Friday, April 13, 2007

Habla Espanol?

In respect to the coastal states, the value of knowing a secondary language is almost tantamount to having a secondary collegiate education. There are innumerable job postings that are listed, where, they not only require knowing a second language, but actually post it in the language they are looking for you to know.

With English not being the official language of the united states, our melting pot consists of innumerable languages (Farsi, French, and in particular, Spanish). The spanish population has imploded in recent years, and, in fact, they are progessing as the largest minority (for lack of a better word) in this country. This land was originally inhabited by almost every ethnicity that you can imagine (Sans European) prior to the Columbus raid, so during that time there were far reaching implications of what was communicated prior to that. This is understood.

With that said, if in fact there is a high latino population (surging and emerging) that would also mean that there are more and more Latinos entering the work force. Because of this, those who do have English as a Second Language have SPANISH as their first language. With that said, if you live or visit any coastal state (Texas, California, New York), even an increasing number of employees are conversing in their native languages directly on the work floor.

The value of knowing a second language is beautiful, no matter which one. Any language is a form of communication (Sign Language included), and to break a barrier with a person who believes that you are unable to speak with them cannot be measured in words. I've witnessed it and it's wonderful. As for me, once again, I'll reserve my opinions after every one has posted.

But that's not the question at hand. . .There are many, and you can respond to any of of them you wish. . .

If this economy works primarily in one language (American English), then would there be a necessity to require employees to speak a secondary language in a work location where the primary language IS English? (With the exception of call centers, where in bound calls come in from people speaking everything from Arabic to Swahili). Has the tide turned where those who have mastered the English language (as most were trained to do in their primary school years, as well as secondary education) came back to haunt many of them? Is it appropriate for any person that speaks a secondary language to carry on an entire conversation in the work place with someone who is unfamiliar with the language? If you went outside of Western Civilization, would anyone care for you enough to ensure all could speak to you in your native tongue? Should everyone just get on the good foot and learn a second language, for their benefit?

How Effective/Necessary is it to Know A Secondary Language in The Workplace? Should Employers Require it?


Miss Ahmad said...


Having lived in Mexico I can tell you for a fact that I was required to speak Spanish in order to go to market, order food at a restaurant or just get an umbrella at the beach. They don't play that bi lingual thing so much down there.

However if we take a look at our Euro counter parts, we'll find that many of them are taught up to four languages. Many continental Africans speak up to four languages as well.

Which leads me to believe that Americans who are passing students who have a less than fundamental grasp of their own language will soon falter in the work place.

In short yes, I think everyone should be bi lingual, we live in a global community.

Ladynay said...

Yes yes and yes. Everyone should at least have functional knowledge of another lanquage.

Nice spot ma'am. I've seen you around the internet for the longest but never stopped by and spoke.

P said...

@ Glam

Do you think that being bilingual should be a requirement in obtaining employment, though?

Personally, I think that a secondary language is a form of communication that is effective in your life. What I want to know, just as you said 'playing the bilingual thing down there' (which I KNOW and agree), should it be something that you need to know to secure employment.

@ Ladynay: Thanks for dropping by. . .Like you said, a functional knowledge is fundamental for knowing things and reaching out for communication reasons. Me, being me, I am learning a second language, because, my primary language, which I will never know, was lost centuries ago, and not only that, I'm way too, in a nice way 'curious' and like to know what other people are talking bout!

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

@ P

I wrote a essay titled the law of the majority, this is a law in life. You will follow the law of the majority. If in a certain town, city , or state a certain ethnic group has become so powerful economically, employment wise, socially, and publicly and also speak another language beside English that ethnic group will take over. And, they will force their culture, language, and their way of doing things on those who are not a part of them. In a country like America I don't feel that in general you should have to speak a second language to gain employment. But in certain situation yes, a second language my be needed to help communicate like the telephone company etc. But in this country with my fellow whites losing power gradually -- they are no longer capable of using fear to make others ethnic groups give up their cultures and speak English only. I am glad about this, I want this country to become a mulatto country, filled with mixed blooded people like myself.

If America lets others come and take over then it is a sign that change is going to come. Now blacks I feel are going to suffer badly because of this second language and immigration thing. Many employers already prefer Hispanics (Latinos) over blacks. I wrote an essay titled black pathologies and unemployment, it deals with why white, non-white, and black employers said why they prefer not to hire a lot of black men.

They all prefer immigrants or members of other ethnic groups. Now, with immigrants and other speaking a second language at work the employer feels that it is better to hire more members of that ethnic group, so their will be better communication. People speak their second language in front of employee who don't speak that language and this is considered rude. But these people don't care if they don't like it, do something about it. But there really is not much that can be done. I feel also, there will be a racial war between blacks and Hispanics (Latinos) in certain cities and Hispanics will win dead bodies will be every where males, females, and children. Whites and Hispanics will fight somewhere down the road -- and Hispanics will win because they have time on their side and Spanish speaking countries ready to re-supply in numbers.

I want America and Canada to become mestizo, mulatto, multiracial, and bi racial countries I like this I feel more comfortable this way. I will not live to see but I know it is going to happen. Some don't like their dark skin, they suffer because of it and probably do. I say how about this, try being a apart of a group that you fully don't belong to but are mislabeled as. Yes, BROWN is a beautiful color it represent mixture the mixing of languages, blood, and cultures the COSMIC RACE -- MY RACE (the mixed people, we are the future). I won't live to see you all 200 hundred years from now, but at least the MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE allows me to see the beginning stages of it. I carry the genetics of three great racial groups, and I am proud to be the tragic mulatto.

Should you learn a second language? If the country you live in is no longer capable of stopping others from speaking their foreign language in the work place then yes. Because eventually it will be required for certain jobs, because the leaders and ruling class are no longer able to force those who speak English as a second language to stop speaking their native language.

P said...

@ The Best Chance.

You make some interesting points, as usual; however just as there is nothing wrong with being biracial. . .There is also nothing wrong with NOT being biracial even though technically speaking we are all mixed with something (didn't yer know that all of us black folks got "In - De - En" in us?) :P

Personally I don't want everyone to look the same or be the same. Then it become an homogenous (sp) society where everything is blended, and I don't like blended drinks. Take a look at the twilight zone episode "Number 12 looks just like you". Frankly, I'm very happy being who I am, and that probably (not certainly) means marrying a black man and having black babies.

That's it. Now, although, again, I love language, even though my original one is lost forever. I just wanted to throw that out there for you. As always, thanks for commenting.

Miss Ahmad said...

P, depending on the job, i do think in the near future being bilingual will be a requirement the service industry is moving that way from what i can see, and i mean this for both people who only speak spanish and those who only speak english, the middle man is the one who is most valuable.

my great grandmother never spoke a lick of english in her whole life and as a result she wasn't able to be a full fledged member of the work force or society as it were. she only spoke german and french, well a patois french at that. she made sure that all of her children were bi lingual and as a result of seeing the discrimination of what it was like NOT to speak english as a first language my mother's generation was the first to hold english as a primary language. it's a slippery this language thing, especially with an educational system in shambles..

The Mistress said...

With the state of our public schools I see the notion of everyone being bilingual as a fantasy. Sure it would be nice but let's face it, some kids don't even have a proper command of the ENGLISH language!

Oh and I think it's rude for people to communicate to one another in foreign languages around non-speakers. To me, it's on the same level as whispering in the ear of the person next to you while others sit by and wonder what you're saying. It's rude, immature, and inconsiderate.

P said...

@ The Mistress:

You make some excellent points. I'm always challenged by that. I wouldn't do it, nor do I expect for others to do it.

Frankly, I experience it in the nail shop all of the time. This past Friday I was getting a nail repaired and she talked to me in English (perfect) the entire time, but when it came to the cost of the nail (I had some special Crystal Gel American Natural product or something, and I wanted them to polish clear ALL of the nails). She started talking in her native tongue. . .(The other lady spoke perfect english, too).


Miz JJ said...

I live in Canada and am bilingual. I think that Americans are at a distinct disadvantage not learning other languages. I need to be biligual to hold my current position, but I do not believe that all jobs should be that way.

Lol @ you in the nail shop.

Sangindiva said...

I think this is a fantastic post.
In the workplace I don't think a second language should be REQUIRED... but it is fantasy to think that
in the upcoming years if you are NOT bi-ligual you will have a fighting chance of getting a job.

People discriminate all.the.time. in the workplace based on race relations-even though there are "laws"against that sort of thing. (It's proving that it happens is the tricky part)

Just look at your local restaurant- there is a hispanic cooking in the back- (EVEN AT THE
"SOUL FOOD" JOINT!) And they are speaking a lanuage that is not english.
I think it a sign of the times that although it shouldn't be required in the "english speaking american workplace" it will be because the minority is/and will certainly rule the majority in this case.

P said...

@ Ms. JJ:

I was glazing through my post and comments (too lazy to read all of it) but I do want all of y'all to know that I am working on a second language right now. But I don't think that people should not just NOT know a second language, I think they should know a second EVERYTHING. I think you should cross train yourself. If you are in public relations, learn some marketing, or HR. Vice versa. Don't get caught slipping, man!!

@ The Diva: I agree that it is unwise of us to think that won't I think that people should not only have a second language (because if anything, it's a form of communication, and me, being me, I don't want that to be the determining factor for getting turned down for anything. Plus, I'm nosey (sometimes) and I wanna know what's going on.

smoothie said...

goot topic,

in san antonio, we have our son learing my wifes native language (Shona)as well as about 5 yrs or so i see it being a must 2 know 2 languages in this country

Cool AC said...

I'm bilingual, (since you are including sign language in this. :)) & I find it to be very beneficial. I see knowing a second language like having a degree or special skill, if you dont posess it you will not go as far as you could go. I'm working on my spanish now, I "learned" it in school, but never mastered it & I think that is the problem with the school systems. We learn spanish in the higher grades of elementary school when learning a language is not as easy esp if we are not using it constantly. I think children should be learning language at the early stages when they are more likely to reatin it. So, when we teach children Good Morning, we should also be teaching them Buenos dias!!

P said...

@ Cool:

YES, I consider sign language a language. My niece is graduating from Northridge Next month with a degree in that. AND, you are DEAD on regarding having us learn it in the eleventh hour. That's why I'm not a very good swimmer, I didn't learn it until I was 16. :P Plus, the whole hair thing involving swimming, but I don't wannagetsidetracked. :)

Anyway, I think that ANY language is beautiful. Next in line after my Spanish is French, so I can learn how to sing Lady Marmalade properly and understand most of the food that Julia Childs used to cook on Television.

Sangindiva said...

I guess I should mention that I too, speak spanish-
being a Panamaian Princess :)
but I also am pretty well versed in ASL-
(American Sign Language)
because my my mother born (legally) deaf.
I grew up in a house with flashing light bulbs over the door- to signal a doorbell, flashing lights on the phone- to signal to my mom to connect her TDD system (when the phone was for her)
AND above all learned to sign!
So I guess I'm TRI-ligual :)
Now I don't know if "pig latin" counts but um,
maybe I'm reachin' LOL!

Miz JJ said...

I agree with CoolAC that you need to teach your children languages early. I know that if I have children I will teach/speak to them in French (my 2nd language) from the beginning. Also, I would look into sending them to some sort of immersion program. Maybe Cantonese, or something. Kids are sponges at a young age. That is the time to teach them. I had a boss who worked all the time and his wife worked all the time so they had a nanny from India. Don't you know those kids picked up Hindi and would speak to each other so the parents could not understand. Lol. The nanny spoke to them in her language and they picked it up.