The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Should English be the official language of America?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,473 times Debate No: 27999
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




English should not be the official language of America! It's good for people to try to learn so it won't be challenging but learning a new language should not be forced. Chinese and Spanish are the primary languages spoken now, China is the USA's source of trade (almost everything that we own is "made in China.")
Immigrants founded American and there was no actual set language; since people are coming from other places, America has become more diverse and is continuing to be. Everyone came in speaking a different language and we can see this everyday (subways,buses,airplanes) Learning a new language is extremely beneficial now, you become more wanted since you can communicate with OTHER people. You are wanted more in business or international business related jobs because maybe the person you want to do business with speaks a different language. I think that if we made English the official language we would be disregarding all the other languages spoken in America, thus provoking violence. It will be much harder to promote peace and harmony while trying to restrict people by what they are speaking and by what they are doing.


There are multiple languages spoken here in America, such as Spanish, Chinese, French, and German. However, Chinese and Spanish are not the primary language in America. There are 82.1% English speakers and 17.9% other languages, which means that English is the primary language spoken in America.

Also, almost everything is made in China but not written nor spoken in Chinese. If we will base the question, "if English should be the official language in USA" from the products that is mostly use, then it will not be reasonable for the country to be called America for most of the things used in US are made in China. It is the same logic as having English as an official language of USA; for people do not rely on the quantity of the products that is used in a certain country to determine whether if English must be the official language of America.

Yes, America is founded by immigrants and it is well respected. Yet, does it mean that Americans must speak multiple languages since there are multiple immigrants who founded America? No, because having an official language, which is English, is one of the best and clearest way to unite the country.

Learning another language is not prohibited and yes is very beneficial, but having a single official language which is English, is more beneficial because it will unite the whole country. It does not promote violence. How can uniting by the means of having an official language create violence? How can uniting means violence? Yes it never said that unity can create violence, but having English as an official language can lead to violence is not true. Having an English as an official language will ease the whole country by providing a better communication, that can lead to a better nation.

Debate Round No. 1


English is one of the primary languages used but now other languages are catching up. The Spanish language is the second most used in America ( America is the most multilingual country and having a set language does not make sense. American is a melting pot having many different languages, cultures and people. Having so many languages and traditions will mesh and transform into a new social and cultural form. Having an legitimate language would "omit the addition of additional elements of other cultures dilute the cultural "melting pot" that is the United States."

By bringing cultural diffusion to other places there will be new advances in technology and trade that could stimulate our economy and lead to other positive encounters. If there was an "Official language" the government would want to find another excuse to make something else "official," and this could lead to a corrupt government. It will also "shrink the liberties the nation was founded on."

Many immigrants came to have freedom and no limitations but by making something "official" restricts the freedom of the American people and somewhat constraining their amendments. People have learned to communicate by other means rather then the language itself. Cavemen had no official language and were able to communicate just as well. Many of us use hand gestures, people that are not able to hear use hand gestures and mouth movements as well. Giving someone something or doing something for them is another form of communication, but that doesn't mean touching people should be the "official language."


Having English as an official language must be accepted by the immigrants, since immigrants also benefits from USA. They have the choice to move here in America and therefore must abide the rules of learning English. The same thing as how other people learn the official language of country they choose to live on.

It is not to stop people to learn new languages. It is to implement a more discipline way to communicate. An individual can still use their own languages or learn new languages, but must know that English must be learnt in America where most people speak in English. It is not fair to any country to learn other language just for the sake of immigrants to understand them. Also, knowing English is not necessary to be perfect but at least enough to be able to communicate well.

If the government seeks for another thing to make an "official" because of making English an official language, then it is acceptable as long as that "official" thing is beneficial for the society (like English as an official language). Not all the government decisions are right nor wrong, then why blame "English as being official language of America" for the mistakes of the people in the position?

How can making English as an official language restrict the freedom of Americans, when most of the Americans already know how to communicate fluently in English? It is never prohibited in US to learn new languages, and in fact in some states it is already a requirement in college like Hunter College in New York. It does not restrict the freedom of Americans for everyone still have the right to learn new languages that they want or need to know.

We do not live in the past anymore. Would people want to go back and communicate like a caveman again, when we already have something much easier to use as a communication tools? Hand gestures are one of the history of our language that made our communication better. Hand gestures and caveman's way of communication is a history, which means it is past. That history must stay in the past and be recognize in the present and future. Nobody wants to live in the past anymore, therefore English is the most effective way to communicate here in USA. English as an official language of America must be implemented.

Debate Round No. 2


Immigrants do benefit from the US in many ways but that doesn't mean they must do something that is permanent, for something that they want to do might be temporary. Not many countries have a official language because the word is so diverse and again will continue to be.

It is beneficial for people to learn English but it is their choice whether to do that or not. Everyone is born with natural rights, "rights which persons possess by nature: that is, without the intervention of agreement, or in the absence of political and legal institutions." ( Just like in the writings of John Locke, people had the rights to voice their own opinion and right of property. It is shown in the Declaration of Independence the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen , the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the US, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. (

Most people do speak English but that doesn't mean it had to be carved in stone. If they do have the right, then they have the right to pick whether they want to learn or not. "English only," is a code of xenophobia which is fear of foreigners. "In 1795, the 3rd Congress did consider, and reject by a single vote, a petition by German Americans in Virginia to translate all federal laws into their language. A tie vote in the House of Representatives appears to have been broken by Speaker Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, a Pennsylvania German with budgetary concerns and assimilationist tendencies." While there was a chance to make the language "official" it did not go according to plan due to many concerns and things that could possibly go wrong.

Things in the past are important because we tend to learn from them. Last presidencies help the future present decide what to do in the future, what to improve on and what to stop doing. Things come back from the past and it's important to be able to deal with them with the most suitable manner. English(as the official language) should not be employed in the US, it should be kept diverse and not a replication of other countries.


Yes, everyone has a natural rights, and English must be learnt by an immigrants because it is for thier own benificiary. Yes, they can choose not to learn English, but who will do suffer in the end? English is widely used in America in writings, media, communication and almost everything. Not knowing English in a country that uses the language alot is crucial for the life of an individual who doesn't know how to speak English. If a person does not know the mostly used language, then how can that person live in a country that he doesnt understands? However, if an individual decides to move to an English speaking country like America, whether they like it or not, whether its their choice or not, they will naturally learn English in many ways just by staying in the country. Just like having natural rights, people who choose to live in America will naturally learn English, so why give a hard time to once self and refuse to study English when it can be learn easily if choosen to?

In the first place why move to a foreign country if a person is xenophobia? A person who have xenophobia or any person who have any phobia wont even dare to step in a place where they are mostly terrified. Using xenophobia is unreasonable for most likely people who moved in America does not have xenophobia. If someone who have xenophobia has been forced to move to their fearful country, there must be a special certain actions to be implement for their convience. That is why learning English is categorize by levels, so a person wont be too overwhelm to learn a new language.

It is not a replication of other country, but a replication of how well a country must be taken care of, in the means of implementing what must be done in able to have a better union. What is wrong with copying what is right to do? Is'nt every good thing we have learned in school is just a copy of the book or the knowledge of the teacher? If that certain copy or replica will be for the good of many then it should be done.

Things in the past as said earlier must be recognize and not left out. However, it is not necessary to use the hard way (old way) of communication. The reason people are inventing new tehnology is to ease the life of humans. If there is an easier way, then for sure most people would like to take the easiest and also safe way.

Debate Round No. 3


There are numerous immigrants that live in the US that do not speak English, and can still adapt to their environment correctly. Since the U.S is renowned for its ability to soak up people from countries from all over the world immigrants won't have any problem finding people that are just like them. True, there will be difficulties for them but with with time passing they will be able to figure out what's right from wrong.

Making English the "official" language will only hinder the transition. Learning a language is already hard enough, a person cannot learn a language over night. It takes years and years to learn and perfect a language, especially for an adult. Acquiring a language from birth is the only effective and fast way for them to learn. "... young children effortlessly attain new words and sounds due to the brain's unique abilities during this critical learning period. All words, even words from several languages, are stored in what is known to scientists as the "brain map." Part of why scientists believe children learn languages so easily is that all of these languages are stored in the same "map," not compartmentalized into different parts of the brain." Even after 10 years old it becomes MUCH harder for a person to learn new words, yet a new language.

Immigrants would be required to take many ESL classes, but ESL classes are not free they're extremely expensive. Learning English is less of a concern for them, what's more important is finding shelter, food, jobs, basics that a person needs to survive.

While become a legal immigrant it is required to have a BASIC understanding of English, so they already know what is needed to learn. Making English the official language won't aid further distinction of U.S. citizens from non-citizens, regardless of their country of residence. "When there is no problem to be fixed, no benefit to be gained, and actual disadvantage given by a proposed law, there is no earthly reason to instate it."

In conclusion the US should stay the way it is, without a proposed language. Something so controversial should not be set in stone. Knowing the basics is beneficial, people will live the way they want to because they are more comfortable that way.


yandere forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cometflash 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: In PRO's last round she pretty much went against her own arguments by saying; one could slowly and naturally learn the language despite not choosing so. If she agrees with such, it pretty much proves that an official language is not necessary for one to learn the language that is of most used (English). There is already a law that require a person to know English to acquire a US citizenship. An official language would restrict some things as pointed by CON. PRO forfeit a round with no explanations (could have the comment section), so I deduct conduct.