CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 27 May 2006

Why Americans are terrified of learning a second language (satire)

It makes me laugh that they labelled this satire. Not because anyone is too stupid to realize that a lot of it is written with tongue in cheek - very cleverly, I might add and humor is the best way to drive the point home - but, I suppose it had to be, for those whose politically correct retentive orifices choose to find offence in the truth.

They'd complain, with less justification that the "arrogant, ethnocentric backwoods cheeky American goober" who "actually complains about dual-language signage."

The writer, Mike Adams, asks, "How white do you have to be to complain about bilingual signage anyway?" If I may venture an answer: "trash white".

Oops, sorry I got my grammar back to front - the Spanish way around!

The Great American Tourist differs from his British counterpart very little:

The cultural blinders worn by some Americans are astonishing. I once met an overweight American tourist in Europe who said to me, right in the middle of Madrid, "Madrid is nice, but I'm not sure if I like all these foreigners." The dolt. He is the foreigner!


Because the awful thing is that many British still think this way too. They're British! How can they be "foreign"? And they are no better at learning languages either.

It gets embarrassing at times to be constantly praised, by native Spanish speakers, over how good my Spanish is. But, such a rare animal is the English person who can speak the lingo to a reasonable degree, it seems to surprise the hell out of them.

Is it true that, "Londoners try to say as little as possible using the maximum number of words"? I don't know, you'd have to ask my mother (a true Cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells and dragged up in London's famous East End), IF she ever pauses for breath long enough for me to get a word in edgeways!

Of course the real issues here are xenophobia, insularism and immigration. And it never ceases to amaze me how little Americans know of geography, or even, indeed, their own history. If you are one of those super-white flag-flying all-American patriots, then the chance that you are, in fact, descended from European or, heaven forbid, British stock and yourself an IMMIGRANT, is pretty much a dead cert.

Why Americans are terrified of learning a second language (satire)

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