OCALA, Fla., December 10, 2013 — In life, communication is everything.
While we can say a great deal without ever speaking one word, the importance of language stands without parallel. In today’s America, many no longer see the value in having a national language. For them, it is incomprehensible as to why English should be emphasized.
The reason for said mindset is multiculturalism. It is spreading across the Western world like wildfire. This has led not only to cultural barriers, but severe religious and ethnic conflicts.
“Adopting English as our official language would be a healthy step toward slowing and reversing multiculturalism,” Robert Vandervoort, the executive director of ProEnglish, explains to The Washington Times Communities. “The multiculturalists have moved many of our elites away from the idea of America being a Melting Pot nation.
“In the past, immigrants were expected to assimilate here if they wanted to be American. This doesn’t mean people cannot retain some of the unique cultural and linguistic customs they bring with them, much of which has enriched America. It does mean we do not promote other cultures and languages at the expense of our own common culture and language.”
Mauro E. Mujica is the chairman of U.S. English, a leading advocacy group for adopting English as America’s official language. Last year, he told TWTC that “(o)ften, I hear opponents of Official English claim that it is anti-immigrant, that it is English-only, or that its goal is to protect the status of the English language.
“None of these statements are true. No reasonable person argues that the English language is threatened. No reasonable person disagrees that bilingualism places one at an advantage. No reasonable person opposes the idea that one of America’s greatest strengths is our diversity.
“Declaring an official language allows us the opportunity to celebrate our differences and share the culture and background that makes each of us unique. A common language allows us a way to communicate and share the diversity that makes America great.”
Something rarely mentioned in our national immigration debate is money. At what cost does not having English as our official language come?
“We have been trying to get accurate estimates from the government, and they are hard to come by,” Vandervoort states. “Right now, we have a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how much Obamacare translators are costing us. Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius, who oversees Obamacare, recently boasted about offering it in 150 different languages. We hope to find out how much that is costing Americans soon.
“If your readers check out our website at proenglish.org, they will find a link we provide to a study by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2002. The OMB estimated translation costs of around $2 billion a year, which has certainly gone up since the study was done. It is clearly very costly to the taxpayer.”
Fare more importantly than money, some claim that by not having an official language, any given country’s social fabric is bound to tear apart. While this stance is controversial, it can be difficult to refute on a factual basis.
“One need only look at the experience with Canada, where they continue to have a conflict between French-speaking Quebec and the English-speaking provinces,” Vandervoort remarks. “Language is not the only factor that relates to the social cohesion of a nation, however it is one of the more important ones.”
Mujica had something similar to say.
“Official English will serve as a balance - it will allow Americans to continue to speak in whatever language they choose in their daily lives, while also ensuring that we are all bound by a common, shared language,” he explained. “In order to remain a cohesive nation, we must remain united in our diversity, and a common language allows us to do that.”
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