Should English be the official language of the US?
Should English be the official language of the US?
Although United States is often considered as the “melting pot” foreigners, believe it or not, its official language is not English! I find it is pretty hard to believe, but the fact is that United States actually doesn’t have an official language stated in its constitution. English, however, is used among 80% of U. S’s population, so can English be the official language of the US? I am personally in favor of making English the official language of the U. S, and I don’t see if there are any cons to it. Since English is already spoken by 80% of the U.
S population, then most people pretty much already recognized English as the “default official Language” , so why don’t we give it an official status ? It’s like couples go from cohabitation to marriage. Nothing is really changed but it does make life easier. We know that if the President of the United States is making a speech at the congress, he will use English for sure. And if he is making a speech on the United Nations general assembly he will use English as well. So everybody will have an idea of what he is saying.
It’s called convenience. But this kind of convenience is not in every place of U. S. There are many places using Spanish German or French only in the U. S, so if some foreigners want to travel around U. S they will have to know at least four languages. Even in some government offices service in English is not offered. For example: A cousin of mine is an International student who studies in the US. One time his entrance visa was nearly expired and he needed to renew it before going back to China for the summer.
He went to an immigration office and one of the officers tried to help him, but most of the officers were only capable of speaking Spanish, so my cousin had to wait for a long time before he can find someone who can speaks English. You may think this is a joke that something like this could happen in an English speaking country but that is the reality. Since U. S doesn’t have an official language, this means that anyone can speak whatever they want including the civil servants.
This is causing a lot of problems and incontinence. By making English the official language of the U. S, this problem will be solved easily, just like how we do it here in Canada. Although some people may argue that promoting a single language as the official language maybe considered as racism, I think this argument is irrelevant. People would still have the right to speak whatever languages they want. But in some station, a Common language will save a lot of trouble or even lives in emergency cases.
If a country like Canada, which promotes multiculturalism can have both English and French as its official languages, I don’t see why English can’t be the official language of the United States. It happens to be the most widely spoken language in the country and it has been with them for more than two centuries. Let me go down deeper to the context of this issue. There have been people who have felt that making English the official language in the United States is like marginalizing all other languages and cultures; but in essence, I think that a national language will only bring us closer together.
Of course we have Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, the Hispanics and a variety of other linguistic groups amongst us. This is a diversity the American society should be proud of and celebrate, but diversity will be meaningless and inconsequential if we cannot communicate our divergent views effectively. If English is made the official language, the interaction between the various non-English speaking communities will increase; and so will the level of interaction between all citizens of this great nation.
This interaction will definitely go a long way in promoting how tolerant we are of one another and the differences we have amongst ourselves. In turn, we as American will understand one another much better and there will be the creation of an environment that bolsters internal peace and harmony within our borders. As it were, English is an official language in many other nations outside the United States. Because of this, it is the language commonly used in international conventions, workshops and other types of deliberative forums.
If English is made the official language of the United States through a legislative act or a constitutional amendment, the departments of education in all states that are part of the union will issue guidelines and directives to the effect that English has to be taught at all school children in the country. All Americans will grow up being English speakers, and this will prevent a scenario where some competent Americans are locked out of careers in the diplomatic field or any other international jobs just because they cannot speak and communicate fluently in English.
If one has been paying a close attention to the political process inn this country, political campaigns, especially during presidential elections and while we are electing senators, are conducted in English. If we are a country that thrives in the ideals of democracy as we claim and as was the intention of the founding fathers of the nation, then we must put in place an elaborate system to ensure that all American citizens duly participate in the political system. This is going to be very hard if every citizen does not speak a common language.
Since English is the language spoken by a vast majority of citizens, it is only logical that it be made the official language so that educational, social and political institutions can get the incentive to spearhead the teaching of English in communities where it is not spoken as a way of increasing political participation and therefore bolstering democracy. There are so many advantages of a people in a nation being able to speak a common language. Besides the promotion of democracy, an official and common language will augur well for the implementation of justice.
Many people have been made to pay for crimes they did not commit because they could not correctly interpret the law at the times they were arrested or when they were brought in front of a jury. In cases where an offender claims he or she does not fluently speak or comprehend the English language which is the language most commonly used in American courts, an interpreter has to be hired with taxpayer’s money so that the suspect or felon can be subjected to fair trial. If English was the official language of the United States, a higher majority of Americans would be obliged to learn it. These hindrances in the justice system would be avoided.
In conclusion, there are so many countries out there which have an official as well as a national language, and their citizens find pride in using it. Some of these countries have a lower level of linguistic diversity than the United States, but they find a national pride in having an official language. I do not see why this should not be the case with our nation, which finds pride in the institutions that have characterized us since the formation of the union. I think that we should have a national language so that even our institutions can be strengthened; and our interaction increased.