Follow up en retard (no that’s not an offensive term, cultural purists)

Last night’s meeting is not yet in the video archives on FCG TV, so the many of us who were unable to tolerate another moment of the nastyfest are not yet able to catch the rest of the train wreck. In the meantime, some thoughts are restlessly flipping around here.

It is obvious that almost none of the people who oppose this repeal or initially favored the language ordinance have ever learned a second language. It does not happen overnight. Many people who are relatively fluent in a second language can spend all day speaking it without needing help, even though it may not be flawless (if you’ve been paying attention to these jokers who love English above all reason, we don’t have to tell you that people who speak English as their first language don’t speak it flawlessly either). That doesn’t mean they have achieved a level of comfort allowing them to use it conducting legal affairs. Those who insist that they assimilate and become good citizens have to admit that this means giving them the tools to do so, not insulting them because they aren’t perfect.

It wouldn’t hurt to admit that this legislation was only passed in the spirit of meanness in the first place. Blaine Young did.

“I believe that it sends a message that we’re not a place that condones or embraces illegal immigration,” Young says.

Newsflash: legal immigrants also speak other languages. It’s a whole process, learning. We’ve said this before, but some don’t seem to get how learning works, so repeat ourselves we will.

Furthermore, places along the border already use dual languages, whether it’s French/English up near Quebec, or to a much greater extent, Spanish/English to our south. Those with a shred of sense will learn the other languages around them, because it is a good business opportunity. All of this talk of assimilation is a bunch of garbage in real life. We will *ALL* be assimilating–immigrants and natural born citizens alike. It’s just a matter of time. History has been through this before. It’s not even vaguely mysterious.

Happy July 4th Chez Nous: frankfurters, pizza, brie, salsa and chocolate. Which is American? Let's ask a Wampanoag...
Happy July 4th Chez Nous: frankfurters, pizza, brie, salsa and chocolate. How do you translate this into American? Let’s ask a Wampanoag descendant…

A few notes on linguistics might be illuminating. Our own Germanic language changes all the time. Not a one of us could even understand Old English without a college professor available to translate. Roughly 45% of our English vocabulary–again, a Germanic language–is of French origin. This is largely due to the Norman invasion in 1066. Exactly how far backwards is Frederick County hoping to go? We also have many words in our vocabulary that are taken from Spanish. Lots of them are used all the time, especially for the weather and in ranching. Unlike the French, we don’t have a language academy attempting to replace words like tornado and derecho and rodeo and buckaroo (our Anglo screw up of vaquero). If we’re going to stamp out all of these outside influences and make them conform to us, we’re going to have a lot of studying to do.

Don’t believe us. You try reading Beowulf on your own then (or give a listen).

First 11 lines of Beowulf. Greek to us.
First 11 lines of Beowulf. Greek to us.

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