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Nothing More American than Speaking Spanish

I very much enjoyed this video. It was short, sweet, and to the point. I liked how the speaker, Carolina Moreno, pointed out that English is not the official language of the United States, and furthermore, there were Spanish settlers in America long before Jamestown.

First of all, America is a free country, and a person is free to speak any language that he or she wants. In fact, people are always going to speak Spanish no matter what some politicians say. For me, that is not the point. For me, the real issue is the respect that the Spanish language and those who speak it should receive. Spanish deserves as much respect and admiration as any other language. Are people who speak French and German criticized as much?

The law should uphold the Spanish language — for that matter any language — in the United States. If necessary, people with llimited English proficiency should be provided with interpreters, and signs should be written in Spanish where Spanish is commonly spoken. Starting with the schools, Spanish should be presented as a rich and desirable language. There should be enough funding for Spanish language instruction from early on.

From a personal standpoint, my life was enriched by speaking Spanish at the middle school and high school levels. It was such an adventure to be able to communicate with new words that I associated with new ideas, concepts, and most importantly, new friends. I met students from countries on both sides of the Atlantic with very different cultures and customs. I learned that depending on where they come from, they look very different from each other. And I helped them with English and the world I was born in. So it is evident that these types of encounters help shape lives and foster understanding between cultures.

Though it is not a law, as long as English is the language of commerce, film, education, and transportation to name a few, it is important for everyone to be able to speak it. I don't think that in encouraging and welcoming the Spanish language in America, people should stop trying to learn English. Like it or not, not enough English skills can hamper a person's integration into society at large. We have to find a balance. Tenemos que encontrar un equilibrio.

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