Ah speak American, ah don’ need no furin larnguage

Putain ! Mais, où va mon pays natal ?

I’ve fallen behind on my “Blogging American Unreason” series and I’m sorry about that, but my work has been keeping me (too) busy.

But this just sent me through the roof.

Apparently, Barack Obama managed to raise the ire of right wing conservative groups by suggesting that it would be a positive thing for kids to learn a second language in school. His critics said that it was a hidden attempt of Obama to make America a bilingual country.

Non mais… Pardon, j’essaie de garder mon calme…

For the record, I think that America should “institutionalize” English as the official language of the United States through a Constitutional amendment.  It’s something that France and a number of other countries have done and it is an important element of national identity here.

But how can anybody, no matter how “conservative” they may be, no matter how “politicized” the question may be due to immigration problems (which, by the way, are not an American exclusivity), justify criticizing a man for encouraging investing in the intelligence of future generations?

And yes my fellow Americans, learning a foreign language will make you more intelligent, notably because you’ll realize that, by golly, other countries have good, que dis-je?, even brilliant ideas sometimes that America would benefit from imitating; that understanding other cultures can free you from your own cultural blinders and thus widen your horizons; that learning another language is learning another way of thinking; and that will all these advantages (and many more) in your pocket, reducing you to an obedient lamb, who accepts the deconstruction of everything you hold dear, for example your liberty, your justice and your respect of others, will become much, much more difficult.

Pourquoi donne-t-on une voix à ceux qui rendraient le citoyen américain idiot ? Il n’y a aucune controverse ; vous avez le droit—et le devoir—d’être intelligent. Être stupide et soumis, docile, n’est pas un état à souhaiter. Ne vous laissez pas manipuler ; assurez l’avenir de vos enfants et de votre pays !

l’Amérique, réveillez-vous !

(Pardon my French.)


2 Responses to “Ah speak American, ah don’ need no furin larnguage”

  1. Annafil Says:

    I can’t agree with you more on this. I speak fluent English and Russian, and a bit of Melayu to boot, and not only do I know more, but the ability to juxtapose the two makes me think and communicate very differently. Knowing a second language opens up the opportunity to rise above the first, to see its influences, weaknesses and its prejudice. English is very to the point, a lot of emotion gets left out of it. Russian to me feels more creative (you can often see that influence in hackers ;))…Anyway.

    That said, I grew up in a country that easily speaks 4 languages (the official government language, English, At least 4 common Chinese dialects, and variants of Tamil), and the people are as divided as I’ve ever seen. Guess it depends on the individual…

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