Are We Giving It Away? (Part 2)

Hi all,

Hope today is a good day! Just getting back from a couple of days at my li’l cottage in the woods. Not wishing my life away–or the kids’ teen years for that matter–but looking forward to being able to go and STAY there for a while. Love my internet but I like being able to focus on fiction when the availability of the world wide web is highly limited.

Love. It. Here.
Love. It. Here.

Thanks for coming back for more thoughts from moi on my previous discussion. I should have just run this three-part piece last week and gotten it done. (Will do that this week. Then we’ll get back to easy recipes or something a bit lighter.) Sorry folks, I can’t  let this one go. (I appreciated your patience and tolerance. Besides, it’s written already. ;))

We left off here:

Shakes head @_____. Little by little this country is giving itself away. One day, you might wake up and not have a clue what language is coming at you. Sad. Go to other countries. You’ll find everything written in THEIR language first, usually English second. (And BTW, plenty of people from around the world speak better English than many Americans. What’s up with that?) Here, we don’t care. Just cater to the masses, who aren’t being put into a position to learn the language of the country they came to. Again, just sayin’.

See the first boldface part of the comment? You notice that reflected at airports, hotels—heck, go to the French Open Tennis Championships. Announcements AND the live scores are said FIRST in French THEN in English. Same is true at any Olympics: language of the host country first, English second, French (official language of any Olympics) third.

Other countries get it! Sports venues get it! What’s wrong with the United States?????

Second section in bold letters makes me think of my parents and so many immigrants who came before them. My mom went to night school to learn English. Mom had more opportunity (a.k.a. necessity) to speak it in her work settings, so she’s pretty darned functional. (Hearing loss impacts her ability to understand more than does the language barrier. She also reads English better than she realizes.)

My dad was a tailor and either worked alone or with other Italians. His hearing was worse than my mom’s, but even his limited, conversational English had a certain degree of functionality to it. And once, when he found himself in the middle of some kind of misunderstanding at his job, he went off on whomever he spoke to in English. Broken as it was, it was fluent enough to communicate his situation. I just remember washing dishes while Dad was on the phone, going on and on and never hesitating to come up with words. I kept wondering, “Wow. Dad’s English is a lot better than I thought.”

And perhaps that’s what is annoying me most: responsibility. At the risk of sounding petty and lacking for compassion (which I am not), I feel our country is not necessarily challenging its newcomers to learn what should be its primary language.

Again, IMHO, I’m just sayin’.  (Teach every kid and adult as many languages as you want after that. I swear I whizzed medical vocabulary in college b/c of the Italian and Spanish I was already highly familiar with. A second language (or more) under one’s belt is rarely a hindrance.)

For the sake of staying-shorter winded I’ll continue this next time. (Then I’ll be done. Pinky swear.)

Once more, I invite your thoughts and/or opinions on this topic. Or, if you’d rather list what you’re making for dinner tonight, if/where you plan on going on vacation, etc, go for it! All family-friendly interaction welcome here!

Have a great day,

Joanna

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4 thoughts on “Are We Giving It Away? (Part 2)

  1. I’m going to divert from the major topic for a moment and say, “how lucky you are to have a cottage to go to and write!” I’m jealous. I have been dying to plan a writing retreat where all I do is write and practice yoga. As I’m pounding on my keys my daughter is rehearsing for the play she’s in with her summer camp. My house is filled with the music from Beauty and the Beast. The walls are shaking and she’s singing right along with it. I feel like I’m sitting front row at a Broadway musical. I’d forget the plight of the country’s language issue and hole up in that cottage. Maybe when you finally surface, the problem will fix itself!

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    1. As much as I love your “hole up in that cottage” idea, something tells me it will be quite a few years until I’ll be able to do exactly that. Only once, three years ago, I went with a friend. She and I installed a kitchen floor (which I’m regluing tile by tile). As romantic as the whole cottage idea is, sometimes it’s nothing more than another house that needs to be cleaned and maintained. (I do love it, though, as I’m sure you’ve read. ;))

      We’re at the stage when our kids go b/c they have to. One day when they’re older, God willing, they’ll come and go as they please and hubby and I can get up there for longer periods.

      As per our country, can’t see things really improving any time soon. And so much damage has been done in so many areas, we’ll be lucky if our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be beyond the mess. Just sayin’.

      Thanx, Stacey!

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