primped" and poses for you like one of those "questionable" ladies one sees on street corners in the more interesting areas of town...
04-27-2010, 04:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GingeM Quote
RML:

One could equally argue
Err, no. You speak no 'equally' here.


QuoteQuote:
that when you keep giving the translation in their own language so freely you do them a disservice by allowing them to not learn the language.
So now you're 'doing them a disservice by 'allowing' 'them' to...' ....What.... Interact with their own government? To drive?



QuoteQuote:
I work with many Russians and have done for many years. The ones who speak the best English are those that had only the English speakers around them when they started. Now, I hear Russian all day as a matter of course, and the worst English speakers are those that have worked with us for less than ten years. Their English is rudimentary at best because they spend every day talking Russsian.

So, ghettoizing people more by denying public services helps how?

Dude, I can read *Chaucer* with a convincing accent (Gods know how anyone even knows what that *is* anymore, but so I'm told, ) ....I basically pinned the SAT's and all acheivement tests related to English comprehension when I was in high school, and have since travelled the country adapting to many regional dialects. *I* still dread DMV forms. I don't see how your claim 'Drive illegally as an incentive to learn English' makes any sense whatsoever.
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