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English As An Official Language Of The United States

2439 words - 10 pages

English as an Official Language of the United States
Sheila Maloney
ENG 122 English Compositions II
Leonid Chernyak
April 27, 2012

English as an Official Language of the United States
The United States of America is almost 236 years old yet we do not have an official language. Should we designate an official language for our nation? The US is traditionally thought of as an English speaking country and our official language should reflect that tradition. When we think of Japan, we do not think the citizens will be speaking Russian. When we think about Germany, it is normal to think the German people will speak German. This issue has created a split in the public opinion; however, ...view middle of the document...

The costs for providing multilingual services for the states, nation and the tax paying public have increased, and will continue to increase unless we, as a nation, decide on one official language. According to the Report to Congress by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (March 14, 2002), “the cost of enhanced language assistance are difficult to quantify, but may also be significant.” We cover the costs of translation services for non-English speaking immigrants, both legal and illegal. The translation services range from printing documents such as voting ballots, driving test and forms for social services, as well as health and safety documents. You will find documents printed in a variety of languages in Police Stations, US Post Offices, and Welfare offices. (CDSS, March 2012) The California Department of Social Services translates multiple forms in over 20 different languages. Many millions of dollars are spent covering the cost of multilingual services every year. The following costs were found in a report to Congress by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Report to Congress (March 14, 2002) “The total cost of providing multilingual services for the Immigration and Naturalization Service would be between $114 million and $150 million annually.” This cost estimate for just the INS alone covered printed documents and translators for people who have come to this country both legally and illegally. We are required to provide translators for intake interviews for people who are caught illegally entering the country.
Many people think that our driving tests are taken in English only. Multiple states provide the drivers tests in many languages besides English. The state of Georgia has tried twice to pass a bill that requires the driver’s license test to be exclusively in English. At this time, the Department of Driver Services in Georgia provides the test in 14 different languages including Arabic, Spanish and Vietnamese. According to Kent, P. & Ho, H. K. (2011, February 17th), “To rectify this expensive problem of multilingualism and to promote highway safety, Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, introduced HB 72 to require that driving license tests be given exclusively in English.” The state of California Department of Motor Vehicles prints the written drivers test in over 30 different languages. According to the DMV besides English, the basic Class C written driver license exam is also available in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese. The state of California is going bankrupt but it continues to waste money on multilingual services. (U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Report to Congress: March 14, 2002) “The total...

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