The Instigator
James.ticknor
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

In the USA, we should bend to the language barriers that immigrants, aliens, etc. cause.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,580 times Debate No: 9530
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

James.ticknor

Con

Allow me to first state that the topic is NOT biased, it is just a simple fact. I will allow Pro to extend the first arguement, for my focus is clash, not the burdon of proof...
Danielle

Pro

I'll bite. Since my opponent has offered no contentions in the first round, and no clarifications have been made, I'll assume that for the most part that the resolution is referring to accommodating those who speak Spanish as a first language as opposed to English. However, the resolution is obviously not restricted to just Spanish. I'd like to thank my opponent for presenting this challenge and wish him good luck throughout the debate.

Let's begin by considering indisputable facts about the Spanish language. First, statistically speaking, the Spanish language has more native speakers than English speakers world-wide. Spanish is spoken by almost 400 million people throughout the world. Given the fact that there are more than 42 million native Spanish-speaking individuals in the United States alone, it would only make sense for us to try and accommodate this reality not only for the sake of being humane individuals, but because this works just as much to our benefit as well as theirs.

Regardless of your opinion on the border fence, amnesty or illegal immigrants in general, the fact of the matter is that there are an abundance of immigrants (not only Spanish speaking) in the United States. In America, we do not have an official national language; however, most would not dispute the fact that English is regarded as the primary method of communication. That said, the fact that we don't actually have a national language is an argument in my favor. Since there is nothing that says English is the official language of our country, I don't see why we cannot incorporate other languages into our everyday lifestyle.

Let's look at what this incorporation of other languages would actually entail: not much. When you go to the ATM, for instance, the computer gives you the option of selecting which language you'd like to utilize to complete your transaction. The ATM gives you the option of English, Spanish, Chinese and even braille. That brings me to my next point: While my opponent may be hoping to argue that we should not accommodate illegal immigrants, this resolution is not exclusive to them. Indeed there are many non-English speaking American citizens, and moreover, my opponent is not taking into consideration the blind who require a breach of language barrier (braille) or the deaf who require the use of Sign Language in many cases.

So, how is this accommodation detrimental to the citizens of the United States? It's not. In fact, it's beneficial. For instance, undoubtedly there are people in this country who do not know how to speak, read or write in English. However, many of them (especially legal citizens) still have the right to utilize ATMs and other features of society. If one did not understand the English-only availability option, the customer may have to seek help from an employee or perhaps even another patron. This would be inefficient as it disrupts the employee and wastes people's time. Not including language options other than English is actually incredibly unuseful in this way. This same concept applies to various other professions who need to communicate with people who may not speak English on a daily basis, including doctors (hospitals in general) and especially police officers.

However, keeping the concept of ATMs in mind, let us consider another reality -- the fact that it is not only immigrants but tourists as well who benefit from various services seeking to assist those who do not understand English. Because my opponent has extended the resolution to include aliens, by definition that would include tourists and other non-immigrant visitors to our country. I know that when visiting other countries, I would be lost if the bancomats (ATMs) did not include English options for me to figure out how to take out money, etc. In that case, if people could not figure out how to take out money while here in the States, then perhaps they wouldn't bother to do so therefore hurting our tourism industry and subsequently our entire economy.

Speaking of the economy, encouraging Americans to not only accommodate others but also to learn Spanish for themselves can be greatly beneficial. Economic globalization has been the big push behind the increasing importance of being able to communicate with those from other countries. Spanish is spoken by almost 400 million people worldwide, which is reason enough to learn the language. But it's even more compelling when you realize that about half of the population in the Western Hemisphere speaks Spanish, making it the primary language for as many people as English in this region of the world. The entire continent of South America speaks primarily Spanish (aside from Brazil), as does just about all of Central America, Mexico and Latin America - over 15 countries in total [1].

In addition, within the United States, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language after English by a very wide margin. This means that the ability to speak both Spanish and English will continue to become more and more valuable for people who live in the U.S. with each passing year. Thus, learning Spanish will not only help with one's personal life but their professional life as well, considering that as countries in Latin America are strengthening and expanding their economies, they are becoming more and more important as trading partners. Many countries in Latin America have signed or are on the verge of signing on to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which was originally set up by the United States, Canada and Mexico. This should act to further strengthen trade and business ties between these countries and the US, making the Spanish language an even more important asset for Americans in the business world [1].

Those economic benefits aside, why wouldn't the United States want to encourage its citizens to learn another language (especially one as practical as Spanish)? It's no secret that Europeans are usually trilingual and both value and benefit from being multilingual. Phonetically, Spanish is nearly perfect which makes it easy to learn. By learning Spanish fluently, you can open the gateway to understand enough to be able to get by when communicating with people who speak different languages. Secondly, learning Spanish can make it easier for you to understand and learn other languages - especially Romance languages - such as Italian (mmm), French, Portuguese, etc. Again, this provides many personal and professional benefits. Moreover, Spanish is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, once again making it a smart choice [1].

In terms of schooling, programs like ESL (English as a Second Language) help children transition into a country that is primarily English speaking. This is useful as it will aid them in achieving future success, as understanding English is pretty much essential to gaining a job or a degree in the United States. This is just one other example of the US taking steps to bend or breach the language barrier. Thus, in conclusion of the first round, I have proven why doing so is not only beneficial to those who are receiving help, but that helping them is not really causing us any harm (or money) in the process and that it is actually beneficial in most cases for us to do so.

Source:
[1] http://www.spanish-school.com.mx...
Debate Round No. 1
James.ticknor

Con

James.ticknor forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Considering the fact that my opponent has offered no arguments of his own and forfeited one of two rounds, I wish to extend my arguments and encourage a vote for the Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
You don't sound like a creeper, and thank you :) I believe 400 million people, yes, as a first language considering that it is the national language of somewhere around 15 countries.
Posted by James.ticknor 7 years ago
James.ticknor
I may sound like a creeper, but you're pretty. =)
Posted by James.ticknor 7 years ago
James.ticknor
You say it's spoken by 400 million people....as a first language??
Posted by James.ticknor 7 years ago
James.ticknor
That sucks for me!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
James.ticknorDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
James.ticknorDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07