The Instigator
Neonix
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
iholland95
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

English should be the official language of the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Neonix
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,243 times Debate No: 20509
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Neonix

Pro

In this debate I will provide evidence and reasoning in support of electing English as the national language for the United States.

Round one is acceptance only.
Round five is conclusion/closing argument. No new points can be made during this round.
The debate will be formatted in the English language. Any foreign language used in reference must be accompanied by a literal and figurative translation.
(Example: German proverb:" Ewig wie das grass." Literal meaning:"Always as the grass." Figurative:" Speaking to enternal things, grass is considered an unchanging constant. This proverb is a baseline argument when comparing other eternal things. i.e. Mr. Burns on the Simpsons is "ewig wie das grass.")

Enjoy....
Debate Round No. 1
Neonix

Pro

My first point: English is the founding language of this nation.
The Constitution of the United States is written in the English language. During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, eight of the fifty-five member body did not claim U.S. soil as their place of birth. Each of those eight spoke English as their first language (Four from Ireland, two from England, one from Scotland and one from British occupied West Indies.) English speaking settlers composed 92% of the population. While no law was written to establish English as an official language, no need for it existed. Nearly everyone spoke it.

My second point: English is the common language in America.
No other viable language exists to replace English as the common tounge. The largest language group outside of English is Spanish. That language group composes a little over 16% of the American population, as per the U.S. census of 2010. While it certainly is not an obligation of the American public to accommodate another language, the nation has gracefully done so by pushing the school system to teach Spanish as a second language. Many government service offices have gone so far as to offer Spanish version documents and phone menus. This is not afforded to the 1.8 million citizens who speak French at home.

My Third point: Unification of the nation under a single language would cut cost for government service departments and civil service departments that are forced by law to cater to foreign language groups.

Consider this article that outlines proposals to force food distribution plants to print bilingual food labels: http://www.phinehasfury.com...

The estimated cost is in the "billions" of dollars.

My last point: I am an example.

I am a naturalized citizen. My first language is German. My family forced me to learn English prior to immigrating. My family made effort to follow all the legal guidelines for integration and gained legal right to be called Americans. After becoming a citizen, I served eights years in the armed forces to "morally" (not legally) ensure my place as an English speaking German-American. I expect from anyone who comes to America, to learn the common language and serve it's institutions, rather than insist on having the institution serve them (such as bilingual food labels, phone menus, government services). Many Hispanic, German, French and American friends agree. America is an English speaking country.

I await your response. I hope my argument is not misunderstood as racist or unfair.
iholland95

Con

If people come from different countries and they immagrate into the US, and they still speak their original language you can't completely say that the official language of the us should be English because not all people don't speak that fluently. Maybe over time, immigrants will adapt to the english language but when they first come over from their country, they're not going to speak English at all. So it's unfair to say that. My point is that not all people speak english. I know there are alot of Asians at my school who have moved from either China, or Japan, or Korea and they come to school and take English As a Second Language so they can learn to speak English better.
Debate Round No. 2
Neonix

Pro

You said:"If people come from different countries and they immagrate into the US, and they still speak their original language you can't completely say that the official language of the us should be English because not all people don't speak that fluently. "

By your own admission, you believe America should not have a national language because immigrants might not be able to speak it. If that is your argument, then you've sided with laziness. America is for Americans. If an immigrant wants to become an American, they need to learn the language, get a job, pay into social security, vote, pay taxes etc.
What you've argued is complete rubbish. Italians speak Italian. Japanese speak Japanese. North Americans speak English.

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You said:"Maybe over time, immigrants will adapt to the English language but when they first come over from their country, they're not going to speak English at all. So it's unfair to say that."

You're missing the point. I never said that immigrants must know English to come to America. I said English should be the national language.

Consider it like this:
1. An immigrant applies for a work visa and after 7 years of good conduct as a foreign national on U.S. soil, he/she decides to apply for citizenship.
2. The department of immigration gives the immigrant the requirements necessary for citizenship. They are:
a.> Pass a written test concerning U.S. history
b.> Identify the president of the United States
c.> Show proficiency in the ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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You said:"I know there are alot of Asians at my school who have moved from either China, or Japan, or Korea and they come to school and take English As a Second Language so they can learn to speak English better."

Excellent, so they are learning the language of the land. You've made my point for me.

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Next point: How would you propose paying for social programs, targeting the integration of foreign language groups WITHOUT teaching them English? Remember, you said not everyone speaks English and you don't think English should be the national language.
We currently cannot force immigrants to learn English, so under the fair hiring act / equal opportunity employment law you may get a 911 operator that can't understand you properly.
iholland95

Con

"It should not. Making English the official language would send an unequivocal message of unwelcome to the non-English parts of the world, completely counter to the melting pot ideal which makes the U.S. so great." says Xamel.com.

"It's not like making English the official language would magically make everyone in the U.S. speak English. Making English the official language wouldn't even stop other languages from making appearances here. It wouldn't remove those "Para espa´┐Żol, marque ocho" messages from our telephones." says Xamel.com

"While making English the official language of the United States would alleviate some issues, such as the cost of translation, the option for immigrants to stay non-English-monolingual, and the potential language barriers," says Geneva's Blog on Wordpress.com

"English is our common language, but it is not the only language spoken in the United States. Making English the national language and relieving the government from its responsibility of providing non-English speakers with language assistance could have tragic consequences that would affect the entire nation" says Celia Munoz on Scholastic.com

Here are my three arguments!
Debate Round No. 3
Neonix

Pro

You said:"Making English the official language would send an unequivocal message of unwelcome to the non-English parts of the world"

Answer:
http://www.us-english.org...
That article explains how a school in California is FORCING 1st graders to learn the pledge of allegiance in Spanish.

http://www.us-english.org...
This article explains an already existing service that prints voting forms with bilingual support.
"The purpose of this bilingual ballot provision was to increase the voter turnout of language minorities. The naturalization process here in the United States, however, already requires an ability to read, write and speak English. Consequently, all legal citizens who wish to vote should already be able to use a ballot printed in English."

"One ballot for us and one ballot for them". Your idea is causing division between people, not unification. Bilingual voting ballots are the modern equivalent of whites only bathrooms. It's offensive.
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You said:"It's not like making English the official language would magically make everyone in the U.S. speak English."

Answer:
Correct. It is not a magic cure. It is, however, one step closer to solidifying our national identity, as an English speaking nation. The amount of resources that are being spent on the laziness of self-entitled people, who come to this nation and expect to be catered to, is ridiculous. It is audacious, for anyone, to cross unto U.S. soil and demand the government services provide them with aid in their native tongue. Apparently, 84% of Americans agree.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com...

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You said: "While making English the official language of the United States would alleviate some issues, such as the cost of translation, the option for immigrants to stay non-English-monolingual, and the potential language barriers," says Geneva's Blog on Wordpress.com"

Answer:" Did you read that before you posted it? Thank you for the excellent source.

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You said:"Making English the national language and relieving the government from its responsibility of providing non-English speakers with language assistance could have tragic consequences that would affect the entire nation" says Celia Munoz on Scholastic.com"

Answer:
So you believe it's the Governments responsibility to assist non-English speakers? What else do you think the Government should do for you?

When you immigrate to the US you have the option of remaining mono-lingual and running into severe difficulty as a result of your pompous attitude, or you can immerse yourself into the English speaking culture and go after the American dream. Did I mention, you don't need to stop speaking you native language? You just need to stop expecting the Government to speak it.
iholland95

Con

iholland95 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Neonix

Pro

My opponent has debated respectfully and I thank Con for the arguments presented.

The opponent has forfeited the last round. Let that be enough reason to vote "Pro".

Thank you for your interest in this issue.
iholland95

Con

iholland95 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Neonix 4 years ago
Neonix
No it is not. There was a vote once, (in the 1800s I think). Toss up between german and english. No vote could be reached. America does not have an official language.

http://www.us-english.org...
Posted by breanadawnx3 4 years ago
breanadawnx3
Last I knew- English is the official language of America.
Posted by Lesterfreeman 4 years ago
Lesterfreeman
compelling arguments coming from the pro side, interested to see con's case. shaping up to be agood debate
Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
brian_eggleston
+1 for this debate.
Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
brian_eggleston
+1 for this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lightskinnedblackkid 4 years ago
lightskinnedblackkid
Neonixiholland95Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: While I do not personally agree with pro on all points, he did have the better argument and make me think more about this topic.