Will you learn it? Do you know how to speak it? In our area, i just heard about some school workers (bus drivers, cafeteria, faculty? - I was half asleep, but i remember it being school employees) having to learn spanish to hold their job. I'm seeing more signs at restaurants in spanish, like "order here" at Wendy's. At Walmart, i choose english or spanish at the self checkout. I have to say that i don't like it, and don't want to learn spanish. What's your opinion on learning spanish. Will you do it. Are you for it, against it? Also, i'm curious about what changes are going on in other parts of the country. Feel free to comment on that. examples: (road signs, store signs, job requirement, menu, non english speaking customer service workers, etc.)

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I know a few phrases from long ago. I don't think I could ever be against learning a new language. And it's nice to meet people on their turf (so to speak) when you can. At the same time I'm not feeling any pressure where I live (Western NY) to learn Spanish. I suppose in Buffalo you'd find some Spanish speaking but here in the burbs hardly every. OTOH, I lived in Southern California for 4 years and it would have been nice to have.

What seems more important to me is that people coming here learn English (although I would not legislate that). I know it's hard and not everyone has the resources to take a course, but I can't even imagine immigrating to a foreign country and not learning the language.
Since my family is from Puerto Rico, I am a citizen and speak both English and Spanish. From my personal experience, there seems to be a stigma attached to speaking anything other than English in the U.S. I’m not sure if people see non-English speakers as a threat. That doesn’t make sense to me since there is no possible way that another language will replace English in the U.S. as the “official” language, at least not in the foreseeable future.

I do believe that if you come to the U.S. you should learn English. It’s a matter of survival. If you know English, more opportunities are available to you. However, I also think there should be a push for multilingualism in this country. Most European nations are at least bilingual or trilingual, yet still maintain a national identity connected to one main language. Even Canada is ahead of us with this. For some reason we seem to be the stubborn ones. (The same stubbornness we have when it comes to the metric system.) It looks even worse when there are Americans that visit other countries and expect everyone to speak to them in English.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to maintain English as the national language of the U.S. What bothers me is the disgust that many Americans (not all) display at the very idea of speaking any other languages. I would say that learning another language or 2 or 3 can be intellectually stimulating. I’ve studied Spanish, French, Hebrew, Japanese and various Native American languages. Of these I only speak Spanish fluently, yet I am still most dominant in English.

Everyone in the U.S. should know English, and if you have another language you speak, maintain it as well. If you only speak English, I would encourage you (nothing mandatory) to learn another language, (doesn’t have to be Spanish) even if only for basic conversation.
I don't think there is anything wrong with a host nation expecting all long term migrants to have at least a basic competency in at least one of their official languages before granting them a work permit, student visa, indefinite leave to remain status, etc.

I see absolutely no problem with the French Touboun Law.

In the UK, the need to translate official documents into a myriad of languages, most of them from the Indian subcontinent or failed African states is costing our tax payers £Millions per year. Couple this with the fact that our immigration policy for decades has been far too accommodating of dependant relatives of worthwhile immigrants, and that the cultures many of these people come from means that the patriarch will endeavour to prevent female relatives from learning English and you can see we have a major problem that no one wants to address. Many local authorities, GP surgeries and hospitals are forced to translated even minor circulars into up to 20 different languages depending on the local ethnic mix.

I know we British are also guilty of the same sin.There have been vast numbers of Brit's emigrating to places like Spain and parts of the Middle East over the last few years who choose to live in British enclaves and refuse to learn the language of their hosts. It is just as morally wrong. It is incumbent on on anyone who chooses to live abroad to learn at least a basic competency of their host's official language.

Of course it's not just Britain that has these problems. I remember hearing a decade or more back that the Dutch where getting increasingly fed up at the number of European and American immigrants that were taking advantage of the fact their system tends to make children natural polyglots and thus it would never be hard to find someone who spoke Danish, English, French, German, Flemish etc.

OTOH, Spanish is one of the most useful languages in the world, both economically and in terms of a lingua franca. It is also, according to linguists about the easiest second language for an English speaker to learn. I wish it was the first foreign language taught in British schools rather than French, who's use is rather limited economically, excluding France itself, parts of Switzerland, parts of Belgium and one province in Canada.

I'm not anti-migration in anyway, I just strongly believe that all migrants should learn their host's language.
I will definately try to get my kids to pick up an extra language in school, but why does it have to be Spanish??? I live in Amish country where they all speak some kind of German/Dutch language. The majority has been speaking English in this country for over two hundred years and if we cater to one particular language, then we must consider all languages, and it's just not possible.

I figure, you have the right to speak whatever language you want, but don't be surprised if some people don't understand you. Would you go to go to another country and expect them to learn your language? I wouldn't, and I lived in Saudi Arabia where very few of them spoke English and I never expected them to learn it on my account, but I did learn alot of Arabic phrases so I could communicate with them.
I do speak Spanish. I learned it initially from my parents who are from Puerto Rico (a commonwealth of the U.S. where Spanish is the main language). I was born and grew up in New York so it's not like I didn't learn English as well and in High School I learned a bit of German. I don't get to practice the German much so it's pretty bad, unfortunately.

My views with regards to having to learn to speak Spanish are two fold. On the one hand, I feel it should be mandatory for all immigrants to learn English so that they can blend in and find work and not become a burden to the tax payer. On the other hand, many Spanish speaking immigrants or citizens do find work where they can get away with speaking only Spanish though this is obviously a limiting concession and will hurt them in the long run. Either way you slice it we're stuck with many non English speaking immigrants who spend their money here, pay their taxes, obey laws and are productive. While I wouldn't be in favor of coddling people who don't want to learn the native languange, I am in favor of allowing them businesses, i.e. restuarants, etc. where they can feel at home to speak their native language without discrimination. There should be a place where people can embrace their culture of origin but it should not be with the total exclusion of the native culture.
With the expansion of the Interwebz, and the fact that most pages online are in English; also since I am going into a field of science in college, I feel no need to learn a second language. If I could have, I would have taken a course on Russian or Japanese in high school, but as those languages aren't offered...

I live in California. While we do have a lot of Mexican immigrants, Prop 63 passed in 1986 made English the official state language.
Nano,

I like what you said here "Knowing a second language is a job skill. It is not an attack on a culture."

My grandfather was one of those midwestern Germans who was born in the US, grew up in a German neighborhood, went to German school and German Church. The he joined the Army, went off to the Phillipines, anglizised his given name from Lorenzo to Lawrence, and gave up everything German. That was before WWI. The rest of the family sometimes spoke a kind of "Germlish" but only with each other. It's funny that people in the community now resent the Spanish influence, saying "If they live here they should speak the language"!

I did manage to find some Turkish villages where no English was spoken, 30 years ago. But I bet that now that's no longer true.
es muy difícil para aprender un poco español?

¡no!

I thought the most common language in PR is Spanglish.
I didn't find Spanish difficult to learn (not that I'm in any way fluent), but I do recognize that some people are better at languages than others.

It's very useful to know in America nowadays since such a large percentage of the population is Hispanic.

In some areas of the country, people have been speaking Spanish a lot longer than people have been speaking English.
What's this "para aprender" crap? Yes, I'm grammar naziing outside of my native language. "Para" isn't "unnecessary" there; it's anti-necessary--it needs to not be there, 'cause it's makin' the sentence wrong.
I took 3 years of spanish in high school. I think I remember enough to ask the hispanic population to speak english so I know what they are saying.

In the Seattle area where I am now the "minority" population is mostly Asian so the only spanish we see is on the ATM's etc.

I work in the social service sector and I don't feel that I should be required to learn a foreign language just to hold a decent job. Knowing one is great but being required to be bilingual I have a problem with
Really? Spanish is difficult? I'd always heard its one of the easier languages to learn. Do you know of some that are easier?

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