Why the discrimination against all other foreign languages that aren't Spanish?
November 11, 2008 by admin
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.