English spoken here -- so you should learn it

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Recently I went to a home-improvement store looking for a ceiling fan for our home.

As I attempted to compare labels, I was thwarted by the predominance of labels written in Spanish. I asked to speak with a member of management, who proceeded to point out the labels that were in English -- one out of three on the shelf.

When I reminded him that we live in America, where most people speak English, he informed me that his daughter attended school and had learned Spanish there. I asked him if her classes were taught in Spanish. He said he wasn't going to get into that with me. He did offer to have a sales associate turn around boxes if I needed to read the label.

Another interesting comment he made was this: If we turn them around for the English to be read, what about our Spanish-speaking customers? Well, what about your English -speaking customers? Is that store not interested in serving them any longer?

I have friends who are Hispanic whom I love dearly. I took Spanish in school and so did my children. But we live in America. If someone moves to this country, they are often doing it to improve their standard of living and give their children opportunities they would not have in their native countries.

We are not helping them be all they can be in our country when we continue to separate and isolate them in their Spanish-speaking world. It isn't fair to the Hispanic people in our midst.

Also, have you tried to read a label on a medicine bottle lately? If they only printed them in English, they could use type big enough to be read by everyone. It is not a safety label when it can't be read.

We live in America. We speak English. That's just the way it is.

Terri White

Aiken, S.C.

Comments (77) Add comment
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So crates
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So crates 10/26/10 - 10:18 pm
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Tu vuò fà l'americano

Tu vuò fà l'americano

TrulyWorried
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TrulyWorried 10/26/10 - 10:55 pm
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I came to this country in

I came to this country in 1953 - speaking English - I would have been in one heck of shape had I looked for any print in my language. Know the language of the country or go back to where you came from.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/26/10 - 11:54 pm
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¿Qué él dijo? Time-wasting

¿Qué él dijo?
Time-wasting pedantic crank. If I had been the manager, I would have shown him the door, pronto.
And the part about the small type on the medicine bottle really is logically connected to the rest of the letter....

SCEgikatid
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SCEgikatid 10/27/10 - 01:09 am
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I wish they would put French

I wish they would put French on everything instead of Spanish. Or why not use symbols? The way education is today that's what they'll have to do in twenty years anyway.
Of course I'm joking but now that I think about it...

hollyjensen
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hollyjensen 10/27/10 - 01:19 am
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Chill out Terri

Chill out Terri

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 10/27/10 - 01:36 am
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AMEN TERRI !!!!!!

AMEN TERRI !!!!!!

GGpap
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GGpap 10/27/10 - 01:53 am
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To all of the bi-linguists on

To all of the bi-linguists on this thread...I admire and envy your skills. BUT, I am darn tired of running through 20 pages of assembly instructions in order to get to the "next" page printed in English.

Go get 'em, Terri!

GGpap

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/27/10 - 06:02 am
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他說什麼? Bought a watch lately?

他說什麼?
Bought a watch lately? Instructions in 10-12 languages, but it is not rocket science to get to the English part. and SCEgikatid, if you like French remember that by law everything sold in Canada (and street signs, government forms, etc.) have to use French and English.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/27/10 - 06:03 am
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.

.

momster59
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momster59 10/27/10 - 06:08 am
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When I lived in Germany, I

When I lived in Germany, I spoke German, but was happy that many of the products I looked at in the hardware stores had directions not only in German, but in English as well. So long as there are English instructions, what is your beef? Today's world works on a global economy and these products are shipped to many countries. Get a life!

fatboyhog
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fatboyhog 10/27/10 - 06:59 am
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I see that some missed the

I see that some missed the entire point of this letter. This is what our country is being reduced to. From the most powerful country in the world to third world country, and on the fast track there.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/27/10 - 07:03 am
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I don't mind the bilingual

I don't mind the bilingual labels. But when I'm trying to figure out how to assemble something and to find the English instructions, I have to start reading at the back, upside down after folding the paper along the dotted line and pouring lemon juice on it and heating it with a match to make the English visible, that's going too far.

Techfan
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Techfan 10/27/10 - 07:12 am
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"How smooth must be the

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." Black Hawk

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/27/10 - 07:23 am
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The drawback to the diversity

The drawback to the diversity programs is that there is no assimilation into the American, English speaking culture. We wind up a conglomeration of multiple separations of cultures instead of a blend of cultures that created this country.
Many European countries, most recently Germany, have had enough of the silliness of diversity and are now moving rapidly toward assimilation.
English needs to become the official language of this country.
All other languages should be allowed, but all government business and all legal documents should be in English.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 10/27/10 - 07:25 am
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Would it harm the letter

Would it harm the letter writer to study a second language, as educated people do quite routinely, and to visit an optometrist for some new glasses?

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/27/10 - 07:29 am
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As far as the size of the

As far as the size of the writing on bottles goes, I've noticed the phone books, all labels, the subtitles on tv and the newspapers are using much smaller print. The older I get, the smaller the print gets.

chasboy
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chasboy 10/27/10 - 07:30 am
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I agree with johnston. It's

I agree with johnston. It's not going to change so I decided to learn spanish. It makes it a lot easier on myself when I understand it instead of complain about it and that's what I used to do.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/27/10 - 07:30 am
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Rhetor, if the letter writer

Rhetor, if the letter writer goes to a country where another language is spoken, learning another language would be wise.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/27/10 - 07:30 am
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Rhetor, if the letter writer

Rhetor, if the letter writer goes to a country where another language is spoken, learning another language would be wise.

NoCatchyName
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NoCatchyName 10/27/10 - 08:01 am
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TrulyWorried and

TrulyWorried and johnston.cliff, If you two keep posting ahead of me there will be little for me to add. Dixieman, there are two languages required in Canada because when it was formed, Canada had a duality of culture, French and English and that duality has remained.

Runner46
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Runner46 10/27/10 - 08:17 am
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In order to keep this diverse

In order to keep this diverse country a nation, we need to be sensitive to our many cultures and languages. However, more than anything else, we need to focus our primary energy on keeping us united as a nation. Our common language, English, unites us. Talk all you want about embracing diversity, but remember, diversity is a dividing factor, not a uniting factor. We need to focus more on unity, those things that unite us. Just say the Pledge of Allegiance slowly sometime. It relates an oath of our unity of purpose. Another way to express our unity as a nation is this: One nation, the United States of America, under one flag, the Stars and Stripes, with one language in common, English, for unity!

dashiel
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dashiel 10/27/10 - 08:29 am
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Bunch of ingrates. And after

Bunch of ingrates. And after all we've done for those people. Stole their real estate, cheated them out of their empire, and now they won't even learn English. It's downright unAmerican!

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 10/27/10 - 08:57 am
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We should pass a law

We should pass a law requiring all U S citizens to learn spanish as a primary language.Anyone that does not comply should be fined and/or imprisoned.A second offense would require deportation.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/27/10 - 09:05 am
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NoCatchyName - Well, actually

NoCatchyName - Well, actually I DID know that about Canada. What you may not realize is that out west in British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, etc. where there are almost no French-speaking people, the bilingual law still applies which is just dumb. More people in Vancouver speak Mandarin or Cantonese than speak French!
Πραγματικά ήξερα αυτόν.

Chillen
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Chillen 10/27/10 - 09:24 am
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Stay on the line for

Stay on the line for English.
Press 1 for a Special Message. (message says "Learn English or go home. This is America.")

Our country spends Billions of taxpayer dollars on translators and government forms in foreign languages. What a waste.

Stop the madness.

Jane18
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Jane18 10/27/10 - 09:25 am
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I cannot believe this! GGpap

I cannot believe this! GGpap and I agree on this subject.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 10/27/10 - 09:32 am
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Try working for a german car

Try working for a german car manufacturer...

jrbfromga
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jrbfromga 10/27/10 - 09:48 am
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I have no problem with a
Unpublished

I have no problem with a manufacturer putting instructions in any number of languages so that they can sell internationally. However, I do have a problem when a product destined solely for the U.S domestic market has labeling in Spanish, or any other language. I speak Spanish, and so does my family, but that is to facilitate travel to Latin America. People coming to this country should either know how to speak English, or learn it pronto. There should also be no driving tests, citizenship tests, or voting ballots in any language but English.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/27/10 - 11:52 am
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Ah, Augusta! I love it here,

Ah, Augusta! I love it here, but it ain't exactly der Haus der mehrsprachigen Weltklugheit.
Q: You are a manufacturer. It costs 3 cents to put the same multilingual label on all your goods. However, it costs 17 cents to print lots of separate labels, one for each language, program your machinery to affix different labels to production runs of the same article, make sure shipments are properly sorted so the right language goes to the right countries, etc. You produce and sell millions of articles every year, so 14 cents per article adds up to a lot. Which procedure makes the most sense to you in a free market economy?

Rhetor
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Rhetor 10/27/10 - 10:07 am
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Go to Denmark, and ask how

Go to Denmark, and ask how many languages the hotel clerk speaks, and figure out whether you can count all of them on both hands. Why are Americans so opposed to learning things? Oh, well.

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