Should English Be Official?

1038 Words5 Pages
Should English Be Official? English is the official language of at least 50 countries including Singapore, New Zealand, and India, except the United States of America. The English-only legislation is an issue that affects millions of individuals and has drawn lots of attentions and concerns in these recent years. In fact, making English the official language is simply unnecessary and yet may even contribute to negative effects which include perpetuating stereotypes and abridging people’s rights. The usual argument made by U.S. English, an organization that advocates for English as the official language of the U.S., is that making English the official U.S. language would unite Americans around one common tongue so that they could communicate much better with each other. As President Theodore Roosevelt once said, "We have one language here, and that is the English language, and we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans." It is estimated that 322 languages are actively spoken in the United States. The idea is that, if everyone speaks different language, people develop their own cultural enclaves instead of assimilating. (Krauthammer) And as a result, racial and ethnic conflicts arise. However, you cannot make everyone to assimilate into one culture by forcing them to learn a language and expect them to learn it quickly and fast. It would even foster xenophobia and encourage alienation of those who do not speak English. Cultural backgrounds are part of who we are. One will be more willing to respect the laws of the land when his/her culture is being accepted and respected. The United States of America is known for its diversity and is a country of many beliefs and customs. It has been a melting pot of ideas and cultures for more than 300 years. The English-only policy seriously overlooks the importance of an individual’s
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