I was annoyed the other night while waiting at my local sandwich shop for the club sandwich I’d ordered. There were some regulars there and a couple of people came in and ordered in Spanish. The cook at the sandwich shop spoke Spanish and so he translated for the cashier. Meanwhile, the “regulars” sitting at one of the tables were muttering, not quite under their breath:
“Learn English, willya. This ain’t Mexico. This here’s America!”
This pushed one of my buttons almost to the point where I spoke up. First of all, take your own advice, lady! I’m not sure how well “This ain’t Mexico” would stand up in a basic English grammar class.
Secondly, it seems to me that the people who complain most about people who don’t speak English (in their presence) are among the laziest people out there. They are the same people you’ll find entangled in all sorts of “get rich quick” schemes; the same people who’d use the slightest crack in the sidewalk to sue a neighbor; the same people who complain they don’t get paid enough for essentially sitting on their fat, lazy asses.
Take some personal responsibility and learn another freakin’ language, why don’tchya!.
The response to this is always, “Why should I, this is America? Everyone should speak English.” Well, maybe if you live in a version of America that I’m unaware of. We Americans are a lazy bunch. We’re some of the only people in the world who, generally, speak only one language. Foreign language training should be mandatory (the language itself doesn’t really matter). It makes us more worldly, it helps us to communicate better (and therefore seem more welcoming) and for crying out loud, it give you a better understanding of different cultures.
But maybe I shouldn’t expect much more when I feel increasingly more surrounded by lazy, under-educated, backwater rednecks.