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  • U.S. Army's latest slogan: We speak Farsi so you don't have to

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ahmartin@lsu.edu Jun 25, 2007 4:57 pm

I guess it's been pointed out already -- but forgive me -- I can't see the responses!


Those conquering Normans moved across the Channel in 1066, establishing their language as the language of the ruling class in Britain. They had no intention of "abandoning" French when they "settled in for the long haul." 

Till the late 1300s, England remained a tri-lingual country: French used by aristocracy and educated classes, English used by poor peasants, Latin used by churchmen. ?
 
Complex factors led to the eventual rise of (one of the strands of) English, but nowhere, nowhen, was there a Norman saying, "Ah, it would be much nicer if we just learned to talk to those peasants in their own language"!
 
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Right you are, that it took time.  But effectively the Anglo Normans were cut off from their mainland homes in the early 13th c. and then did settle in for the long haul, in what was increasingly English.  Plus many of them were already bilingual, because you have to talk to the help in a language they can understand, nu? 

Reply to ahmartin@lsu.edu at 4:57 pm
carpenmj@gmail.com Apr 28, 2008 7:54 pm

From my experience, most Americans don't want to keep languages out, they just want to have only one official language, that being American English.  The cost of translating every document into other languages is high. The cost of not educating those who seek to remain here is less and much better spent.

You have attacked the fact that the Defense Language Institute teaches languages to those in our military who need it, and seem to have honed in on Farsi in general.  Your attack is misplaced as DLI has nothing to do with the mono-linguistic nature of America.  You had used DLI in an argument against having English be the only official language in America.  You should be attacking parents who don't teach their children the language of their heritage if it is something other than English.  You should be looking to the education system for reasons that out citizens are not learning other languages during the only practical time for it in their life.  I question what the intent of your essay really is, and would guess that you have some sort of problem with America defending itself by using DLI as a tool to train members of our military. Or maybe you just don't like America.

 

Reply to carpenmj@gmail.com at 7:54 pm