ANSWERS: 100
  • Only if English is officially declared to be the national language. Edited to Add: There really wouldn't be a need for such a requirement, since people obtaining citizenship will learn the language by immersion, and possibly by classes they take on their own, without having to be forced to do so.
  • By the letter of the law, no, since the US does not have an official language. However, yes, I do think a certain degree of English fluency should be required.
  • I don't think the government has to force them to learn English, but society itself should make him decide to learn a more commonly used language (English)
  • I personally think that they should.
  • G'day Drublic, Thank you for your question. They should certainly be encouraged to learn English so that they can function as well as they can as citizens. However, I think that the most important thing in citizenship is their character. There have been many good citizens with poor English skills and many people with good English skills who have been poor citizens. Regards
  • No i don't think so. Though it is a country that speaks english, people shouldn't be forced to learn it...I think if people in the world are so into world peace and unity, then thats not really a way to unite the world...Because then other countries aren't excepting other languages. And language is a form of culture...
  • yes. it didn't bother my great-grand parents. i'd be talking french or italian.
  • yes i think they should
  • I don't think we should be "required" to learn english, if someone lives here, and doesn't speak english, it's not because they decided they don't want to learn, learning another language is not something you can decide on and do it the next day, some people, especially when older, are just unable to learn it.
  • Since my family didn't have too I wouldn't ask someone else to. I do think learning English would help them to make a better living but that is up to them.
  • Definately.
  • Well how would you like it if you went to a foriegn country applying for their Citizenship and say you had to learn Chinese? So I say no, it's not required of them. That's what translators are for. EDIT: If you're going to downrate, don't be a coward and leave a comment!!!!
  • No, they should not be required to do so, as we are a freedom of choice country. But I think it should be strongly encouraged, as it will make adaptation easier to our society for new citizens.
  • I think so. Then again, a lot of US citizens wouldn't have jobs as translators in such areas as hospitals, police departments, social services...
  • Under our current laws, no. I do think that unless they are coming for political or religious refugee or exile status, they should have to prove that they are economically viable (in theory they do, but I don't think it is stringent enough). Ultimately, yes, I do think they should though.
  • Yes I think they should.
  • Yes I personally believe anyone going for citizenship should be required to speak English
  • Yes, so they can read the traffic signs and stop violating the speed limits.
  • any person wishing to emigrate and enter another country would be foolish if they did not try to acquire the language of that country, either before or after. If the person has no opportunity to learn English before they come (eg no english classes in the country of origin), they should be urged to do so strongly when they are accepted. And this also applies to their wives..who are often left out of the equation altogether.
  • Yes. I believe so. The reason I believe this is that English is the main US language, and our laws, regulations, rights, and national customs are usually stated in English, and these are things immigrants need to learn in order to function as a non-criminal, contributing member of society. An immigrant who REFUSES to learn the language of the country he/she wishes to move to is probably an immigrant who should be viewed with suspicion. Why would you want to move to a country and NOT learn its dominant language? I don't mean that one should have to speak English fluently, but they should at least be willing to learn enough to communicate adequately in the workplace and other situations.
  • Si ... oh, I means Jess. ;)
  • I think that any immigrant to any country should learn the predominant language of the country they wish to obtain citizenship in.
  • Si! Oui! Yah! Da! otherwise, yes!
  • yes In order to be prosperous you must learn the lenguage of the land, Im Mexican and had to learn English, and I think this is the lenguage of the country therefore it should be used primarely, If you wish to speak another lenguage at home thats your choice
  • Not only should immigrants learn english, but they should also learn the equivilent of two years American history. They must also learn the basic philosophy of democracy and understand why it is better than other forms of government.
  • VERY MUCH SO
  • It should be mandatory
  • OH this is a big deal to me! HELL YES! I'm SO SICK of bleeding-hearts whining about how unfairly illegals are treated! No-one seems to remember history and how badly every other immigrant had it coming here. Irish,German,Russian,etc. ALL had to learn the language, show loyalty to their new benefactors, and took a LOT more abuse without the coddling these people who acknowledge their country of origin can't support them, but disrepect the U.S. every way they can. I think there should be a discrimination lawsuit against every company that has "For Spanish press 2" but NO other languages. They should also be boycotted, but that would shut down the nation instantly,instead of this slow painful way "we're' doing it NOW!
  • YES, yes & HELL YES, if they are going to come here to be an american learn our dang language or stay where you come from. If you can get across the boarder & across the ocean to get to our money & paid college tuitions the least you can do is learn how to speak our language & say thank you!!!!!! If we go to another country & try to get citizenship there I doubt they would accomidate us for everything we wanted to do especially when we went there, they didn't come to us & invite us. Its silly to invite yourself somewhere then expect them to stop their life & do for you. Most of them come here, they get food stamps, medical, free college tuitions for them & their children. We pay taxes & work toward social security & fica ect & our kids don't get paid college that easy. Nor are we tax exempt. If our taxes can help them better theirselves & families the least they can do is learn our language. Not to mention also we go to jail for avoiding to pay taxes & can have our things taken away from us for not paying taxes is that fair....... I'm all for helping someone to better themselves but shoot, at least meet us half way, drives me nuts when telemarketers call me & i can't hardly understand what they are asking for. If I went to another country I would want to learn their language if I planned on staying there, its silly not to. Our constitution is written in ENGLISH, our laws are written in ENGLISH, so it makes sense if you want to join a country that is english speaking to learn ENGLISH.
  • Those who come into the country legally, get a job, pay taxes, stay completely crime-free, and contribute to the betterment of society should be required to show proof of an ongoing wholehearted attempt to learn English. They need to have the very basics learned first. I see no reason why they couldn't obtain citizenship if they are doing that. After 7 years, they should be able to communicate fairly well with people who only speak English. They need to show that they are trying to relieve the burden on English-speaking people. Companies, governments, and many other places and groups spend way too much money putting everything into other languages. That money could be better spent teaching the immigrants' children English and other subjects in FREE public school systems. A few multi-language directional signs are alright. It's practically impossible to learn a language well in a country that doesn't speak it. They are by no means going to be great at speaking English. Help them help themselves. It's when a store has to have 3 different boxes/bags/containers for each and every product with 3 different languages available that it gets ridiculous. My 2 Cents --Matt
  • Anyone who emigrates to a foreign country should be required to learn the language of that society.
  • I think that should learn English, as it will help them to settle in their new country. It will help them socially, as well as to find a job.
  • No. My German grandparents were not forced to do so. In fact, Chicago's PUBLIC schools set up regular classes (math, etc.) taught IN GERMAN for their convenience. This fuss about immigrants comes along every time there is a major wave from one area or another -- right now, Asia, Russia, and Central/South America. There will always be demagogues (Bill O'Reilly, for example) who want to whip up their own popularity by whipping up fear and ill-feeling. But within a generation or so, the kids are marrying out of their ethnic group and the old language starts to fade, except in neighborhoods where it is the first language (like some of the Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods of New York City, or Chinatowns throughout the U.S.). It does no harm to give even immigrants the right to free speech - in the language of their own choosing.
  • Yes. They should also be aware of the basic laws and social customs. I think that should be the case whatever country you are immigrating to. It would make it easier for the immigrant to fit in and obtain work and it would make it easier for the rest of the country to understand them.
  • Absolutely.
  • "Should immigrants that are trying to obtain US citizenship be required to learn English?" How good would their English need to be? "Should immigrants WHO are trying to obtain US citizenship be required to learn English?" ;)
  • I personally feel that, yes, people should learn English to become US citizens. If for no other reason than simple safety. If someone is having a heart attack in the Target parking lot, and as I start CPR, I turn to the first person there and say "Go call 911!" I really want them to understand, not stare blankly back at me.
  • Yes! Learn English and American History too. And learn the simple philosophy behind democracy also.
  • The immigrants aren't the ones we should worry about. How about the 37% of American college students who don't think learning another language is important? If anything the presence of immigrants in our country should motivate us to diversify ourselves, and not so much ask others to conform to how we live. Everyone should try and become bilingual. How interesting would that be!
  • Yes, it's just comon curtesy to learn the language of where we want to go live for the rest of our lives.
  • Personally as a legal immigrant from the UK, learning English is not a bother for me, however, think of the situatuion this way, if you were to immigrate to a country like France or Germany, you would have to learn to speak the language there, they would not change the language just for you and others who refuse to learn the country's language. This is the only country that has signposted signs written in Spanish and English, if it were the case for every person who immigrated here to make everyone else learn their language, then we would not have a language to even consider calling our own, so in conclusion, I am for making immigrants learn English, since it was the Puritans who founded this country and they spoke English!
  • Noone can become a US citizen unless they have been a Permanent Resident for at least 3 or 5 years. English proficiency is a must before even applying for US citizenhip. An English language proficiency test and a history test are among the many requirements of becoming a US citizen, so technically, if the laws and rules are followed by, there should be no naturalized citizens that do not master the English language.
  • yes bc it is one of the most spoken languages in the U.S.
  • Was our constitution written in a foreign language? I think not, well maybe to some!
  • As an immigrant I say yes. Playing a full part in life and society of America really requires it. Its to the benefit of the individual as well as the state and other residents.
  • Yes they had better learn our language or spanish if they want to order some fast food.
  • Of course! Being from AZ, I see the problem first hand.....I must go now. Need to borrow sugar from the neighbors. Oh wait, they speak no English. Never mind.
  • Of course they should. I mean really, how can you expect to get ahead in this country without learning English. Notice I said "get ahead", not "get by". These are two separate things. You can always "get by" without learning English, but never "get ahead" in life. And isn't that what we all want out of life, or at least, what we hope will happen for our children?
  • I most certainly do. This is for several reasons. 1. People who do not learn the main language are more likely to live in poverty and to be taken advantage of. You cannot advance at any job if you can't speak with everyone around you. Employers have been know to use it to their advantage since if you don't know the language they can tell you just about any thing and get away with it. 2. It's a safty issue. If there's an emergency everyone needs to be able to communicate on at least a basic level. Also if you don't know the language most warning signs would be meaningless to you. 3. People who do not learn the main language of their country of residency are at a sever disatvanage for education. Most don't finish school. 4. Peopel who learn the language of their country of residence are less likely to turn to crime in order to survive. 5. Language is not just nessary for servial it is also the unifing factor for people of a nation. In fact it's the main unifing fctor. What sex is for a realtionship language is for a socity. To not learn it makes you an outsider to that. That's what breeds the hatered and distrust between diffrent segments of socity. This is how I see it by telling someone they must learn English we are giving them a valuable tool to protect them and to help them to grow as a part of this nation. It's also not telling them they must leave their old language or customs behind. If they want to speak it at home or in their neighborhood I have no problem with that. Nor do I have a problem with them holding onto their customs. In fact I see it as a good thing to remember your roots. I just want them to be able to function here as well as they could in their old country.
  • Nah. There are places in the country where you can get by just fine without ever having to learn English. And there's no official langauge or anything, so why not?
  • Plainly and simply: Yes.
  • I believe the original test had to be administered in English and the questions required an understanding of government that most natural-born citizens do not have. (Who are YOUR two senators and House Representative?) If I altered these questions by putting them into a different language, then what patriotism is my new citizen bringing to my country? I assure you that nationals from other countries (that is, not ideal US citizens) do not mind remaining nationals of their countries. Part of the oath of citizenship involves denouncing all other citizenships. I believe anyone that truly wanted to become an American citizen would take the "trouble" to learn English in an English-language dominated society and those that are looking for a piece of paper will probably continue to watch their foreign language channels and not be bothered to study and be inspired by the democratic foundation of this great republic.
  • Yes, but you must consider this. English is the hardest language to learn. One word can have many meanings. Most of us go a lifetime and use only 20% of the words in the English vocabulary. Just think if you were an immigrant and this was hanging over your head? English is a tough language to learn.
  • My answer is no. The United States has no national language, and therefore we can not force anyone to learn a language that we ourselves have not considered our own. If they choose not to learn the language, they are limiting themselves in their careers and interpersonal relationships. That's punishment enough. Besides, I know of people born in the United States whose families' grew up around each other, and as a result speak broken English.
  • Yes, absolutely, they should also have to start from the bottom and attempt to work their way to the top like us American's have to do. I'll never understand...
  • Not if their families lived in North America before the English got there, e.g. First Nations.
  • It's still Americas as far as I know, so I would have to say yes. If that changes, let me know!
  • If you want to live in USA then yes. If I move to another country that is non-English speaking, I would learn that language. I expect all my employees to speak English. When they show up and can't communicate, I don't hire them.
  • actually there is no official language in the U.S. I would attempt to learn the main language of the country I plan to stay in but that's just me.
  • Yes. Plain and simple. Go ahead and speak another language amongst your family but learn english, you're going to have to work with other people sometime.
  • They shouldn't forced to learn anything. But neither should we be forced to offer signs, telephone messages, voting instructions, etc. in more than one language. At the same time, especially those of us in border states, would probably benefit from learning Spanish. There's virtually no other country in the world where people living 100 miles from an international border can't speak some of "the other" language.
  • Absolutely, I would not move to Germany and expect not to learn German. Therefore if you move to America learn to speak english. It's only being considerate to the locals.
  • I am in Australia, but I understand the question all the same, as we have the same sort of mix. I should say encourage rather than forced. THere are elderly who come as refugees or to join their families, who will never be able to learn English, and so should not be forced. Those of working age should be given incentives to learn English, including work-based classes. If there are not incentives like this, when will they learn? Often migrants are working odd shifts or two or three jobs. Once again, when do they have time to learn? Children will always learn, and have opportunity.
  • They shouldn't and really can't be FORCED to learn English. It would be good and wise of them to learn the language, but if they can manage to make it by without speaking English then what do I care? I don't have to talk to them and I don't have to make any changes for them- if they don't understand me then tough luck.
  • Yes. They want our freedom, our security, our opportunity and our free education system for their children. Many come here simply to apply for goverment givaways, SSI, ADC Section 8 housing, Welfare/foodstamps and such. They receive free treatment at our hospitals. The least they could do is to learn to read and speak our language. I for one am sick to death of a bunch of wimps that can't control this situation. Instead of controlling it, they provide foreign language speaking people to take their applications at our expense. Don't get me started.
  • Physically forced, no. But every government service, such as getting a drivers licence or the citizenship exam, should be in English. This would require them to learn the language to prosper in the USA.
  • How would you 'force' them?
  • I find it is not necessary and have see many from many cultures that have not found the need to learn English.Since they only communicate with their own friends,family, and find English hard to learn, why should they attempt to do so.Many counties in Europe have multiple language instructions,maybe 5 or more
  • Yes, deffinatly.
  • I m not native English speaker - and in my country I expect that foregin people will somehow study our language. And reason - more to understand culture where they are, be able to do basic things (like send box to another country, speak with other people or with offices). It´s better to understand then don´t. You can´t be so demanding on new state, which will care about you. The state should offer you way how to survive (help in start, help in learning language...)
  • Most definately! The primary language of this country is English, learn it or leave.
  • Absolutely.
  • I believe they do need to learn English. However, I do not think they need to abandon their mother tongue.
  • yes definetely otherwise how ll they survive???
  • Yes, if they want to assimiliate into our society and not just within their families just as I would expect to have to learn Spanish, French, German, etc. if I were to move to one of those countries. My grandparents both spoke German in their homes when they moved to the U.S., but learned to speak English so they could communicate with others in this country. They kept their traditions alive within their families.
  • They should, at the very least, meet us halfway.
  • I believe that anyone that becomes a resident of a country should learn the language of that country.
  • Yes, if they want to live here, just as I should be expected to learn their langauge if I move to their country. You have to adapt to the culture, the culture will not adapt to you.
  • It would be great if we made it harder for them to get by without knowing English, but unfortunately it has become just the reverse. We make it so easy for them, by offering everything to them in their own language. In fact, in my area, we are often turned away from jobs if we cannot speak Spanish. Our school schedules have been altered to accommodate South American holidays. I even saw a man putting up his flag on the Fourth of July, and as he was doing this, a car drove by and the men inside shouted "Viva La Mexico". I doubt things will ever get better.
  • Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon a person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. -Theodore Roosevelt 1907 __________________________________________ Still sounds good 100 years later!
  • Yes, if I am to immagrate to another country I would expect it to be a requirement for me to learn their language as well. For all you nay-sayers that say English is too hard to learn consider this: Many European countries require or recommend that students take English (just like Spanish here in the US). The english language does not utilize gender when describing nouns (i.e trees, grass, paper etc.) you will find this in other germanic languages and romance languages. The English language also has fewer tenses than some other languages (i.e the subjunctive tense in French). Yes, there are homonyms in English but they exist in all other languages as well There are more words in the English language than other, but this at times makes it easier to communicate (as in describing something) because you don't always need to find the 'exact' word for something.
  • Since the constitution and all our laws, etc. are written in American English, I feel they should master basic English if they want to survive in this country. There is the giant Spanish language loop hole though.
  • They should put forth an effort. and have a desire to learn other wise why are you coming here?
  • Yes. Sure, America is a melting pot of nationalities, but the one thing we can all have in common is the official language, English.
  • I think some basic stuff like hello, goodbye, wheres the bathroom?, thank you, etc. but I dont think they should be required to get the whole language down.
  • yes or at least showing there trying to learn it. why leave here if you dont want to act or speak american.
  • Yep if they're in OUR country they should speak OUR language!
  • I would say it would be unnecessary as many foreign people only associate with others that speak the language.Secondly English is a very hard language to learn and once one is older it is almost impossible to learn.If you turn the situation around and move to a country that speaks another language you will find it a great challenge to learn their language ,especially if the alphabet is different.I used to live in Greece and know how difficult it is to learn a language.
  • Yes........They came to OUR country. They need to learn to speak and read English. Americans need to hold dearly their own language which is English! If people want to come here to enjoy our freedoms and work they need to show respect for the United States of America and use OUR language!!
  • I think they should, even if it's only the basics. I'm all for multi-culturalism and diversity, etc, but I've seen it sometimes go too far/on the other end of the spectrum with some immigrants expecting US to have to learn THEIR language to accomodate them. I'm all for accepting their ways, but don't get mad at me if I can't understand your language, living in my country!
  • I think they should because we are paying for all the extra paper work required to make printed instructions printed in 3 or 4 languages. The biggest pain in the a$$ is pressing 1 for English when dealing with automated phone instructions.
  • YES all people coming to live in the United State should learn to speak English. If we were to go to another country to live we would have to learn that country's language. So they should learn ours.
  • well, sure! We should also make sure Americans should be required to learn english...have any idea how many illiterate Americans there are these days? It's alot more than you might think....
  • Well, unless they do what the Chinese did when they immigrated to New York (which made the authentic "China Town" although they were forced to be there and may be forced to stay in one place) and stay in one place in the state, which is pretty limiting, and like I already said they were forced there. That could happen again if they don't know language, people will undermind them for pointless bullshit, and they'll go there not only because other US citizens force them there, but other immigrants will too, or they will feel like they have to. They need to know enough English to get along. I wouldn't move into another country unless I knew the language. Some country's speak more than one, like Europe, but that doesn't mean you know enough. Livia
  • OF COURSE. If they so want to go and live in America, why not learn the language of the country you'll be staying probably most of your life, right? The country won't adopt to you or your needs, you should be the one to adopt to everything your environment demands.
  • Absolutely. If I emmigrated anywhere else I wouldn't expect that entire counrty to make ME more comfortable and adapt to my particular needs. I, as the newcomer, would try to fit in to their culture. Ok, I know that America is a melting pot, yada yada yada, but seriously, demographics have shown that it is possible for an ethnic group to be established here as Americans and still retain their particular cultural ethos. so stubbornly clinging to a language and refusing to learn that of the nation you have now adopted as you own is absurd. Basically, if you don't want to play by the rules with the rest of us, don't show up for the game. Stay where you were. OR come here (for whatever reasons float your boat) and get with the program. Learning English doesn't take away your heritage, it makes you BILINGUAL.
  • Absolutely!!

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