Tuesday, July 04, 2006

News-Sentinel can print whatever it wants in whatever language it wants.

Neither Maria Burns nor the News Sentinel should have to apologize for publishing articles about soccer in Spanish. This is America. A newspaper may whatever it wants in whatever language it wants so as long as it is true. It may in fact be the case that there are more Spanish speakers than Anglophones in this city who want to read about soccer. Any soccer fans who speak English exclusively can get their news elsewhere.
I have forgotten most of the Spanish that I learned in college. It would be quite frustrating for me if the Sentinel decided to have the front page, editorial page, and metro section in Spanish. Since my interest in professional soccer is nil, they can publish articles about it in Sanskrit for all I care. But since it is in Spanish I try to skim it to see how many words I still remember.
Most of my mixed up ethnic heritage happens to be German, as it is with most of northeast Indiana and the country at large. In case any of you have forgotten, here is a brief summary of the history of German American immigrants.
When the Declaration of Independence was signed, there were German speaking soldiers serving in the Continental Army fighting for the freedom that we enjoy today. Baron von Steuben was one of them, helping General George Washington to bring organization and discipline to the Army. King George III had hired German Hessian mercenaries who fought for more beer money. When the war ended and England recognized the United States, many Hessians had elected to stay and become American citizens.
Prior to US entry into World War I, Fort Wayne was known as a “most German town”. There were German speaking stores and newspapers. Some German Americans advocated entering into the war on the site of Imperial Germany and the Central Powers. After Congress declared war in 1917, anti-German sentiment was rampant in the US. Having an accent or a German sounding name was often enough to get one lynched. German cabbage became liberty cabbage, German shepherds became Alsatians. Many had modified their last names to sound more Anglo-Saxon. Some immigrants, having fled Germany in order to avoid being drafted into the German Army, found themselves drafted into the US Army and shipped overseas to fight their former countrymen. Most, when forced to choose between loyalty to the country of their birth and US, chose America.
Most did not know English when they crossed the Atlantic, but made an effort to learn it once they were here. Typically it takes a immigrant family, irregardless of country of origin, a generation or two for them to become fluent in English.
In the 21st century, Germanfests and Oktoberfests are held throughout the country. In downtown Fort Wayne, German banners were displayed from lamp posts, and nobody complained.

4 comments:

  1. Robert, the whole issue is simple. In order to become a citizen of the United States of America you HAVE to be able to SPEAK, READ AND WRITE Engish.

    Fsck press 2 for Spanish.

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  2. I did not speak, read, or write Spanish when I became a citizen. I don't think anyone in my family did.

    There is an entire island of Spanish speaking US citizens called Puerto Rico. They may travel anywhere in the US without a passport and may take up residency in any state and can vote in that state once they meet the standard residency requirements.

    In Indiana, convicted felons can vote. People on house arrest may vote absentee. Homeless people like my mother can vote in the district where they spend the most time. A person who is more comfortable speaking Spanish can request an Indiana voter registration card in Spanish.

    It neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg for the government to make small accomadations for those who speak the most widely spoken langauge in the Western Hemisphere. The small number of expences associated with printed documents in two languages is more than made up for by attracting a larger tax base.

    I suggest that you learn to spell in "Engish". At least when I type in Spanish, it doesn't get blocked when I say "Chingate."

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  3. Bushwick Bill2:26 PM

    "I suggest that you learn to spell in "Engish"." That's a nervy suggestion coming from someone (RE) who spells expenses "expences".

    You stupid libertarians need to put down the f*ing Kool-Aid. Yes, the N-S has a right to pander to illegal aliens by printing columns in Spanish. But I have a right to be pissed off at the N-S for pandering to illegal aliens.

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  4. Bushwick,
    It's nice to know that you have enough free time to go looking through my blog archives to find spelling errors that I made 10 months ago.

    There are actual US citizens who speak Spanish as their first language. They are called Puerto Ricans.

    Do you get this upset when the instructions are printed in 3 different languages?

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