What I Think About Your Language

I don’t care.

First off, I’ve been writing on my tablet lately. Like, with my pen. Like handwriting. Writing by hand. Which is actually kind of a silly phrase because I’m typing with my hands, too. I’m just not holding a pen. It’s not like I’m writing with some sort of automated writing robot, so technically I’m writing manually whether I’m using a pen or a keyboard.

Anyway

One of the kids at work was kind of half speaking Spanish. You know how you might say “gracias” instead of “thanks” but you’re not speaking in Spanish, you’re just saying thanks in Spanish.

Or you might say something in another language for emphasis. My dad has the kids at school repeat “capisci” instead of saying “I understand.” They probably just think he’s saying a funny word.

Or you might say something in another language just to look cool. As if to say, “yeah, I know how to speak another language, because, unlike you, I am a well educated intellectual.”

So, she said something in Spanish, but like only half in Spanish.

And it was then I realized my stance on the whole “language war.”

BTW, that’s my term. I’ve never actually heard someone call it that. So, let me explain what it is.

If you ask older Americans what they think about immigrants coming to America and continuing to speak their native language, you’re likely to hear things like:

“This is America! Speak English!”

“I’m not talking to you if you don’t speak English”

“Teach your kids to speak English or get them out of my school.”

Ironically, if you went over to Japan and tried to get food from a restaurant speaking English, you’d probably run into the same problem. But the experience “these” people would take away from this would be “these people need to get educated and learn how to communicate.” Whereas the Japanese people who are trying to serve you are probably thinking “jerk thinks he can come to Japan and I’m just supposed to speak English…”

Either way, people do like to talk to others in their native language. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live.

However, some people are more adamant about it, going so far as to reject talking to people just because they don’t speak the same language.

But that’s not me.

I have never really cared about what language you speak. Even if you decide to move to America and continue to teach your children your native language, I really don’t care. That’s up to you.

But I don’t speak anything other than English. If YOU want to talk TO ME, you’re going to have to speak English. Conversely, if I need to talk TO YOU, I will attempt to communicate the way you need me to. And that goes for people who can’t even speak, as well. If I need to talk to a deaf person I’m not going to insist that they suddenly learn to activate their eardrums just so they can hear my voice and process my conversation. That would be stupid. The same goes for people who speak a language I don’t.

So, speak how you want. Learn five languages. But at the end of the day you have to learn to communicate effectively. And sometimes that means learning a new language.

And not being a jerk.

-Diggs out

P.S. – I wouldn’t mind knowing another language, but if I had to pick one I’d pick ASL.

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