Before I begin with this post, I’d like everyone to know and recognize that I am not racist or prejudiced in any shape or form. I would greatly appreciate that no one will even say that I am. That would be lying ladies and gentlemen. Now with that said, we can move on.
There is one problem here in the good old US of A that deeply bothers me – the language barrier that is commonly found between many of our citizens. Why is this? Well, it’s very simple. This is because some masses of people coming to the US speaking languages other than English decided not to learn it. I’m not nagging anyone that is just visiting our country. If a group of foreigners are just visiting the US for a week and use a translator, that’s fine, but when foreigners come to live here, not knowing or even bothering to learn English, well, that is a problem. I was under the impression that the US was founded by ENGLISH speaking people, not Spanish, Italian, Polish, German, or any other foreign language. English was the language this country was founded on and there should be absolutely no debates about what our primary language should be.
It’s gotten so bad here that our schools are requiring students to take a foreign language class. Notice the key word there is ‘requiring’ because I am not against people learning a second or third language, in fact, I think it’s a great idea for people to be bilingual. I just do not think that it should be a requirement so that we can communicate with people who speak only foreign languages in our own country. The point I’m trying to make here is that, other than our primary language being English, is that we Americans should be concerned with learning one specific language that should be the requirement…
American Sign Language!
The problem with society is that there is a great mass of people that do not realize how important it is to learn Sign Language. Maybe it’s because they don’t have experience with the deaf. I mean, I didn’t even realize it greatly until I started college 4 years ago, where in at least one of my classes each semester, there was an interpreter needed for the one deaf student in the class. According to some statistics I found, there are over 20 million people in America alone that are deaf/hard of hearing, and over half of them use Sign Language to communicate.
Okay, so those who are deaf can communicate with each other, but how would they know what non-deaf people are saying? The same way we know what a Spanish or Italian person is saying – we either learn the language or use a translator (who, I might point out, had to actually learn sign language), but keep in mind that a fully deaf person cannot really learn English because they cannot hear to learn the language.
So here’s my main point, the citizens of the United States should be more focused on learning to communicate with deaf people rather than foreigners speaking a different language who have the ability to learn to speak English. I’m not saying that learning other languages is not important, but learning Sign Language is just a little more important because deaf people are incapable of hearing these other languages, so there is no point in them learning to speak them. Also, I think there should be some kind of respect between everyone in the world to learn the country’s primary language if they are going to live there and that the people of the country should be focused on learning the language used to communicate with those who can’t hear (this includes all the countries of the world).
One last thing, you might have noticed I feel very strongly about this and this is true. I am slightly more biased about people learning ASL because there are people in my family who are deaf and hard of hearing. Now, I am not in any way fluent in ASL, but I am learning little by little so that I will be able to communicate with these family members.
Again, I just feel that we should make the requirements more focused on learning a language to communicate with those who can’t learn these various foreign languages.