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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mustaf23

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

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenBookmye

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

May 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mekeliki

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aroboticist

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

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

There are exceptions in certain situations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aroboticist

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsaacBamba.

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mustaf23

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsaacBamba.

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFiore

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cognocto

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Megamuffins

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Midnightwards666

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohammed_trans

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFiore

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Midnightwards666

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohammed_trans

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohammed_trans

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 !!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohammed_trans

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohammed_trans

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/starboystellan

I'm proud of speaking English ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianHarp1

I'm proud of my language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaelemFuad

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.

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