Why the discrimination against all other foreign languages that aren't Spanish?

November 11, 2008 by  

What's so special about Spanish that it's the only other language on our phone systems (you know, "Para español, oprima numero dos")? It's only the fourth most widely spoken language in the world. Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language on our planet (850 million native speakers). Hindi is second, English is third. Shouldn't we have Mandarin and Hindi in our systems too?

In the US, especially California, there's quite a large number of Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Khmer and Armenian speakers. Where's their number?

There are well over 500 languages on our planet. Since we can't put every single one into our phone system, and since we can't discriminate against any other minority foreign languages, like Swahili or Uzbekistani, there's an easier solution… everyone learns English! No favoritism toward one language or another. We've been using English since this country began, and we should be using English today, 230 years later.
BTW, before any of you criticize me as a stupid English-only American, I do happen to speak French quite fluently (7 1/2 yrs of study), a little Italian (2 1/2 yrs of study) and am currently learning Korean (my native language). I will one day also know Hawaiian, Portuguese and Flemish. For those of you who are mathematically-challenged, that's SIX foreign languages that I will eventually know. Is it too much to ask of all the Latinos that come here to eventually learn ONE foreign language?

well, if the others like the French, Koreans, Vietnamese, Swahili, and Uzbekistanis would get a lobby and a following, perhaps they would also get a number on the caller response automata.

There is no market, except that in the Northeast (because of proximity to Canada), there are occasional systems with French Prompts.

However, you may be pleased to know, that the Japanese are adding Korean to the list of languages used for transliterating subway and train station signs. (No translating, that would be too easy).

Of course, if you go to Spain, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that the languages spoken on this side of the Atlantic are even Spanish!

In California, where there are 37 million people, more than 1/3 are Hispanic. Only 12 % are Asian, and the Asian population includes 39 distinct ethnic groups who identify themselves as Asian, not Pacific Islander. (Cit: US Encyclopedia of Public Health, US Pop. Data, 2005, Census Bureau).

So, you feel that where 13 million Spanish speakers live, along with another 22 million English speakers, you want to claim discrimination because the approximately 1 million Koreans don't get a fair shake from the telemarketing companies?

I speak 3 other languages, and I don't think it's discrimination, it's market forces and the dominant culture.

Please note that Chinese and the Hindis aren't part of the dominant culture here.

Just wanted to get that off my chest, thanks.

So,

Comments

7 Responses to “Why the discrimination against all other foreign languages that aren't Spanish?”

  1. Sarah Says on November 11th, 2008 4:28 am

    Well, I have found that most of the people that speak Spanish in this country don't even try to learn English! I live near Miami and I HATE going there. Most of them aren't even citizens! Honestly though, I don't blame it all on them. Because of the community, they don't have to learn English. Everyone else complies with the fact that they know nothing about our language. I mean, we've started putting Spanish as a choice on automated systems! This has actually made me mad enough to where I've refused to learn Spanish, even though it would be the best move. I took French for 5 years and I have been working on the German language for 1.
    References :

  2. AnthonyH on November 11th, 2008 5:12 am

    look at china and India's populations, then you will see why that is true. as for your question the us harbors a ton of Spanish speakers and companies or whatever would want to appeal to this massive population. although there are certainly other prominent languages none compare to the sheer numbers that Spanish holds. i would not mind other language options but there is a point where it would get absurd. a solution would be to state your preference of language, but i doubt anybody would take on such an enterprise. the us has no federal language, so youre going to just have to bare with it.
    References :

  3. Longshiren on November 11th, 2008 5:22 am

    well, if the others like the French, Koreans, Vietnamese, Swahili, and Uzbekistanis would get a lobby and a following, perhaps they would also get a number on the caller response automata.

    There is no market, except that in the Northeast (because of proximity to Canada), there are occasional systems with French Prompts.

    However, you may be pleased to know, that the Japanese are adding Korean to the list of languages used for transliterating subway and train station signs. (No translating, that would be too easy).

    Of course, if you go to Spain, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that the languages spoken on this side of the Atlantic are even Spanish!

    In California, where there are 37 million people, more than 1/3 are Hispanic. Only 12 % are Asian, and the Asian population includes 39 distinct ethnic groups who identify themselves as Asian, not Pacific Islander. (Cit: US Encyclopedia of Public Health, US Pop. Data, 2005, Census Bureau).

    So, you feel that where 13 million Spanish speakers live, along with another 22 million English speakers, you want to claim discrimination because the approximately 1 million Koreans don't get a fair shake from the telemarketing companies?

    I speak 3 other languages, and I don't think it's discrimination, it's market forces and the dominant culture.

    Please note that Chinese and the Hindis aren't part of the dominant culture here.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest, thanks.

    So,
    References :

  4. animavecchia on November 11th, 2008 5:43 am

    Une bonne question. Je dirai que l'espagnol est devenu la langue de base a cause de notre proximite' aux pays hispanophones. De plus, nous y resistons le moins. Il faut rappeler qu'aux E.U. on veut que tout soit *applicable* et *utile* on rationalise que l'espagnol l'est.
    References :

  5. Pancholopez on November 11th, 2008 6:09 am

    Spanish is as special as any other language, but don't forget that you are living in the #1 capitalistic country and that the largest minority in it is the Hispanic. So, in this case $$$$$$ is what makes Spanish special.
    References :

  6. K Wolf on March 4th, 2009 1:10 pm

    The reason Koreans, Japanese, Cambodians, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Indian, and all other folks from other countries do not have a telephone prompt in their language is THEY LEARN ENGLISH!! That is the main reason people from these countries flourish in American Capitalism, while the poverty rate amoung Hispanics continues to climb.

  7. shadow on June 6th, 2011 3:28 am

    lol. this is funny

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