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Are Americans proud of speaking English language ?

Hi !

I read that Americans aren't proud of being English speakers

why that ??

also I read that Spanish is so common America

why don't the immigrants learn or speak English ??

I become so sad to know this information :(

May 1, 2017



Growing up speaking any language is not much of an accomplishment. Hence most Americans aren't particularly proud to be able to speak English


Most immigrants do make some attempt to speak English. But, you're right that, in the end, many do not learn it. But, this isn't due to laziness or unwillingness. It's just that Spanish speaking communities are so numerous and populous that there isn't enough pressure to learn English. Other immigrants like Chinese, Korean, Somali, etc... communities have more English speakers because those communities, while significant, aren't big enough and self sustaining enough to get by without learning English (Several large Chinatowns and Dearborn Michigan being the exceptions).

My wife is Mexican and, when she moved here, she didn't speak English. But, because we moved into an English speaking community and she got a professional job where only English is spoken, she is now very nearly accent free and 100% fluent. That was 20 years ago and Spanish has become a distant second place at home.

Another factor is generational. Second generations universally speak English as a first language. And most of those aren't actually so good at Spanish (speaking of Spanish speaking families). They speak "Spanglish". So, by the time the third generation comes along -- those kids won't speak any Spanish at all. In other words, if you see a Hernandez or Mendez last name -- there's a very good chance that that person can't speak Spanish and they are fully integrated into the American English speaking culture.

Before the 20th century we, as a culture, had the same discussion about German speaking families (my own ancestors among them). There were more than 10,000 German language publications in the country and English speakers were worried that Germans weren't integrating. Then WW1 happened and -- well, we know what happened after that!

Anyway -- that might have been unnecessarily long winded. Sorry for that!


To address your first point:

America has an extremely monolingual culture, and I know for a fact that when traveling abroad, speaking only English is seen almost as a sign of stupidity or ignorance in some situations, just because that is the reputation American tourists have.

To your second point:

English is a very difficult language. I am sure you already know that. However, contrary to popular belief, most immigrants do actually try very hard to learn the language, because I can tell you from experience that being in a country where you don't speak the language is very difficult. Also, in order to acquire citizenship one must be proficient in English.

Because of your level 2 American flag, I am assuming you are learning English and I wish you luck! It is a very difficult language, but greatly rewarding because it is quickly becoming 'the best language to learn' all over the world.


Also, in order to acquire [USA] citizenship one must be proficient in English.

There are exceptions in certain situations.


That's fascinating! I was just going off of what I remember from 8th grade Civics class, but I guess they don't tell you the whole story!


No , English is so easy to learn . English is the global language around the world , but why speaking only English is seen almost as a sign of stupidity or ignorance in some situations ? I do not think that .


English is objectively difficult in contrast to some other languages due to a high amount of irregularities (oh cthulhu, the verbs) and very non-phonetic pronunciation, for example. I agree that being a global language can assist in learning it (it's everywhere online, so learning through exposure was very simple for me as a kid), but that is not the case for everyone everywhere. But if learning English is easy for you, subjectively, then that's a just a positive, ain't it?

Being monolingual is seen as a huge negative in some multicultural or multilingual places because learning a second or third language is so common. Not doing so would then suggest that 1) you're not intelligent enough to learn additional languages 2) you're ignorant or selfish enough to think that you don't need a second language and just assume that others will learn yours instead (tourists especially have this reputation, though I'd argue that tourists can often showcase the worst of a culture, whichever it is). Now, this is merely a generalization of course, and obviously not valid everywhere, nor in the case of everyone, but it is a tendency that can be described.


I am a native English speaker, but I have heard it said that English is easy to learn to a basic conversational level and difficult to learn fluently: the grammar is fairly simple and regular compared to other languages, but the spelling is a nightmare and the irregularities get more frequent the more fluent you become. (That said, the same is true of most languages' slang to some degree.)

It's seen as a sign of ignorance because most English speakers have plenty of opportunities to learn other languages and just can't be bothered - I did both French and Spanish in school and now retain only the very basics of French. My ancient Greek is better (and as you can see I'm now trying to pick up modern Greek), but really, the only reason I never bothered with French was that teenage me was a monolingual ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ who just assumed everyone would speak English anyway.


Um....I guess I'm proud to speak English. I don't know where you got information saying Americans don't like English, I know some people don't like learning the language because it can be confusing. For example we have words that sound the same but have different meaning, Bear and Bare for example, . Yes Spanish is common in America because it is the second language of our country.


I read it from a blog . Must I master the English language or must learn Spanish ?


If you’d like to communicate with monolingual English speakers, then learn English. If you’d like to communicate with monolingual Spanish speakers, then learn Spanish. There are more monolingual English speakers than monolingual Spanish speakers in the USA.


English is the language of America and Spanish is the second one, you can learn both but I suggest you learn English if you plan on living here in America


My understanding was that "everyone should speak Murican" attitude is actually a little too common in the US (no, that doesn't mean everyone or a majority thinks that way).


I am an American; I love English! English is a Germanic language, but has many French and Latin influences and an extensive written history. Because of this, it has many words with similar meaning but slight distinctions in nuance and connotation. That permits very specific expression of complicated ideas, which allows for some great poetry and prose.

English natives have it a little easy because so many people around the world (especially in tourist areas) know and use English for business, but obviously not everyone does, and it can be rude to assume so. I would guess that because English usage is so widespread, many English-speakers don't bother learning much of the language of the country that they are going to, and so English speakers have a reputation for being presumptuous that everyone will adapt to them.

The weaknesses of English are often discussed. Its spelling system is tough to learn, and even native speakers often have difficulty spelling or pronouncing words. There are a lot of pointless grammar rules that go against longstanding or common conversational usage (e.g. split infinitives, singular they, double negatives, less vs. fewer). But it does have a simpler conjugation system than many languages, and it mostly has no noun/adjective declension. I am happy to speak English natively, and I do appreciate the privilege that goes with that. But, being on Duolingo, I do enjoy learning new languages. Languages often have two different words where English has one (Spanish ser vs. estar; French savoir vs. connaître, and neuf vs. nouveau), which changes the way I think about words I know in English. So I like English, but I also like other languages. I think a lot of Americans just don't think much about language, so they don't think about whether they like speaking English.


I can only speak for myself, but the I'm not proud of being a monolingual English-speaking American. (Although, I'm trying to change that.)


Same here, I can very much relate. I'm also currently a monolingual English speaker from Britain but I am not pleased with it at all, am trying to change it. There are also some people who I would like to be able to converse with.

I wouldn't say that the Americans themselves or even us in Britain are stupid for our English monolingualism... I believe it's a cultural problem - as we all know, it is often said that English is the "international language", therefore we feel like we don't need to learn any others, we don't take any interest, we don't value other languages and there is a shortage of language education, whereas in almost every other country it's a lot better.

I can also fully understand why a busy monolingual speaker past education with a full-time job and little spare time doesn't learn a language - it's no walk in the park, you have to dedicate hundreds (if not thousands) of hours and it requires a lot of motivation which I can fully understand someone not having. Luckily, I am still motivated enough... I am a month into French so far, and I am still learning every day with no plans to quit... although I know that that day my motivation dies, I will be in trouble... it certainly isn't even close to happening yet, but I have been quite scared of it happening since the start, and I still am.


But why ? man must be proud that his language is the global !!! I'm proud of being an Arabic speaker .


I understand being proud of your heritage and language is part of that, but I don't understand why a speaker of a global language should be any prouder than a speaker of a minority language. If anything, I feel like it should be the opposite. Then you're preserving a language, part of history and culture that would otherwise be lost. I know it's technically the same for global languages but it's more evident with smaller ones.


@DonFiore: True, I feel absolutely no pride in being able to speak my native language.


I don't think so ^^ Americans speak English , their national language .


To clarify the situation, English is a de facto national language rather than a de jure national language. The USA’s national government has no official language, although around two-thirds of its state and territorial governments do.


Yes , they made English the official language in most states of America . But why America does't have an official language ? also Mexico doesn't have although it's a Spanish community !!


Presumably because there’s no need to have any, either for the USA or for Mexico.


In your opinion , do you think learn English will help me get a good job ??


That might depend on what sort of job you’d consider to be good.


Okay , but in the future if I travel to the USA , English or Spanish will help me much ?


But It is better to the USA or Mexico to announce an official language even they use English or Spanish . The language is a part of the nation .


Why would it be better? What would the USA or Mexico gain from having an official language that they currently don’t have?


I'm proud of speaking English ;)


I'm proud of my language


I am proud of speaking English - and I'm also proud to be learning Irish & French. English can be a very simple language but also very complex. It has a very non-phonetic pronunciation. There are also many irregularities.


We are not proud because we just view it as a tool, nothing more or nothing less. We did not make the English language. We speak it only by a chance happening. We don't view language as a source of pride culturally.

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