English: The Official National Language This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Hola, me llamo Jos". Yo tengo diecis"is a"os. Soy de Chile. 'COmo estSums?"

One may have thought the previous sentences could only be heard in a Spanish-speaking country, but recently these words can be heard in schools, the workplace, neighborhoods, and even on the streets of America. There is no doubt that the United States is a nation composed of immigrants. However, it is not a nation comprised of separate immigrant enclaves. We are a melting pot of many linguistic, cultural, and racial ethnic groups that are constantly interacting, integrating, and assimilating to form the American culture. However, people are now rejecting the melting pot theory and embracing a "bi-nationalism" concept. So America has become a salad bowl in which the different linguistic ethnic groups do not melt together, but rather amalgamate, while retaining their own distinctive features. But I believe our nation should not laud "bi-lingualism," but should embrace English as the official language to ensure the future unity of our nation.

Adopting the English language has been an integral part of becoming an "American." The English language serves as a national glue that not only binds, but also unites immigrants with native-born Americans. Although our love of freedom and democratic ideals help to unite and give Americans a sense of purpose, it is ultimately English which allows us to communicate with each other, discuss our views, and encourage trust, while reducing racial hostility and bigotry. Since we are a nation of immigrants, we do not have the common bonds other countries share: race, religion, culture, and ethnicity. By citizens learning English, we have been able to forge a unified nation from the diverse immigrants who harbor different beliefs and interests.

There are several industrialized countries that have more than one official language, including Canada, Belgium and India. Canada and Belgium both officially recognize two languages, while India has more than twenty. The people of these countries will generally concede that multi-lingualism is an onerous hindrance and does more harm than good. Ethnic division based on language, traditions and beliefs often lead to violence, discrimination and countless other problems. India serves as an excellent example of disunity, as the strife between various ethnic groups has continued for centuries. Quebec has threatened to secede from the rest of Canada if French does not remain the national language. If bilingualism is allowed in the United States, there might be a day when the Spanish-speaking Texas decides to secede from the rest of the nation.

The phrase "E pluribus unum" - out of many, one - is a guiding principle of this nation. Founded by immigrants of all nationalities, the melting pot assimilates new influences and is strengthened by them. This has always included the adoption of English as the common means of communication. Opponents of the official- English movement argue that English-only laws are discriminatory, designed to segregate minorities from the rest of the American people. They counter that laws that would require English as a qualification for voting, being licensed to drive, or entering certain occupations would be oppressive, since they prevent people from having access to the government to whom they pay their taxes. But one can imagine the cost of having every book, newspaper, billboard or traffic sign rewritten into several languages? It would not be feasible to accommodate all the languages spoken throughout the country. Rather than having the government accommodate an immigrant in his native language, it should be the immigrant's duty to learn the language of the country. We must not forget that these immigrants have chosen to live in America; we want immigrants to learn to function in an English-speaking world to maintain unity and communication between our citizens.

Multi-lingualism undermines the very basis on which this country was built, which is the assimilation of diverse nationalities into a new nationality. The fact that English is not our official language should come as a shock to Americans. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written in English and should be reasons enough to enact an English-only amendment. Millions of immigrants have successfully learned English and have become assimilated into the mainstream. Indeed, it would be insulting and harmful to suggest that today's immigrants cannot do the same. In this country, English is the only sure tool for jobs, money and a better life. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Anonymous said...
Mar. 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm
I like how you say that multi-lingualism undermines the very basis on which this country was built, but in the previous paragraph you say that E pluribus unum, a Latin phrase, is a guiding principle of the nation. Which is it?
 
Redmanrising said...
Nov. 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm
I see no reason for anyone to learn another language in their own country,just to get a better paying job. I am all for mulitlingualism,but not if it is FORCED. As a Native American,I know what I am talking about I had a foreign language shoved down my throat at government boarding school,in the 1950's   ENGLISH!!
 
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