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Why Aren't You Speaking English Options · View
MrNudiePants
Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2011 8:33:57 PM

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Location: United States
Jebru wrote:
And I'm still not getting how this is rude, when he was using an interpreter.


Because he could speak English. He chose not to. Probably in order to send a distinct message to any of his Spanish-speaking contemporaries. Possibly just to inflame the dialog - I have no way of knowing.

I used to be in a position where I had to deal with a large number of tourists to South Florida from Quebec. Most of them could speak English quite well - I would overhear it often in my position. Many times when confronted with rules that they didn't want to obey, they would pretend to speak no English - they would only speak to me in French, as if this lack of common communication would absolve them from having to follow the same rules as everyone else. This is the same kind of rudeness that Mr. Aguirre showed.
Rembacher
Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2011 9:19:44 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
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MrNudiePants wrote:
Jebru wrote:
And I'm still not getting how this is rude, when he was using an interpreter.


Because he could speak English. He chose not to. Probably in order to send a distinct message to any of his Spanish-speaking contemporaries. Possibly just to inflame the dialog - I have no way of knowing.

I used to be in a position where I had to deal with a large number of tourists to South Florida from Quebec. Most of them could speak English quite well - I would overhear it often in my position. Many times when confronted with rules that they didn't want to obey, they would pretend to speak no English - they would only speak to me in French, as if this lack of common communication would absolve them from having to follow the same rules as everyone else. This is the same kind of rudeness that Mr. Aguirre showed.


So you completely dismiss his suggestion that he was simply more comfortable speaking in Spanish? And again, speaking through an interpreter and pretending not to speak English at all are two completely different situations. He was still communicating with the Senators, in English, albeit through an interpreter. You have implied in this thread first that he was trying to tell the government what to do, and now that he is somehow trying to escape a punishment, or gain preferential treatment through speaking Spanish.

Why is this "telling the government what to do" while your constant comments about the police and laws that take away your rights, is performing your civic duty and being engaged in the process? This is a man who moved to America and is not draining the system. He's working to make it better, trying to be part of the solution. Isn't that what you want of immigrants?
MrNudiePants
Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2011 10:51:02 PM

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Jebru wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
Jebru wrote:
And I'm still not getting how this is rude, when he was using an interpreter.


Because he could speak English. He chose not to. Probably in order to send a distinct message to any of his Spanish-speaking contemporaries. Possibly just to inflame the dialog - I have no way of knowing.

I used to be in a position where I had to deal with a large number of tourists to South Florida from Quebec. Most of them could speak English quite well - I would overhear it often in my position. Many times when confronted with rules that they didn't want to obey, they would pretend to speak no English - they would only speak to me in French, as if this lack of common communication would absolve them from having to follow the same rules as everyone else. This is the same kind of rudeness that Mr. Aguirre showed.


So you completely dismiss his suggestion that he was simply more comfortable speaking in Spanish? And again, speaking through an interpreter and pretending not to speak English at all are two completely different situations. He was still communicating with the Senators, in English, albeit through an interpreter. You have implied in this thread first that he was trying to tell the government what to do, and now that he is somehow trying to escape a punishment, or gain preferential treatment through speaking Spanish.

Why is this "telling the government what to do" while your constant comments about the police and laws that take away your rights, is performing your civic duty and being engaged in the process? This is a man who moved to America and is not draining the system. He's working to make it better, trying to be part of the solution. Isn't that what you want of immigrants?


First - I don't care how comfortable or uncomfortable he was or wasn't. That's not my problem, nor is it the problem of the Senators lined up to hear testimony. Second, I've never implied that he was "trying to tell the government what to do". Putting words in my mouth is not the same as presenting a coherent argument, Jeb. Third, I never implied that he was "trying to escape a punishment, or gain preferential treatment", either. What I did say was that he was grandstanding to an unseen crowd, and in my opinion, that committee chamber was the wrong place to do so. And as I've also said, apparently the Senator hearing the testimony agreed with me. You can claim that you "just don't get it" until the cows come home - it doesn't change the fact that the Senators set the rules by which they'll hear testimony and if the Senator wants to hear it in English, from the mouth of the person giving testimony, then that's how it should be.
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 12:42:29 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
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MrNudiePants wrote:
I was speaking in generalities, but okay. I'll play. Imagine appearing before a French governing body with the intent of telling them how to handle their official business, and not deigning to speak French, but requiring the aid of an interpreter to do so. They'd escort you out of the building. As far as an "official language", it's commonly understood that the language we use in official government affairs is English. Our laws are written in English. Our legal reference books are written in English. It may not be "official", but if you want to study law, or medicine, or engineering, or any other advanced field you had better be able to speak English. If you want to go into politics, it may help to be multi-lingual, but one of those languages had better be English. Immigrants to this country who refuse to learn English generally tend to stay confined to local "Chinatown" type areas, while their children go out into the country and become more prosperous than their non-English-speaking parents, and their grandchildren (in many cases) can't even be bothered to learn their mother tongue..

Sure, they can have the freedom to speak whatever language they want. They don't HAVE to learn English if they don't want to. But they'll be forever disadvantaged if they choose not to.


That seems like a pretty clear implication that you felt Mr. Aguirre was telling the government what to do. If that's not what you were implying, then your example of what would happen if someone told France what to do is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

MrNudiePants wrote:


Because he could speak English. He chose not to. Probably in order to send a distinct message to any of his Spanish-speaking contemporaries. Possibly just to inflame the dialog - I have no way of knowing.

I used to be in a position where I had to deal with a large number of tourists to South Florida from Quebec. Most of them could speak English quite well - I would overhear it often in my position. Many times when confronted with rules that they didn't want to obey, they would pretend to speak no English - they would only speak to me in French, as if this lack of common communication would absolve them from having to follow the same rules as everyone else. This is the same kind of rudeness that Mr. Aguirre showed.


This one is even more blatant, because you do directly compare him to people you felt were trying to skirt the rules by feigning ignorance. Which, same as the previous quote, has absolutely no relevance to the discussion unless you feel that this was what Mr. Aguirre was doing.

And yes, maybe I will just have to leave this as me not understanding how using an interpreter to ensure the correct message is being conveyed is rude.

But your very last comment:

MrNudiePants wrote:
it doesn't change the fact that the Senators set the rules by which they'll hear testimony and if the Senator wants to hear it in English, from the mouth of the person giving testimony, then that's how it should be.


Seems to make things clearer. You will argue till your blue in the face about the government and police trampling on the rights of average American citizens, ignoring what they have to say about the matter, but when it becomes someone speaking to the government about an issue where you agree with the law, you are willing to shove them under the rug, and not let them have their rightful say in the matter, for something as minute a problem as choosing to communicate that say through an interpreter.
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:41:14 PM

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I've been thinking about why I don't consider Mr. Aguirre to have been grandstanding, and I think it comes down to one thing: If the Senator had not done his own bit of grandstanding, I don't think Mr. Aguirre's name even gets mentioned in the media. "Latino Immigrant Rights Representative Uses Interpreter to Address Senate" just doesn't have the sensationalist ring of a newsworthy story. If he really wanted to grandstand he would have made every comment, and answered every question in Spanish, without an interpreter. That would have caught people's attention. With this, he was relying on someone else to create the drama, and I just don't see that as being an effective way to grandstand.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 5:26:07 PM

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Jebru wrote:
That seems like a pretty clear implication that you felt Mr. Aguirre was telling the government what to do. If that's not what you were implying, then your example of what would happen if someone told France what to do is completely irrelevant to this discussion.


If you consider speaking your opinion on whether or not a bill should be passed into law "telling the government what to do", then okay, you win. I consider it giving testimony. If the person testifying wants to persuade the panel at all, he'll do it such a way as to NOT alienate them - like giving it to them in a language they don't speak, when you can speak their language. The fact that you want to speak in a language they don't understand is irrelevant. You're in their chambers, and if you want to persuade them of ANYTHING, you'll be wise not to piss them off.


Jebru wrote:
This one is even more blatant, because you do directly compare him to people you felt were trying to skirt the rules by feigning ignorance. Which, same as the previous quote, has absolutely no relevance to the discussion unless you feel that this was what Mr. Aguirre was doing.


No, I'm using one example of rudeness to describe another example of rudeness. I'm not comparing Mr. Aguirre to some French-Canadian fuckheads. Only you are. And of course it's relevant, because it's the same exact kind of rudeness.


Jebru wrote:
...You will argue till your blue in the face about the government and police trampling on the rights of average American citizens, ignoring what they have to say about the matter, but when it becomes someone speaking to the government about an issue where you agree with the law, you are willing to shove them under the rug, and not let them have their rightful say in the matter, for something as minute a problem as choosing to communicate that say through an interpreter.


Where did I say that Mr. Aguirre shouldn't have his "rightful say in the matter"? Stop lying, brother. If the best argument you have is misquoting me and lying about what I posted, then you may as well quit.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 5:30:11 PM

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Jebru wrote:
I've been thinking about why I don't consider Mr. Aguirre to have been grandstanding, and I think it comes down to one thing: If the Senator had not done his own bit of grandstanding, I don't think Mr. Aguirre's name even gets mentioned in the media. "Latino Immigrant Rights Representative Uses Interpreter to Address Senate" just doesn't have the sensationalist ring of a newsworthy story. If he really wanted to grandstand he would have made every comment, and answered every question in Spanish, without an interpreter. That would have caught people's attention. With this, he was relying on someone else to create the drama, and I just don't see that as being an effective way to grandstand.


As important and divisive this bill is to Texan politics, Mr. Aguirre knew that it would be watched not only by thousands of C-Span viewers, but he also knew that the local press would be giving it in-depth coverage. He knew that his actions would be considered making a political statement. I realize that you don't understand the importance this has to all Texans, but take my word for it - he knew that he would be making headlines.
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 7:48:28 PM

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It's obvious we're not going to agree on this issue. But I still have to ask, how is using a translator to address the government, and pretending to not speak a language to avoid trouble, the same kind of rudeness? One is avoiding trouble, and the other is attempting to communicate.

I'm still stuck on the translator point because it's very much a common practice here. In a bi-lingual country such as Canada, translators are used in politics to allow an English speaking contributor to address a predominately French speaking panel, and vice versa. Translators are used in the media, to allow us to understand what our french politicians are saying on a matter, or even to allow us to see that the French version of what bi-lingual politicians are saying is the same as the English version. I guess we'll have to adjust ourselves. Being polite Canadians that we are, we wouldn't want to be seen as being rude. Guess we'll just go back to hating someone who doesn't speak our language and can't communicate with us, rather than finding a way to work together and find common ground.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 8:17:13 PM

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Jebru wrote:
It's obvious we're not going to agree on this issue. But I still have to ask, how is using a translator to address the government, and pretending to not speak a language to avoid trouble, the same kind of rudeness? One is avoiding trouble, and the other is attempting to communicate.

I'm still stuck on the translator point because it's very much a common practice here. In a bi-lingual country such as Canada, translators are used in politics to allow an English speaking contributor to address a predominately French speaking panel, and vice versa. Translators are used in the media, to allow us to understand what our french politicians are saying on a matter, or even to allow us to see that the French version of what bi-lingual politicians are saying is the same as the English version. I guess we'll have to adjust ourselves. Being polite Canadians that we are, we wouldn't want to be seen as being rude. Guess we'll just go back to hating someone who doesn't speak our language and can't communicate with us, rather than finding a way to work together and find common ground.



The United States is NOT a bi-lingual country.

ALL official business is conducted in English. ALL legal documents are written in English (and Latin, which is kind of a moot point). In many cases, official forms are translated into other languages for the use of non-English-speaking residents, but the test that all immigrants must pass in order to qualify for citizenship is given in English.

Given the issue that was being debated, addressing a Senate Committee (especially one from Texas) in Spanish would be like attending a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus in Ku Klux Klan robes. Or going to a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in a Nazi uniform. Not illegal, but in very poor taste.
latinfoxy
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 8:32:40 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:


Given the issue that was being debated, addressing a Senate Committee (especially one from Texas) in Spanish would be like attending a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus in Ku Klux Klan robes. Or going to a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in a Nazi uniform. Not illegal, but in very poor taste.


Wow for me you were winning this argument till now! seriously are you comparing, a guy that yes i agree with you chose not to speak in English even though im pretty sure he does knows how to speak it and yes i agree that it was to get headlines and i think he went at it in the wrong way, but to compare them to a guy walking dress as the ku klux klan or nazi uniforms its going WAY to far!

Speaking Spanish cant be compare to dressing as murderers because if im correct thats just what you did, are you seriously trying to insinuate that he was as wrong as someone that goes to an specific group of people dressed as their worst enemies?? So what all Immigrant Mexicans are murderers or should be consider as worst as does people??

I really hope im understanding you all wrong!
Rembacher
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 9:13:01 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,107
MrNudiePants wrote:
The United States is NOT a bi-lingual country.

ALL official business is conducted in English. ALL legal documents are written in English (and Latin, which is kind of a moot point). In many cases, official forms are translated into other languages for the use of non-English-speaking residents, but the test that all immigrants must pass in order to qualify for citizenship is given in English.

Given the issue that was being debated, addressing a Senate Committee (especially one from Texas) in Spanish would be like attending a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus in Ku Klux Klan robes. Or going to a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in a Nazi uniform. Not illegal, but in very poor taste.


According to the data I found, 31.2% of Texans do not speak English in their home. http://articles.boston.com/2003-10-09/news/29195350_1_foreign-language-dominant-language-english Most of those, logic would suggest, have a vested interest in immigration laws. That's also pretty strong evidence that the US is a multi-lingual country, and explains why Texas has no legislatively identified official language.

Then there's this:
Quote:
These trends are also visible, but to a less extreme degree, in the Texas Legislature. African Americans and Latinos occupied 8.8 and 20.4 percent of all seats, respectively, in the 2001-2002 biennium. Women are also underrepresented in the state legislature, where they occupied approximately 20 percent of all seats in 2003-2004 biennium, despite accounting for more than half of the population. As with other elected offices, African Americans, Latinos, and women have all made substantial gains in winning state legislative seats in recent years, but their numbers still do not match their share of the population at large.
http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/10_5_2.html


And yet you compare speaking Spanish at this event to dressing in KKK robes, or a Nazi uniform? Again, I say, if you feel that people should only be allowed to address the Senate in English, without the help of a translator, then you are in effect saying that if you can not speak English, your opinion, and therefore rights, don't matter.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 11:30:40 PM

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Jebru wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
The United States is NOT a bi-lingual country.

ALL official business is conducted in English. ALL legal documents are written in English (and Latin, which is kind of a moot point). In many cases, official forms are translated into other languages for the use of non-English-speaking residents, but the test that all immigrants must pass in order to qualify for citizenship is given in English.

Given the issue that was being debated, addressing a Senate Committee (especially one from Texas) in Spanish would be like attending a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus in Ku Klux Klan robes. Or going to a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in a Nazi uniform. Not illegal, but in very poor taste.


According to the data I found, 31.2% of Texans do not speak English in their home. http://articles.boston.com/2003-10-09/news/29195350_1_foreign-language-dominant-language-english Most of those, logic would suggest, have a vested interest in immigration laws. That's also pretty strong evidence that the US is a multi-lingual country, and explains why Texas has no legislatively identified official language.


Show me any American legislative body that has adopted a multi-lingual Constitution or statutory code of law. If the laws were written in Spanish, then I'd say yes you have a decent argument. But they're not. They're written in English, by people that would prefer to be addressed in their own committee chambers in English. They can choose whom they want to address them, and they're saying that a person that has lived for 23 years in America should have learned enough English to address them so. Don't like it? Move to Texas, become a citizen, get elected to the Senate, and change things.

Jebru wrote:
Then there's this:
Quote:
These trends are also visible, but to a less extreme degree, in the Texas Legislature. African Americans and Latinos occupied 8.8 and 20.4 percent of all seats, respectively, in the 2001-2002 biennium. Women are also underrepresented in the state legislature, where they occupied approximately 20 percent of all seats in 2003-2004 biennium, despite accounting for more than half of the population. As with other elected offices, African Americans, Latinos, and women have all made substantial gains in winning state legislative seats in recent years, but their numbers still do not match their share of the population at large.
http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/10_5_2.html


And yet you compare speaking Spanish at this event to dressing in KKK robes, or a Nazi uniform? Again, I say, if you feel that people should only be allowed to address the Senate in English, without the help of a translator, then you are in effect saying that if you can not speak English, your opinion, and therefore rights, don't matter.




Quote the REST of what I said. Like showing up in KKK robes "at a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus". Like wearing a Nazi Uniform "to a meeting of the Anti-defamation League." Either of these events would be a grandstanding ploy with no other intent than to get people mad and garner attention for your cause. Either of these events would be rude. I would react the same if any of these things happened.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 11:35:10 PM

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latinfoxy wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:


Given the issue that was being debated, addressing a Senate Committee (especially one from Texas) in Spanish would be like attending a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus in Ku Klux Klan robes. Or going to a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League in a Nazi uniform. Not illegal, but in very poor taste.


Wow for me you were winning this argument till now! seriously are you comparing, a guy that yes i agree with you chose not to speak in English even though im pretty sure he does knows how to speak it and yes i agree that it was to get headlines and i think he went at it in the wrong way, but to compare them to a guy walking dress as the ku klux klan or nazi uniforms its going WAY to far!

Speaking Spanish cant be compare to dressing as murderers because if im correct thats just what you did, are you seriously trying to insinuate that he was as wrong as someone that goes to an specific group of people dressed as their worst enemies?? So what all Immigrant Mexicans are murderers or should be consider as worst as does people??

I really hope im understanding you all wrong!


No, Ms. Foxy - I'm not comparing him to a Nazi or a Klansman. I'm comparing one attention-getting act to any other. I purposely used extreme events (like a Klansman at a Black Congressional Caucus meeting) to make a point. It could be anyone, using any ploy as a device to garner attention - I'd still feel the same way.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:00:36 AM

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" Sen. Chris Harris, a Republican from Arlington, interrupted asking Aguirre’s interrupter, "Did I understand him correctly that he has been here since 1988?" Harris asked. "Why aren’t you speaking in English then?""




He could have said: "Sir, you are giving ammunition to those who want to turn English into the official language of the USA".
Catnip
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:21:10 AM

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I think the senator was obviously at fault here.
First of all, American English is the language of the USA, Spanish is one of the minority languages, and I assume it's one of the larger ones at that.
(Official or not)
This would make the speaker have the right to express himself in his language, he should also have the right to learn it in school and have English as his second language of education.
To not let him express himself in his own language, would be a crime to his human rights, if he has an interpreter then there should be no problems at all. If you go to the French government as an immigrated citizen of France with another native language, you should be allowed to talk in your native language with an interpreter if necessary and be heard on the same terms as any other person in the country. If you speak French fluent on your free time, shouldn't matter at all, if you feel more comfortable talking in your mother language, if the possibility is there, then you should.

The reason to why you have an interpreter is because you're going to be able to talk to one another on the same level, without one of you being inferior to the other. (Sometimes an accent can promote worse prejudice than another language.)

Well, that's my take on this discussion. Interesting topic.

Rembacher
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:35:02 AM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
Quote the REST of what I said. Like showing up in KKK robes "at a meeting of the Black Congressional Caucus". Like wearing a Nazi Uniform "to a meeting of the Anti-defamation League." Either of these events would be a grandstanding ploy with no other intent than to get people mad and garner attention for your cause. Either of these events would be rude. I would react the same if any of these things happened.


I don't see how this helps your point. That makes it seem even more callous and inflammatory than the portion I quoted. Wearing KKK robes to the general public is seen as a symbol of racism, hatred, and lynch mob killings. Same thing with the Nazi uniform, substituting death camps for lynch mobs. Now, do that to the specific groups that you suggested, and it is very much an intimidation tactic. A reminder, and hint, of the cruelest activities. Are you really implying that speaking through an interpreter hints of racially motivated murder, and if unchecked, genocide?

And yes, I see that you tell Foxy that this was supposed to be an example of attention getting actions, and that we were supposed to essentially ignore the actual meaning of the symbols you chose. But if you want it to be about the attention getting, and not about murder and hatred, why not choose another symbol?

So far, you've compared him to someone telling the French government what to do. The implication being that he is an arrogant narcissistic person who was trying to impose his will on a democratically elected body, when he had no authority to do so. Then you backed away from that, saying that it was just about the language, and the "telling them what to do" part was beside the point.

Then there was the comparison to Quebecois who feigned inability to speak the language to avoid repercussions for rules they broke. The implication here is that he's a conman who breaks the laws at best, is a criminal at worst, and is using the interpreter to mask his actions, and avoid punishment. Then you backed away from that, again saying that it was just about not speaking English. (never explaining why you gloss over the fact that he used an interpreter while your Quebecois did not)

And now we are on to comparing his use of an interpreter to wearing KKK or Nazi uniforms. The implications here is that his use of his mother tongue and an interpreter is a symbol of murder of anyone who doesn't look like him. But again you say, it's not about that, it's about the spectacle he created. But why use these inflammatory examples if you don't want people to make that comparison?

As for showing you an American legislative body that has adopted a multi-lingual Constitution or statutory code of law, a quick look at wikipedia tells me that Hawaii has English and Hawaiian as its official languages, Peurto Rico has English and Spanish, and there are a few others if you care to have a look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States
LoboSolo
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 7:33:50 AM

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MrNudiePants wrote:

Show me any American legislative body that has adopted a multi-lingual Constitution or statutory code of law.


Hawaiian is an official language of Hawaii ... as is English.

Otherwise, I agree with you.

Ferþu hal!
LoboSolo
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 8:42:15 AM

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cyrwr3gmail wrote:
There's no official languages in the US, speak and learn whatever you like if you feel that is just appropriate and sufficient ! :)


LEGAL immigrants who want to become citizens must know English:
. No person shall be naturalized as a citizen of the United States who cannot demonstrate: ... An understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write and and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language.
... ( Sec. 312. [8 U.S.C. 1423] )

English is the official language of about half the States ... including California (it's part of the CA constitution ... Art III, sec 6(b))

Ferþu hal!
LoboSolo
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:20:07 AM

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rxtales wrote:
I find it funny that so many Americans get upset about people not learning to speak English while they are living in the US. I have been to countries which are popular places for US expats to live, and they aren't able to speak the language.

I live in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This town relies very heavily on American tourists, so a lot of the mexicans here speak English. It's still Mexico though, and most people speak Spanish. There are a lot of American expats that live here, and the majority don´t speak a word of Spanish. I know several Americans who have been here 20+ years and can't speak simple Spanish.


I lived in Mexico for a few years and found many Americans who couldn't speak Spanish beyond a few pat phrases. They get satellite TV and satellite internet from the States are just enjoying life in Mexico.

Learning a language doesn't come easy for many and especially as they get older. So when you see a lot of expats who retire to Mexico or Costa Rica, they tend to find other expats and have their own community. They get by with a few English speakers among the Mexicans or take along an expat who does speak Spanish ... like me ... to translate for them.

If Mexico were an English speaking country, it would be overrun with Americans moving south ... Kind of like Belize.

Ferþu hal!
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 10:49:32 AM

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In this case I think the sen. was at fault. The guy was speaking Spanish to make sure that he could get his messages across properly. For people that learn English later in life, it can be very difficult to get the point across in the language. Using an interpreter is the proper way, in fact. This is simply to rule out possible misunderstandings. The president of my country speaks English perfectly since he studied in America for years, but when he has to meet foreign guests, he always speaks through an interpreter. Professional interpreters are trained to switch one language to the other in their heads, so they can deliver a message with less effort and with more accuracy.
Also, the sen. was simply rude cos he interrupted. Just that alone is disgraceful.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:44:24 PM

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Location: United States
Jebru wrote:
I don't see how this helps your point. That makes it seem even more callous and inflammatory than the portion I quoted. Wearing KKK robes to the general public is seen as a symbol of racism, hatred, and lynch mob killings. Same thing with the Nazi uniform, substituting death camps for lynch mobs. Now, do that to the specific groups that you suggested, and it is very much an intimidation tactic. A reminder, and hint, of the cruelest activities. Are you really implying that speaking through an interpreter hints of racially motivated murder, and if unchecked, genocide?

And yes, I see that you tell Foxy that this was supposed to be an example of attention getting actions, and that we were supposed to essentially ignore the actual meaning of the symbols you chose. But if you want it to be about the attention getting, and not about murder and hatred, why not choose another symbol?

So far, you've compared him to someone telling the French government what to do. The implication being that he is an arrogant narcissistic person who was trying to impose his will on a democratically elected body, when he had no authority to do so. Then you backed away from that, saying that it was just about the language, and the "telling them what to do" part was beside the point.

Then there was the comparison to Quebecois who feigned inability to speak the language to avoid repercussions for rules they broke. The implication here is that he's a conman who breaks the laws at best, is a criminal at worst, and is using the interpreter to mask his actions, and avoid punishment. Then you backed away from that, again saying that it was just about not speaking English. (never explaining why you gloss over the fact that he used an interpreter while your Quebecois did not)

And now we are on to comparing his use of an interpreter to wearing KKK or Nazi uniforms. The implications here is that his use of his mother tongue and an interpreter is a symbol of murder of anyone who doesn't look like him. But again you say, it's not about that, it's about the spectacle he created. But why use these inflammatory examples if you don't want people to make that comparison?

As for showing you an American legislative body that has adopted a multi-lingual Constitution or statutory code of law, a quick look at wikipedia tells me that Hawaii has English and Hawaiian as its official languages, Peurto Rico has English and Spanish, and there are a few others if you care to have a look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States


You keep on saying that I'm comparing Mr. Aguirre to a Nazi, or a Klansman. That's a lie. The only person I've ever compared Mr. Aguirre to was Mr. Aguirre. I've never called him arrogant or narcissistic, not have I called him a murderer. All I have done is used some (admittedly) extreme fictitious examples of rude behavior to show why I thought his behavior was rude. No more, no less. If you don't get it, fine, but don't lie about what I've said or posted. Being a liar automatically discredits your whole argument, and turns the Think Tank into a slander pit. Thanks, but no thanks.

To the best of my knowledge, the Constitution of the State of Hawai'i, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico were both written in English, as were their governing statutes. They may have been translated into other languages - probably were, after they were written and passed into law. This does nothing to negate my original challenge to you - a challenge that's still not been met.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:49:10 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,189
Location: United States
Pariswithlove wrote:
In this case I think the sen. was at fault. The guy was speaking Spanish to make sure that he could get his messages across properly. For people that learn English later in life, it can be very difficult to get the point across in the language. Using an interpreter is the proper way, in fact. This is simply to rule out possible misunderstandings. The president of my country speaks English perfectly since he studied in America for years, but when he has to meet foreign guests, he always speaks through an interpreter. Professional interpreters are trained to switch one language to the other in their heads, so they can deliver a message with less effort and with more accuracy.
Also, the sen. was simply rude cos he interrupted. Just that alone is disgraceful.


That's a good point, but in this case, I think the point is moot. Mr Aguirre could have easily made his point in English - maybe even better since his own life can be considered an American success story. He should have spoken for himself - the end result would have been more honest and impressive. And to defend the interrupting Senator, yes he was being rude as well, but it's his committee chambers - Mr Aguirre wasn't being forced to speak. It's the Senator's prerogative whether he wants to be rude or not, and it's up to the people that voted him into office to decide whether they like his actions or not.

BTW, Paris, welcome to the Think Tank! I look forward to many more insightful posts from you!
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 5:01:17 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart
Moderator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,813
I'm sure you're right, Nudes, no state constitution or laws are written in languages other than English. It's also true that this senator is a grandstanding, pompous ass who is taking full advantage of a divisive, hot-button issue which is soaked through with racial bias. I'm frankly surprised that the take-away here, from anyone's perspective, is that this guy was speaking Spanish in order to be a headline-stealing attention-whore. And beyond that, but certainly related to this issue, I have a hard time with the concept of actually being offended by people speaking other languages. Yes, the official language in (most parts of) the US is English, but so what? Is there some utopian uni-lingual vision of this country that people are emotionally dependent on realizing?

If it offends some big-fish/little-pond state Senator's parliamentary sensibilities that a speaker chose to use a translator, then he needs to check himself*. I think we'd all agree that it's harder to get by in any nation in which one doesn't speak the dominant or native language, but in this case, assuming he truly doesn't speak English, it's his problem, not ours. I guess he'd rather the guy struggle publicly through broken English, possibly not making his point effectively in the process? Speaking of Klansmen and Nazis, this stance seems rather evil and fascist, when you really think about it.



*unless it's all a political ploy, which of course it is.



Guest
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:47:11 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 652,394
You think you guys in the States have it bad? ...my oath; we have eleven official languages here (SA) - and that's no joke!!! ...not that there are too many that can speak them all. I, for one, only speak 2 of them and one other, but not fluently enough to get by without an interpreter. Just thought I would throw that out there to you that don't have an official language - LOL .......argue .............


Big Hugs
Rembacher
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 10:46:43 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,107
MrNudiePants wrote:
You keep on saying that I'm comparing Mr. Aguirre to a Nazi, or a Klansman. That's a lie. The only person I've ever compared Mr. Aguirre to was Mr. Aguirre. I've never called him arrogant or narcissistic, not have I called him a murderer. All I have done is used some (admittedly) extreme fictitious examples of rude behavior to show why I thought his behavior was rude. No more, no less. If you don't get it, fine, but don't lie about what I've said or posted. Being a liar automatically discredits your whole argument, and turns the Think Tank into a slander pit. Thanks, but no thanks.


Read my posts. I never said you called him a murderer. I said you intentionally used examples which brought up negative connotations and associations in people's minds, but were irrelevant to Mr. Aguirre. I know that you are smart enough to have not done this by accident, which is why I call you on it. As for whether I'm a liar, I think the people of lush have enough intelligence to see why I'm saying what I'm saying, and even if they don't agree with my interpretation of it.

But if you have to resort to calling me a liar to win this, that's cool.
lafayettemister
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:48:36 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,421
Location: Alabama, United States
I'm sure we'll never know, but I think the reason Mr Aguirre was speaking in Spanish and having an interpreter would have an impact on my thoughts. If he has trouble speaking or comprehending the English language, regardless of how long he's lived here.. then I don't have a problem with it. Although I don't beleive that to be the case. If he was speaking in Spanish to get a point across even though he is perfectly capably of speaking and comprehending in English... I think there are better ways to get his point across. That is some form of passive agreessive protest that I just don't get.

The Senator, yea he was rude and maybe being an ass. Does it make him a racists? No. He may very well be a racist, but objecting to Mr Aguirre in this way wasn't an indication of that.

Btw, it's entirely possible that both parties were wrong.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:51:19 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,189
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
I'm sure you're right, Nudes, no state constitution or laws are written in languages other than English. It's also true that this senator is a grandstanding, pompous ass who is taking full advantage of a divisive, hot-button issue which is soaked through with racial bias. I'm frankly surprised that the take-away here, from anyone's perspective, is that this guy was speaking Spanish in order to be a headline-stealing attention-whore. And beyond that, but certainly related to this issue, I have a hard time with the concept of actually being offended by people speaking other languages. Yes, the official language in (most parts of) the US is English, but so what? Is there some utopian uni-lingual vision of this country that people are emotionally dependent on realizing?

If it offends some big-fish/little-pond state Senator's parliamentary sensibilities that a speaker chose to use a translator, then he needs to check himself*. I think we'd all agree that it's harder to get by in any nation in which one doesn't speak the dominant or native language, but in this case, assuming he truly doesn't speak English, it's his problem, not ours. I guess he'd rather the guy struggle publicly through broken English, possibly not making his point effectively in the process? Speaking of Klansmen and Nazis, this stance seems rather evil and fascist, when you really think about it.



*unless it's all a political ploy, which of course it is.



Well, when all is said and done, my opinion is just that: my opinion, worth just what you paid for it. I do have some understanding of where the Senator is coming from - He has to pander to the people that elected him. How do the people down in the border towns feel about this issue? I can sympathize wholeheartedly with those people that want to give law enforcement officers the tools to more effectively do their job. Whether this proposed bill is the right tool or not remains to be seen.

Looked at another way - how was this Senator supposed to do any different? He was elected by a certain body of the public, to represent them and their points of view. Would his electorate have wanted him to raise this issue? Would they have agreed with his handling of things? If the answer is "yes" then he's doing his job, and doing it properly.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:59:39 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,189
Location: United States
Jebru wrote:


Read my posts. I never said you called him a murderer. I said you intentionally used examples which brought up negative connotations and associations in people's minds, but were irrelevant to Mr. Aguirre. I know that you are smart enough to have not done this by accident, which is why I call you on it. As for whether I'm a liar, I think the people of lush have enough intelligence to see why I'm saying what I'm saying, and even if they don't agree with my interpretation of it.

But if you have to resort to calling me a liar to win this, that's cool.


But the examples I used were relevant to this incident. Rude behavior is negative both in intent and in result. Sometimes people don't intend to be rude, but their behavior still can be seen as such. Not being a mind reader, I can't be absolutely certain of Mr. Aguirre's motives, but in my opinion his actions were just as deliberate as the Senator's, with the same intent - to raise awareness of an issue through any means necessary. He may have seen his motives as pure - but then again, so did Hitler. And no, I'm not likening Aguirre to Hitler.
Rembacher
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:11:09 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,107
MrNudiePants wrote:
Jebru wrote:


Read my posts. I never said you called him a murderer. I said you intentionally used examples which brought up negative connotations and associations in people's minds, but were irrelevant to Mr. Aguirre. I know that you are smart enough to have not done this by accident, which is why I call you on it. As for whether I'm a liar, I think the people of lush have enough intelligence to see why I'm saying what I'm saying, and even if they don't agree with my interpretation of it.

But if you have to resort to calling me a liar to win this, that's cool.


But the examples I used were relevant to this incident. Rude behavior is negative both in intent and in result. Sometimes people don't intend to be rude, but their behavior still can be seen as such. Not being a mind reader, I can't be absolutely certain of Mr. Aguirre's motives, but in my opinion his actions were just as deliberate as the Senator's, with the same intent - to raise awareness of an issue through any means necessary. He may have seen his motives as pure - but then again, so did Hitler. And no, I'm not likening Aguirre to Hitler.


Lol. So then why not Obama instead of Hitler? Both are controversial figures who are doing things which some people believe will destroy their countries, with the belief that they are pure, and helping. Obama has a large enough side who also say he is good, that's why not. There are so many people you could have chosen who have done wrong with pure intentions, and yet you chose to go with the person who is almost universally seen as the most evil man in the history of the world.

And while I'm here, I'll comment on this too:

MrNudiePants wrote:
Well, when all is said and done, my opinion is just that: my opinion, worth just what you paid for it. I do have some understanding of where the Senator is coming from - He has to pander to the people that elected him. How do the people down in the border towns feel about this issue? I can sympathize wholeheartedly with those people that want to give law enforcement officers the tools to more effectively do their job. Whether this proposed bill is the right tool or not remains to be seen.

Looked at another way - how was this Senator supposed to do any different? He was elected by a certain body of the public, to represent them and their points of view. Would his electorate have wanted him to raise this issue? Would they have agreed with his handling of things? If the answer is "yes" then he's doing his job, and doing it properly.


If this Senator's body of the public decides that the best way to get rid of illegal immigrants is to give the police the permission to enter any house suspected of housing illegal immigrants without a warrant, would you still be ok with that? Since the Senator would just be listening to his constituents and giving law enforcement the tools to more effectively do their jobs. Or would you be using that very example in another thread, about how the police are infringing on people's rights, and how you can't trust them? Especially if they happened to get an address wrong, or someone didn't update their address in government records after moving.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:36:34 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,189
Location: United States
Jebru wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:


But the examples I used were relevant to this incident. Rude behavior is negative both in intent and in result. Sometimes people don't intend to be rude, but their behavior still can be seen as such. Not being a mind reader, I can't be absolutely certain of Mr. Aguirre's motives, but in my opinion his actions were just as deliberate as the Senator's, with the same intent - to raise awareness of an issue through any means necessary. He may have seen his motives as pure - but then again, so did Hitler. And no, I'm not likening Aguirre to Hitler.


Lol. So then why not Obama instead of Hitler? Both are controversial figures who are doing things which some people believe will destroy their countries, with the belief that they are pure, and helping. Obama has a large enough side who also say he is good, that's why not. There are so many people you could have chosen who have done wrong with pure intentions, and yet you chose to go with the person who is almost universally seen as the most evil man in the history of the world.




MrNudiePants wrote:
Well, when all is said and done, my opinion is just that: my opinion, worth just what you paid for it. I do have some understanding of where the Senator is coming from - He has to pander to the people that elected him. How do the people down in the border towns feel about this issue? I can sympathize wholeheartedly with those people that want to give law enforcement officers the tools to more effectively do their job. Whether this proposed bill is the right tool or not remains to be seen.

Looked at another way - how was this Senator supposed to do any different? He was elected by a certain body of the public, to represent them and their points of view. Would his electorate have wanted him to raise this issue? Would they have agreed with his handling of things? If the answer is "yes" then he's doing his job, and doing it properly.


Jebru wrote:
If this Senator's body of the public decides that the best way to get rid of illegal immigrants is to give the police the permission to enter any house suspected of housing illegal immigrants without a warrant, would you still be ok with that? Since the Senator would just be listening to his constituents and giving law enforcement the tools to more effectively do their jobs. Or would you be using that very example in another thread, about how the police are infringing on people's rights, and how you can't trust them? Especially if they happened to get an address wrong, or someone didn't update their address in government records after moving.


Because history has proven Hitler to be a villain. The jury's still out on Obama. I could have just as easily said Pol Pot or Mao Zedong. Joseph Stalin, or even Fidel Castro. Would that have made you any happier?

No, I wouldn't be okay with police entering private dwellings without a warrant. Our Constitution forbids that. However there is legal (and Constitutional) precedent for stopping people and asking for their identifications, based on an officer's general expertise and experience. It's legal for an officer to ask someone for his ID (or other means of identification). It's not legal for him to violate their Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches.
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