“If you live in this country they should make you learn English.” I’ve heard that quite a few times in my life and they must be pretty angry about it to say it in front of my face since I”m a visible minority. Do I understand their reasons for being angry? Yes but it is a selfish and a closed minded way of looking at it. Who wants to be understanding when you can rooooaaarrrrrrr instead.
From what I gather the only time they really get pissed off about it is when it affects their day. For example, I used to work retail and there would be customers who didn’t speak English very well so my English only comprehending coworkers would get frustrated and decided in order to justify their frustrations they needed to blame someone else.
The crap thing about it is even I get a little frustrated in those situations and I come from a whole family of immigrants who either don’t speak English or don’t speak it very well. Who knows, I’d might be like the rest of my coworkers if that wasn’t my background.
You have to keep in mind that immigrants tend to come to English speaking countries for a better life. A better life usually meaning working lots and raising kids. There isn’t much time and energy outside of that to learn a whole new language especially if you’re able to get by without it. How many people do you know work full time, have kids and go to school? I don’t even like doing any one of those things at one time.
What difference does it make to anyone’s life if some strangers don’t understand English? For a person to not know how to speak English, living in an English speaking country would be more of their problem than anyone else’s. They have to go about life living in a box or to get out of that box they have to get someone who speaks English to take them out of it.
It’s easy for someone who’s been living in an English speaking country all their life to just tell someone to go and learn English but it’s not easy. How many languages do you speak? Probably just English and if you’re like me, English and barely another language. I wouldn’t be able to get much done with my second language in my home country and I’ve been semi exposed to it all my life.
I’m Canadian and having French class is mandatory in part of your elementary and high school life. My French blows and always blew. If someone spoke to me in French at my pinnacle I wouldn’t understand shit. They’d have to write it down and draw pictures that had arrows pointing to the words and then act it out like Charades then I’d probably still nod and smile.
Although, there’s many immigrants who don’t speak English very well most of them work pretty hard. Employment is generally the most important aspect of life to them. Don’t speak a any Engleesh, it’s ok cause everyone understands money. That also means paying taxes which supports a social system. A social system that gives welfare to people who have lived in a privileged country all their lives and have taken it for granted. If you go to all the fast food joints here in Vancouver it’s mostly all immigrant workers because no one else wants to do those jobs. Welfare is easier.
I just wish people wouldn’t be so redneckish about it. Life is already hectic as it is and learning a whole new language is not easy at all unless if you’re put in all the right situations. Actually, I don’t even think rednecks really speak English, do they?