Friday, May 22, 2009

On a State Language

The State of Maryland, as with our union as a whole, does not have an official unifying language. I believe that it should. I believe that language should be English and it should be codified as such by law, Constitutionally if required. My reasons are many, but we will limit this discussion to the most important.

Few would argue that English is not the unifying language of these United States. It is on our money, our roadways, our laws, and our Constitution. It has been the language taught in our schools since our founding. Immigrants for generations learned English as their second language in order to more easily function in our society. The rich history of the English language as the primary spoken language in our nation is enough of a reason to implement English as a national and State language here in Maryland. In order to understand our history, to understand our laws, to understand our Constitution - a fundamental understanding of the English language is required.

But, this goes further. International business has shifted towards a common language - English is being taught as a second language in India, Japan, and most of Europe. English has become one of the more universal languages in part because of these United States. We have dominated international trade for so long that in order to function and continue trade with us the people of the world began to learn the dominant language of our great nation. English is fastly becoming the language of international business - so why not continue its use in our schools and emphasize that the primary language spoken in our nation is the official language.

Before continuing on with my discussion, I pose a scenario. Suppose you were to move to Germany. The language is foreign to you at first, but you enjoy the country and want to live there. To become a German citizen, will the German government provide you with paperwork in English for you to complete or would documentation be in German? Of course there are people in Germany who can speak any number of languages, but the dominant language is German, the official language is German, and all documentation required to become a citizen will be in German. Why then should we treat things differently in our nation?

Overwhelming majorities of the American public support making English the official language of this nation. This is not a controversial viewpoint to hold. In fact, 77% of the largest growing minority which speaks a different language, Latinos, support the establishment of English as the official language of government operations. 65% of Latinos, according to another poll from Zogby International, support making English the official overall language of these United States. This should not be controversial and is a logical step towards the primary goal of our nation - the establishment of a more perfect union. What better way to unite than through unity in the manner in which our people speak.

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