Senor Obama, can you please explain to me why children need to be taught Spanish?
English is spoken in 104 countries around the world. It is estimated that up to 25% of the WORLD’s population could understand and /or speak some English. It is a language most people use when traveling to foreign countries, not just Americans and it is also used diplomatically around the world. While English does not have the most native speakers in the world, Chinese and Hindi have more native speakers, it does have more native speakers than the Spanish language. It is also an official (not national) language in 52 countries around the world.
Nations In Which English Is An Official Language
(Source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 2002)
English is also used in 75% of all communications and 90% of internet traffic is in English. More than half of the radio programs worldwide are broadcast in English. And while we may never know or speak all of them, English trumps all other languages in the number of words available to its speakers to express themselves, Spanish has fewer than 100,000 words.
Additionally Monsieur Obama, Americans do not expect foreign citizens to speak only English as they travel the globe just as foreigners don’t expect Americans to know their language as they travel our land. That is like saying the French expect the Italians to speak French when they are traveling in their country. People in other countries are taught English as a means to interact with each other, not just to appease those Americans.
You are correct in saying that Americans should learn a foreign language, Latin was my choice and while I can’t speak it the lessons helped me gather English word meanings and spellings more than I can count. But you are wrong in saying that Americans are ignorant because they don’t learn a second language for business or travel. Americans should learn a foreign language they are interested in for personal as well as their own cultural reasons. Spanish should not be forced on every American child or adult just so that they can speak to their neighbors who asked to be citizens in this country.
No one should ever feel like a foreigner in their own country, but I fear more Americans are beginning to feel that way as they continue to have to press 1 for English. So consider this Sen Obama the next time you are on the phone and are asked to press 1 for English. When the Chinese and Germans came to this country at the turn of the last century, they were not given the courtesy of pressing 2 for Chinese or German. They learned English and their culture lived on and became part of America today.
Note: this will not be translated into Spanish and facts were found at http://anthro.palomar.edu/language/language_1.htm