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#77 Feb 06 2014 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
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Honestly, English is a terrible language to learn.
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English is a grammatically simple language that's much easier to learn than most if not all other languages I know.

English violates its own rules willy-nilly, just because it can. We're allowed to make up new words in English whenever we feel like it, and if they get popular enough the OED might even make them official. We rob other languages of their words for fun.

About the only positive thing about English as a language is because it's got so many words, either made up wholesale or stolen from other languages, that it has the ability to describe details that other languages have to make idioms to describe. English is great at nuance, probably better than any other language. (Japanese and Chinese achieve that same kind of nuance through character choices, but that only works through writing.)
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#78 Feb 06 2014 at 9:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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Catwho wrote:
English violates its own rules willy-nilly, just because it can. We're allowed to make up new words in English whenever we feel like it, and if they get popular enough the OED might even make them official. We rob other languages of their words for fun.

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#79 Feb 06 2014 at 9:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Catwho wrote:
We rob other languages of their words for fun.


*looks down at my sig*

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#80 Feb 06 2014 at 9:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji must be a real killjoy on It's a Small World ride.

Just to keep you honest gbaji, (as you're already apparently a bit loco) can you please cite some evidence that supports your theory that non-English speaking immigrants to the US are unwilling to learn English?

plz.


I mean, to be fair, there are people who see no particular reason to learn English. Why? Because they live in areas of the US where it's not needed. They have access to services and systems that allow them to live just fine using the language they know already. The more diverse an area becomes, the higher its capability to support those groups becomes. You end up with more ethnic groceries with multilingual staff, you end up with restaurants that are fully capable of taking orders in other languages, you probably even have access to news sources (at least for state and federal news) in your language. And then you can often get local news in your own language through local groups, like churches or other community organizations.

What gbaji is so angry about, even if he doesn't want to admit it, is that A, this diversity is increasing and these peoples can live in new areas than they used to (suburbs with increasing frequency, where it used to be solidly cities), and that B, this means they aren't dying to adopt his cultural values and morals (because anything different is evil from his perspective).

And what's most pathetic is that these people call a Chinese place for food and feel like they've been dealt a personal injustice that the person on the other end of the phone doesn't speak perfect English. Yeah, sometimes placing an order is a harrowing experience. But I can't say I've ever felt my liberty was threatened because of it, and I can count the number of times my order was wrong on one hand.

See, that's why multiculturalism is so "dangerous." It's not that it doesn't add richness to our lives. It's that it exposes us to different ways of thought, different ways to do things. And that's really scary, if you're terrified of anything that isn't specifically what you believe.
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#81 Feb 06 2014 at 10:01 AM Rating: Good
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Catwho wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Catwho wrote:
Honestly, English is a terrible language to learn.
Smiley: dubious
English is a grammatically simple language that's much easier to learn than most if not all other languages I know.

English violates its own rules willy-nilly, just because it can. We're allowed to make up new words in English whenever we feel like it, and if they get popular enough the OED might even make them official. We rob other languages of their words for fun.
Have you tried learning French? There are too **** many exceptions of grammar rules and exceptions of exceptions, German has the whole different cases or whatever it's called. It's a royal pain anyway and Finnish has even more of them, impossible to learn language that is (though it sounds nice).

English mainly has a crapload of words but you can learn those gradually and still make perfect sense.

And every language steals words from others left and right, **** "selfie" is in the Dutch dictionaries now.
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#82 Feb 06 2014 at 10:03 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Elinda wrote:
gbaji must be a real killjoy on It's a Small World ride.

Just to keep you honest gbaji, (as you're already apparently a bit loco) can you please cite some evidence that supports your theory that non-English speaking immigrants to the US are unwilling to learn English?

plz.


I mean, to be fair, there are people who see no particular reason to learn English. Why? Because they live in areas of the US where it's not needed. They have access to services and systems that allow them to live just fine using the language they know already. The more diverse an area becomes, the higher its capability to support those groups becomes. You end up with more ethnic groceries with multilingual staff, you end up with restaurants that are fully capable of taking orders in other languages, you probably even have access to news sources (at least for state and federal news) in your language. And then you can often get local news in your own language through local groups, like churches or other community organizations.
Nice hypothesis. I'll ask you also, is there any evidence that supports it?

I would expect rather quick proficiency in English, for young people at least as they're so bombarded with it now with the internet, cell/smart phones etc. - even if native language continues to be the main one used in the home.

Also, has the number of these non-english speaking immigrants that simply see no reason to 'assimilate' themselves and/or learn to speak passing english grown disproportionately to the total number of non-english speaking immigrants?

There are a lot of claims being made in this thread - not a single piece of evidence that supports any of them.

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#83 Feb 06 2014 at 10:05 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Catwho wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Catwho wrote:
Honestly, English is a terrible language to learn.
Smiley: dubious
English is a grammatically simple language that's much easier to learn than most if not all other languages I know.

English violates its own rules willy-nilly, just because it can. We're allowed to make up new words in English whenever we feel like it, and if they get popular enough the OED might even make them official. We rob other languages of their words for fun.
Have you tried learning French? There are too **** many exceptions of grammar rules and exceptions of exceptions, German has the whole different cases or whatever it's called. It's a royal pain anyway and Finnish has even more of them, impossible to learn language that is (though it sounds nice).

English mainly has a crapload of words but you can learn those gradually and still make perfect sense.

And every language steals words from others left and right, **** "selfie" is in the Dutch dictionaries now.
Selfie is the first entry in my Earth Language Dictionary.

Maybe the global language should be called Terran, or Giaish???




Edited, Feb 6th 2014 5:06pm by Elinda
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#84 Feb 06 2014 at 10:09 AM Rating: Good
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I vote for calling it ****** speak cause you know only annoying things are going to end up in that dictionary.
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YOU'RE AN ELITIST @#%^ AETHIEN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
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Aethien you take more terrible pictures than a Japanese tourist.
Astarin wrote:
One day, Maz, you'll learn not to click on anything Aeth links.
#85 Feb 06 2014 at 10:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Have you tried learning French?
Yes. Then midway through learning it my French teacher decided she wanted to run off with a truck driver. I'm not sure any of us learned a thing that last year. Smiley: lol

Then in college switched to Chinese, and that was much more enjoyable.

Elinda wrote:
There are a lot of claims being made in this thread - not a single piece of evidence that supports any of them.
How about appealing to friends we have and making claims that no one can verify? Because I know several immigrants through work (seriously, we don't do our own Science in this country anymore), and they all wish they knew more English. Out of the ones who have kids, the kids universally know more English than their parents.
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#86 Feb 06 2014 at 10:14 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
I vote for calling it ****** speak cause you know only annoying things are going to end up in that dictionary.

I fear everyone would just talk s l o w e r if you said '****** speak'.

I like Terran myself. We really need to decide on a global language though - before the 'encounter'.
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#87 Feb 06 2014 at 10:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I mean, to be fair, there are people who see no particular reason to learn English. Why? Because they live in areas of the US where it's not needed. They have access to services and systems that allow them to live just fine using the language they know already. The more diverse an area becomes, the higher its capability to support those groups becomes. You end up with more ethnic groceries with multilingual staff, you end up with restaurants that are fully capable of taking orders in other languages, you probably even have access to news sources (at least for state and federal news) in your language. And then you can often get local news in your own language through local groups, like churches or other community organizations.

This is true, but it doesn't create a lasting problem since subsequent generations are picking up English just as fast, if not faster, than previous generations. So, again, the "permanent enclave resident" issue isn't a realistic one. A neighborhood may remain Spanish but people from specific generations will move out and in "real" English society.

One thing that is happening is that businesses realize that brown people have money too and targeting first generation immigrants in their native tongue is good business. So businesses cater to immigrants outside the strict neighborhoods where all the signs are in Spanish*. Even in the "English" parts of town you see bus advertisements in Spanish and have to pick between two or three languages on the ATM or see "Habla Espanol" on a car dealership sign. And this is what really drives the xenophobes insane. They point to a banking ATM as evidence that American society is crumbling and new immigrants don't have to learn English -- but those ATMs are there to appeal to first generation immigrants and have no effect on traditional rates of language assimilation.

The real irony here is that these are all free market decisions. There's no leftist conspiracy here, there's capitalistic ventures saying "We can make extra cash by putting a Spanish language option on our phone menus." Companies are looking at a demographic and saying "Let's get their money by catering to them" and it drives some people absolutely bonkers because now that Spanish language Swiffer billboard means American culture is under attack. The real concern here isn't that future generations won't learn English; that worry has been completely debunked. No, the real concern is that they have to see the signs of an emerging non-white population from a non-English speaking homeland moving outside of the previously safe ghetto boundaries.

*Or Chinese, Polish, etc but let's be honest and say no one is really throwing a fit about the "Mówimy Po Polsku" signs at the currency exchange.

Edited, Feb 6th 2014 10:27am by Jophiel
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#88 Feb 06 2014 at 10:25 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Elinda wrote:
gbaji must be a real killjoy on It's a Small World ride.

Just to keep you honest gbaji, (as you're already apparently a bit loco) can you please cite some evidence that supports your theory that non-English speaking immigrants to the US are unwilling to learn English?

plz.


I mean, to be fair, there are people who see no particular reason to learn English. Why? Because they live in areas of the US where it's not needed. They have access to services and systems that allow them to live just fine using the language they know already. The more diverse an area becomes, the higher its capability to support those groups becomes. You end up with more ethnic groceries with multilingual staff, you end up with restaurants that are fully capable of taking orders in other languages, you probably even have access to news sources (at least for state and federal news) in your language. And then you can often get local news in your own language through local groups, like churches or other community organizations.
Nice hypothesis. I'll ask you also, is there any evidence that supports it?

I would expect rather quick proficiency in English, for young people at least as they're so bombarded with it now with the internet, cell/smart phones etc. - even if native language continues to be the main one used in the home.

Also, has the number of these non-english speaking immigrants that simply see no reason to 'assimilate' themselves and/or learn to speak passing english grown disproportionately to the total number of non-english speaking immigrants?

There are a lot of claims being made in this thread - not a single piece of evidence that supports any of them.



I didn't make any argument about population/percentages increasing or decreasing? I only said that it's becoming increasingly common for minority populations to form communities outside of cities. Or maybe that's a trend specific to NJ, which is fully possible, but there are plenty of large Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern and South/Central American communities that have appeared and grown here in the past few decades.

To be clear, I meant that almost exclusively for immigrants, not children living or born here. Kids tend to naturally learn English super quickly without any effort. The coworker I mentioned earlier in the thread? Her small daughter speaks English just as well as Arabic, even though they almost exclusively speak Arabic at home, because her live-in grandmother (who watches her during the day) speaks no English.

She picked it up from television, listening to her parents when they're out or on the phone, when her sister is talking to friends, etc.

I also think that's a big part of how these communities survive. Kids support parents in the instances where they can't communicate, and they increase the population of multilingual peoples in the group.

My only point here is that the areas in which someone can live comfortably without knowing English are growing and becoming less bound to Urban centers.

I didn't make any argument about population. Whether or not it's more or less common for immigrants to speak English, I don't know. I don't even know if the population of immigrants who can speak English is equal to, less than, or greater than what it was 50 years ago.

I just know there are far more areas of the US that a person who can't speak English could comfortably live now than 50 years ago. And I suspect that this drives people like gbaji, with their xenophobic desires for little white, structured suburbs, crazy.
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#89 Feb 06 2014 at 10:29 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:

This is true, but it doesn't create a lasting problem since subsequent generations are picking up English just as fast, if not faster, than previous generations. So, again, the "permanent enclave resident" issue isn't a realistic one. A neighborhood may remain Spanish but people from specific generations will move out and in "real" English society.


I agree completely. I was just trying to point out that immigrants exist who don't have a desire to learn English, because they're living in cultural communities that enable them to live without English.

Which ties into your free market observation - these people have money to spend, and the more places enabling access, the more places they may visit.

Their kids absolutely tend to learn English, very quickly. And I'm guessing kids who move here from foreign nations learn English more now than they used to (though I don't have statistics), I'm just judging by the fact that things like ESL courses are more common.
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#90 Feb 06 2014 at 10:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I didn't make any argument about population/percentages increasing or decreasing? I only said that it's becoming increasingly common for minority populations to form communities outside of cities. Or maybe that's a trend specific to NJ, which is fully possible, but there are plenty of large Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern and South/Central American communities that have appeared and grown here in the past few decades.
I read something like that on the CNN site not too long ago. They were focusing on NY/NJ in-particular and how more and more the traditional ethic communities in the cities are being priced out, leaving them not much more than refuges for people who have money and want more international cuisine on the menu.

IIRC the trend isn't limited to your area, but you're certainly the best case of it.
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#91 Feb 06 2014 at 10:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I didn't make any argument about population/percentages increasing or decreasing? I only said that it's becoming increasingly common for minority populations to form communities outside of cities. Or maybe that's a trend specific to NJ, which is fully possible, but there are plenty of large Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern and South/Central American communities that have appeared and grown here in the past few decades.

Immigrant groups have always formed enclaves where it was comfortable for them. I think you may be seeing more of them outside of the cities because there just isn't enough available real estate in the cities to form a comfortably large new Pakistani or Vietnamese or whatever neighborhood. Plus property costs and all that and so they just congregate in a suburban area instead.

But it's nothing truly new. For as much as we imagine urban groups of Irish, Italian, Chinese, Slavic, etc neighborhoods, there was also large ethnic enclaves of Swedes and Germans in the rural upper Midwest and things like that. I had a friend back in 80's whose family would take me on a weekend trip into Wisconsin to some town that was 100% Swedish. Signs, language, food, etc. It was like going to another country just as much as going to Chinatown or a Spanish neighborhood.
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#92 Feb 06 2014 at 10:37 AM Rating: Good
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The problem is that once the minority stops being a minority they'll need a new politically correct term to label and demonize them with. Smiley: frown

Edited, Feb 6th 2014 11:37am by lolgaxe
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#93 Feb 06 2014 at 10:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I agree completely. I was just trying to point out that immigrants exist who don't have a desire to learn English, because they're living in cultural communities that enable them to live without English.

That's always been the case though. Chinese people immigrated to Chinatown and Greeks immigrated to Greektown and Italians to Little Italy for a reason. Because it was easy to live there without the need to speak/read English. Some did, sure. Maybe even a majority learned passable fluency. But the ethnic enclave was always a place for comfort in culture and language and you could get groceries or buy a new kitchen table without stumbling over unfamiliar words to a ****** off English speaking shop owner.
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#94 Feb 06 2014 at 10:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
The problem is that once the minority stops being a minority they'll need a new politically correct term to label and demonize them with. Smiley: frown
Some are already playing the "we're persecuted!" card as a majority. I can't imagine that'll let up as the numbers shrink.
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#95 Feb 06 2014 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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Around 40 seconds it looked like they MIGHT have implied there were two *** men with a child however it could just as easily been 2 brothers, 2 friends.

I think some people just need an excuse to stir the pot.
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#96 Feb 06 2014 at 11:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Children should be with the women. Smiley: motz
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#97 Feb 06 2014 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Children should be with the women. Smiley: motz


Who says that the two guys weren't post-op?
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#98 Feb 06 2014 at 11:14 AM Rating: Good
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The US counted almost 12 million foreign immigrants to the US in the last decade. In fact, if anyone cared to check you can see that most of the population growth in the US is from immigration. So sure, there are more first gen immigrants around and in fact they make up a larger percentage of over-all population since the waves of immigrants we say just after the turn of last century.

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#99 Feb 06 2014 at 11:48 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I agree completely. I was just trying to point out that immigrants exist who don't have a desire to learn English, because they're living in cultural communities that enable them to live without English.

That's always been the case though. Chinese people immigrated to Chinatown and Greeks immigrated to Greektown and Italians to Little Italy for a reason. Because it was easy to live there without the need to speak/read English. Some did, sure. Maybe even a majority learned passable fluency. But the ethnic enclave was always a place for comfort in culture and language and you could get groceries or buy a new kitchen table without stumbling over unfamiliar words to a ****** off English speaking shop owner.


I know, all I really wanted to point out is that these cultural enclaves are more visible to the typical American now, because of the impression that they're "invading." When the cultural enclaves were in the cities, grouped together and largely out of sight by suburbanites, it was easy to partition these groups off from "typical" American suburban culture.

But now that these cultural enclaves are moving into suburbs more frequently, these groups feel threatened by the exposure to the different. Suddenly, they aren't only seeing things perfectly tailored to the suburban white family, they're seeing multiracial advertisements, and multiple language menus, and (god forbid) mosques, synagogues, etc.

The end result is that these people feel their way of life is under attack, because their suburbs aren't perfectly uniform anymore.

It IS true that cultural enclaves have existed in suburbs for a long time. But the trend of attacking those enclaves isn't particularly new. Being a German in the Midwest during WWI, for instance, when they were passing laws to ban the speaking of German.

But because the idea of a suburb has been nationalized, because of nationalized news and media, combined with the higher rate these enclaves are appearing in suburbs, these people feel more under attack.

The reality is that cities are increasingly catering to the upper-middle/upper classes now, instead of lower classes. But the same perception isn't racially drawn along class lines, so these people still belong in Chinatown, not next door.
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#100 Feb 06 2014 at 12:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
these people still belong in Chinatown, not next door.

Racist.

Speaking of houses of worship, we need more folks from India and the like around here. Those dudes make some pretty sweet looking temples.
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#101 Feb 06 2014 at 12:20 PM Rating: Good
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Children also naturally pick up language pronunciation faster than adults, so while an adult language learner might have a better command of vocabulary in the new language, the kid is going to sound better since they mimic the language they hear better. This facilitates overall better communication between the kids and mainstream culture, and their learning accelerates as a result.

The nail salon I go to is run by Vietnamese immigrants. (Pretty common.) The grandma who owns the shop is bilingual, but barely. Her kids (two adults, one youngster) are 100% bilingual, and they are raising the 3rd generation that way as well. Some of the rest of the family members (her son-in-law's father, a cousin, etc) barely speak any English at all. But they don't need to, since her adult kids are always around to translate in a pinch.
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