Today Sarah Palin expressed her belief that people in the United States should speak “American.”
People in the United States need to remember that while this is the United States of America, and sometimes is referred to as America, this does not, in fact, apply to languages.
It’s like saying we have our own language in the United States, which is also not true because the UK, Australia, Liberia and other countries speak English as their official language.
When U.S. citizens move to the other countries, the other countries don’t demand they learn the language. What is so wrong with the idea that someone doesn’t speak English or doesn’t want to speak English.
People are often very worried about English dying out, but linguistics know that it’s very difficult to fluently speak a second language when you are not living in the country it is spoken.
For example, someone who learns Spanish as a child in a country that largely speaks English will have a very difficult time speaking Spanish as well as someone who lives in Spain or anywhere in Central or South America.
In saying that English is “an important U.S. value to uphold and protect.”
I think people fail to remember that the United States actually has no official language.
To her credit, Palin wants to unite the country through English, but I think she picked the wrong aspect to rally around.
There are so many things that unite the United States that are much more important than language.
For example, religious freedom, a sense of democracy or freedom in general and enjoying one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Language has always been an important identifier of culture, it is one of the most common ways to distinguish different cultures.
But America is built on diversity and is diverse in every sense.
Why shouldn’t our language be diverse as well.