Tuesday, January 09, 2007

American language vs. Mexican language

I stubled upon an article in BBC acrhives. It was interesting to read, but I was thinking there might be some idea behind it. So I googled a bit and I came a cross with couple of writings here and here. So I decided to post my thoughts to these kind of americans:

Kurva, I tried to check the official language. So I went to CIA.gov, chose The World Factbook and chose United States. Under the section "People" it has a paragraph that is about languages:
English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7%

So what's the official language? Scheisse, it didn't state it here. That's odd. Och sen jag ska titta här: Finland. Tiny county in the middle of nowhere. The same part states:
Finnish 92% (official), Swedish 5.6% (official), other 2.4% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities)

Wait a second. Finnish and Swedish are official languages? It states it there. So USA doesn't have an official language?

Maybe it's Navajo or Cherokee... Ich weiss nicht.

Finland stands as a bilingual country. And it works fine. The ratio 9 to 0.5 is quite large, but finnish speak swedish also. It's mandatory in school to study also swedish. There's 8 to 1 ratio between english and spanish in the States. The gap is much smaller than in Finland, so I would recommend for all those in the States to learn english and spanish. Now, go and check what it says for South Africa and check the ratios on those languages...

Majority is english in the States. (English comes from England, you know. Now say "thanks, UK, for your lovely language.") So it would be wise for the traveller to know the local language a bit. It may not be a necessity, but it makes life easier. I haven't lived in that many countries, but at least I can get my uno cerveza, adim pivo, ein bier bitte, pint o' laagah mate, una birra, een bier astublieft, en öl tack, yksi olut...

You can survive with english-only in Europe, but it just makes it easier to know the local language. Except in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They really enjoy speaking english, which makes it really hard to learn the language. Maar ik prata een beetje. Deutch is auch schweer, aber ich spreche ein bichen Deutch. Auch.

Mental note: "Jalla jalla, hajaku hajaku, biaaatch... learn proper dutch already!"

But in any case. Don't get scared of the amount of the languages in the world. Be brave. Visit Europe for example. Trust me, it'll be grand. We don't bite and we do speak english. Among other languages.

And if you're planning to raise a point about "Europe is different countries, USA is one." Check wikipedia for EU. Yes, independent countries, but still a Union.

Post Script. If you do visit, try not to get angry when you get pissed. We like to laugh a lot and have a good time when we get pissed. ;)


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