Connect with us
Census Bureau data shows 322 languages now spoken in U.S.

archive

Do You Live in an Official English State?

Census Bureau data shows 322 languages now spoken in U.S.

It was like a Stanley Kubrick satire. Only it really happened in a Maryland public school.

On March 9, at Old Mill High School in Millersville, Md., when the Pledge of Allegiance came over the school’s intercom system, most students could not understand a word of it.

That’s because it was being recited in Russian. In honor of National Foreign Language Week, school administrators also insisted on broadcasting the Pledge in Spanish, German, Latin and French.

When 15-year-old Patrick Linton, an Old Mill freshman, sat down rather than stand while the Pledge was being recited in Russian, the Baltimore Sun reported, he was told by his teacher he should leave the room if he had a problem with the Pledge being recited in that language. So, Linton left.

“This is America and we got soldiers at war,” he told the Sun. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language, which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”

“The one absolute certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. We have but one flag. We must also learn one language and that language is English.”

–Theodore Roosevelt

Old Mill was not the only Maryland public school that recently broadcast the Pledge to its students in a foreign tongue. At Windsor Knolls Middle School in Frederick County, Md., they started periodically piping over the school intercom a Spanish class reciting the Pledge in Spanish. After an uproar from parents, the school stopped the practice.

Both incidents focused attention on a bill proposed in the Maryland Legislature that would make English the state’s official language. On March 19, the bill stalled in a state House committee, when it received a 10-10 vote. But its sponsor, Del. Pat McDonough (R.) of Baltimore, has vowed not to give up and may seek to force a floor vote on the measure by offering it as an amendment to another bill.

According to U.S. English Inc., 27 states have already made English their official language. This means that official government business in these states must be conducted in English solely, with just a few activities being reasonable exceptions (such as public health and safety services).

In Maryland today, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by U.S. English, there are 117 languages other than English spoken. Nationwide, 322 different languages are spoken. In Massachusetts, driver’s license exams are now given in 25 languages. In Queens, N.Y., voting materials are printed in Korean, Chinese and Spanish. Will Americans remain one people, a nation where immigrants are assimilated into a common culture by, among other things, learning a common language? Or will America become a Tower of Babel? This is the question at the core of the official English debate.

States With Official English Laws

State
Enacted
Alabama
1990
Alaska
1998
Arkansas
1987
California
1986
Colorado
1988
Florida
1988
Geogia
1986, 1996
Hawaii
1978
Illinois
1969
Indiana
1984
Iowa
2002
Kentucky
1984
Louisiana
1811
Massachusetts
1975
Mississippi
1987
Missouri
1998
Montana
1995
Nebraska
1920
New Hampshire
1995
North Carolina
1987
North Dakota
1987
South Carolina
1987
South Dakota
1995
Tennessee
1984
Utah
2000
Virginia
1981, 1996
Wyoming
1996
Newsletter Signup.

Sign up to the Human Events newsletter

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW:

Democracy Dies with Chinese Propaganda.

CULTURE

Trump Finds Agreement from People You Wouldn’t Expect.

U.S. POLITICS

Brooklyn Bridge, 1890s Brooklyn Bridge, 1890s

The DNC Sold The Brooklyn Bridge To The FBI.

U.S. POLITICS

A Muslim Brotherhood Terror Designation Could Backfire.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Connect
Newsletter Signup.

Sign up to the Human Events newsletter