Samuel L Jackson said it best .....
English Motherfucker! Do You Speak It ?
Red-faced Dallas police chief David Kunkle has apologised to the local Hispanic community after it was revealed that his officers had fined 38 drivers for the novel offence of having an inadequate command of the English language. Among those who fell foul of the language police was 48-year-old Ernestina Valdez Mondragón, …
If the American police start fining everyone who doesn't speak English properly over there, their legal system will collapse under the strain.
There's a certain Google spokesdroid well documented elsewehere here who's in serious shit under the yank "three strikes" policy on minor offences for a start......
I would highly recommend that you learn the official language of the country you are living in. How did you get a driver's license without being able to speak the official language of the country where you are driving and living? If you are an illegal alien then you should be deported.
English is not the official language of the USA, English and Spanish are recognised as de-facto official languages. A large percentage of the population are Hispanic, and there quight legaly, infact born there, often with a family history going back hundreds of years. Also Spanish was the first European language spoken in North America.
Perhaps these people wouldent have had any problems without that type of ignorant racism.
Fine all american tourists who visit european countries and don't speak the native languages!
On second thought: americans can no longer afford to visit Europe, let alone being fined in Euro. I was in Rome a few weeks ago and I noticed the almost total absence of Americans... I suppose the only Americans abroad are now located in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"How did you get a driver's license without being able to speak the official language of the country where you are driving and living?"
What a racist twat you are. Does the concept of being taught in another language never occur to you? I live in Finland and I did my driving test here, although my native language is Engilsh. Despite the fact that I do, in fact, speak the local language, I was happier doing it in my own language and the driving schools were more than happy to oblige. It's an option which is offered and there's nothing wrong with it - and nowhere in this article was it clarified exactly /what/ the level of language fluency was. Many people are modest, especially when confronted with an official. I'm sure they could have gotten by in everyday life, almost certainly with enough ability to drive around. Go and crawl back under your rock, and I hope to god you never visit a foreign country. You'll probably end up beaten to a bloody pulp for your elitist and racist views.
Given that Texas was originally settled by er, Spanish-speakers from Mexico, it's by no means certain this lady is any kind of immigrant. Unless, Mr/Ms AC, you happen to be a Native American, I'd suggest you don't have a leg to stand on. Oh, and the US has never adopted English, or any other language, as its official language anyway.
Just because you don't speak the primary language of a country does not mean you are an illegal immigrant. Green cards are issued to let you live and work for an extended period, and don't require you to have a significant command of English. Also, if you become a citizen with certain requirements (50 yrs old and living in the states legally for 20 or 55 yrs old and living in the states legally for 15) you can have the English requirement waived.
On the other hand, learning the dominant language of a country you live in, at least well enough to be understood and to understand people, is typically a good idea.
If she can't speak English, or Texan for that matter, then presumably she might not be able to read English. She might be at a loss for understanding traffic signs. Therefore, a danger to other road users etc etc.
But as the arresting officer was a thick as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, then fail.
Uhm. No. The US does *not* have an official language. Period.
Yes, a majority of the country speaks English (or some bastardized form of it), and most of it's business is done in English. But we do not, nor have ever made it a requirement to speak English in order to function as a resident (legal or otherwise).
Also, Lester -- please don't put latino in quotes, as if it's a made-up word. There is a strong cultural distinction around here between hispanic, latino, and mexican. I'd equate this with putting African-American in quotes.
In the UK, the language of the law used to be Latin but hardly anyone could speak it (only a few privately schooled people I know have any knowledge of Latin).
I agree that it's useful to have knowledge of the local language of legislation, but it shouldn't be against the law; how would you treat visitors from other countries; arrest them at the airport?
I regularly work in countries where I have no facility with the local language, and have committed many crimes of pronunciation with names of places and people, but I haven't been arrested yet.
Paris, 'cos she knows all about the local tongue ...
The lady in question is a US citizen. Texas used to be part of Mexico; many of its inhabitants are of Latin American descent. It was only a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago that Texas was annexed by the US-- and English language education hasn't even been available for more than thirty years or so. Therefore, it's entirely possible that someone could have grown up in Texas and still speak Spanish as their mother tongue. And, finally, there's no "official" language in the US-- English just kind of wins by default. It's perfectly possible to get a driver's license application/test in several other languages, though.
As stupid as it is, thanks to "civil liberty" groups in the US, drivers license tests can be taken in a huge number of languages. In California, like many States, you can even request an interpreter coe with you to interpret when you take your driving test.
(See for example, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm)
"Besides English, the basic Class C written driver license exam is also available in the following languages:
Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
Besides English, the basic Class C audio driver license exam is also available in the following languages:
Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese"
1 Texas was originally part of Mexico.
2 Spanish was the oringinal language of the European settlers in North America (so who was lazy to learn another language?)
3 America is second only to Mexico in numbers of people who speak Spanish
Why do you think it is against the Law for people who speak Spanish to take jobs as driving instructors?
If you are so set against illegal aliens I hope you also are prepared to pay more for
1 The products that rely on their labor.
2 Agree to higher Tax's to pay for raising the children who you intend to replace them as workers.
3 Agree to higher Tax's again to support low paid workers in their old age.
4 It's one thing to steal another country for it's mineral resources, but stopping the people living in an occupied territory from having their family over to stay is wrong on a whole new level.
I think its sad that she has lived in the US for 30 years yet picked up such a small grasp of English.
Although the US has no 'official' language, English clearly plays a major role across the country, therefore to make no progress in 30 years will only cause Hispanics to be more separated from the jobs and wealth that comes with speaking English.
Before I'm declared a racist let me just say that if a European of the same 'race' as me moved to the US without any proficiency of the English language it would be wrong of them to stay so disconnected from culture not to learn English over such a long time-frame.
"It was later revelealed that around a half-dozen officers had fined mainly Hispanics for the same deficiency."
Who made up the rest of the demographic spectrum, please tell?! Otherwise I'll just have to make the safe assumption that it's the Bush-Lovin', Republican Votin', Gun-totin' Texans...
"What a racist twat you are."
Hmm, the original comment @13:17 to which you refer is not racist as far as I can see, but please feel free to explain your assertion more fully. The original comment is hardly the most enlightened of views, and not one I would agree with, but it is not racist.
did Americans last speak English? Back in the first half of the 20th cenury, Noel Coward commented that they had not spoken it for years. Anyway, I read somewhere that, within 20 years the majority language in USA will be Spanish and is all ready in some areas.
As for "Latino" and "African-american": dreadful classificaitons. Are not all citizens there just "Americans" or are they still classified and controlled by race and origin? Horrible litlle country.(mentally that is).
I just loved the way one correspondent put *drive" before the right to "live" there. Got to get those priorities right.
While English is not required for a standard drivers license, in order to hold a COMMERCIAL drivers license in the US, you are REQUIRED to be able to speak, read and write English. (See the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Act)
Interestingly, though this does not stop many states from offering the various CDL tests in multiple languages. (i.e. New York which offers the tests in 15 languages.)
Lets review these statement
“1 Texas was originally part of Mexico.”
And the local inhabitants revolted and becacaqm a seprate contry before aplying for state hood
Prior to becoming and indepant country Mexico was owned by Spain
“2 Spanish was the oringinal language of the European settlers in North America (so who was lazy to learn another language?)”
Um do you know how many Indian langues there were in this couintry
“3 America is second only to Mexico in numbers of people who speak Spanish
Why do you think it is against the Law for people who speak Spanish to take jobs as driving instructors?”
Show me that law. I couldn’t find such a law in Texas . In California they do hire spanish speaking instructors
“If you are so set against illegal aliens I hope you also are prepared to pay more for
1 The products that rely on their labor”
you mean like non union contructuion workers vrs union constrution workers.
“2 Agree to higher Tax's to pay for raising the children who you intend to replace them as workers.” That makes no sense.
“3 Agree to higher Tax's again to support low paid workers in their old age.”
That’s called medicare. We all pay into it , we all get it at 65 regaurdless of income
“4 It's one thing to steal another country for it's mineral resources, but stopping the people living in an occupied territory from having their family over to stay is wrong on a whole new level.”
Texas is not an occupied territory
Reason why to use illegals.
You don’t have to pay pay roll taxes
You intend to abuse your workers
You don’t want to comply with saftey standards
You want to cheat your workers .
Native americans are not native to this country, they've just been here a little longer. As with all humans, they started in Africa and migrated (or were displaced to) the americas. While the cops in question are idiots, there is a problem with speaking a common language in this country. I'm not talking about my fellow citizens bothering to learn a second language (which would be nice), but the fact that people need to be able to communicate with each other. The southern drawl that I have to deal with is ridiculous. Even the people in this state can't understand each other and they're English speakers. Most of the Mexican population I deal with is illegal. I personally don't care, since most of them bust their a$$es for minimum pay (isn't right either). I do have a problem with people not being able to understand what's going on. Around factory equipment, this is dangerous.
This isn't just a US problem. I'm sure Europe (and by extension, the UK) is going to enjoy the same thing when the Muslim population gets large enough to start affecting your culture/laws also. Blending of cultures isn't a bad thing, but it's easier if it doesn't happen so quickly so the really dumb quirks get weeded out.
If you can't read and write the English language then how did you take the written part of the test to obtain a driver's license? English is the only official language of the U.S.A. While other languages are accepted there is only one official language - English. If you live in America you have an obligation to learn the language just like you would if you lived in another country, especially if you want to be or claim to be a U.S. citizen. A drivers license is a privilege not a God given right.
A few commentards have pointed out that Texans (and usians in general) don't speak English. Not to be obtuse, but I wonder what they classify as English: Chaucer's, Shakespear's, Ben Johnson's, or the Cockney spoken within range of Bow Bells? Then there are other varieties spoken in India, Australia, etc.
Please be more specific.
When Texas was part of Mexico, it was unsettled. Very few Mexicans lived here due to a charming group of peoples called the Kiowas, Apaches and Commanches. When Mexico instituted the settlement programs, there were more English speaking settlers than anyone else in Texas.
Thus one could make the arguement that Texas has always been a majority English region, insofar as European languages are concerned.
That's Texas for you. The only time I went down there I got harrased by the police too. The people there really are weird, and the police there can do no wrong, except when they do. A few years ago, there was a nice article about a computer system crashing -- for over a month -- in one of the prison systems down there. Solution? Just not release anybody from jail. Some people were supposed to be in for a day or 2 and were in over 30 days. Eventually the judges started asking why no-one was showing up for trials. What was worse, the official in charge wasn't even apologetic, he was like "Well if they got picked up by the police they obviously committed crimes". I assume they got sued big time. I added several hundred miles on my last trip out west just to drive around Texas.
It's true.... When I've been in the US, the people from the so called Hispanic section of the population have spoken very good English. This ranges from the person who cleans my hotel room to VP level people I've encountered. And yet, there persists among the WASPS (and other white middle class sections of American society) that people speaking Spanish as their first language as a problem.
And BTW, "I speak a little bit" usually means, "my speaking may not be brilliant but my knowledge of English grammar is probably better than yours".
> How did they get away with issuing fines for non-fineable-non-offences in the first place?
Dallas Cops, duh...
> If you are so set against illegal aliens I hope you also are prepared to pay more for
> 1 The products that rely on their labor.
Fine by me. Last I checked, that'd be a modest bump, more than offset by 11m people not clogging up border town ERs and schools or running into people in 20 hear old trucks without insurance.
> As for "Latino" and "African-american": dreadful classificaitons. Are not all citizens there just "Americans" or are they still classified and controlled by race and origin? Horrible litlle country.(mentally that is).
Well, Latino is a cultural class, so far as I can tell, while african american is the word du jour for blacks, although some people try to be edgy and call them 'people of color'. You're right, it's all very confusing and stupid - I mock it given the smallest opportunity.
My favorite cringe moments were the NBC woman a couple olympics ago (2000?) interviewing a black british guy and asking him what it was like growing up as an african american in britain.
> there persists among the WASPS [the idea] that people speaking Spanish as their first language as a problem.
Or perhaps just the idea that speaking only spanish and expecting people to cater to you is really rude. Sure, if you're in a border town, you can get people who speak spanish and go do your thing, but if you want to work in some random part of the country, it's rude to expect the locals to learn spanish to talk to you, especially if you're working a drivethru in springfield, va
The insistence by some commentards that driving requires/should require speaking/reading/understanding english is puzzling at best: do any of you out there drive AT ALL? At most you need to understand ``stop'', ``slow'', have a basic understanding that numbers like ``35'' and ``55'' relate to miles per hour (in merkia) and are speeds that should not be exceeded while travelling on various sections of roadway, and be able to distinguish between red, green and orange lights at intersections. Most signs are designed with the illiterate in mind and are reduced to symbols and graphic designs. It seems to me understanding english is required only to ponder the pearls of wisdom falling like rose petals from the esteemed police constable's eloquent lips. NOT.
Odd how the lack of such a rule causes so little difficulty in Europe, where long-distance truck drivers routinely cross many language areas.
It appears that having standardised icons on warning and instruction signs is sufficient. Direction signs just need to be in a script you know - most people can understand that, for example, the real name of Florence is Firenze.
Luckily, placenames around here are given in Latin and Chinese characters.
I speak English, but I have legally driven a car in:
I didn't do my driving test in any of these countries and I can't speak but a mere quip of the lingo.
Most countries road signs are universal, they take no more than a day to become familiar with.
Paul4 wrote: "Also Spanish was the first European language spoken in North America."
AC wrote: "2 Spanish was the oringinal language of the European settlers in North America (so who was lazy to learn another language?)"
I'd just like to draw your attention to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_colonization_of_the_Americas
As we all know, the Norse made it there 1000 years ago. That's right, 500 years before the Spanish. Are you suggesting that these Norse spoke Spanish?
Besides which, Spanish was not the original language of the European settlers in North America for another very obvious reason - they were far more likely to speak the langauge of the country that they came from...
Just for laugh. I reckon they'll be more upset than the Spanish.
Here in Germany, the authorities try to convince everyone that they are required to learn German if they are to be resident here - but they can only enforce this with those claiming benefits. But they have a point - if you chose to live in another country, it shows a really poor attitude if, after some years of residence, you haven't learn enough of the local language to be able to hold an everyday conversation.
LOL, rofl ...
Check out what you must do to obtain one, then check the European "standard" .... why do we give these Usians driving licenses when they come to live here??? They should be forced to pass the test in a European country!!
As for the language, heck, I speak 4 languages fluently, 5 if I count Usian, then again, I am not that good at it and hate chewing gum (the only way I found to get the accent right).
... You say, "Being able to read the road signs in the language they are written in is not a racist requirement". It has been mentioned before by other commentators, but it is so important it needs saying again - you are wrong! By your formulation, I should not be able to drive anywhere that the signs are not in English, unless I can prove sufficient competence in the language that road signs are written in. That would make it very difficult here in Europe, if not other areas around the world - in the last year, I've driven in France, Switzerland (okay, same language for the road signs), Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Germany ... and so on. The only difficulty I had was with signs giving the reasons for diversions, but I don't NEED to know the reason - just follow the signs.
I'd like to take a guess that you are American, and have never driven anywhere that doesn't have the same road signs that you are used to ... right?
My black friend (or Black-American if you had to distinghuish his country of citizenship) would probably put african-american in quotes, if he was the kind of guy to do that kind of thing.
He got to America by way of Jamaica, and while technically he originally came from Africa, so did we all right?
Most of us have english as a first language, the world however has between 8% and 27% who can understand english, which means unless we want to appear stupid instead of complaining they dont speak english we need to get off our backsides and learn other languages.
FRENCH AND SPANISH - And for some encouragement have a look at some french and spanish women, very hot top totty,wouldnt you like to chat them up:P
Police should be bi-lingual, in this case how can you do a job if you cant understand 1 in 2 people?
"If she can't speak English, or Texan for that matter, then presumably she might not be able to read English. She might be at a loss for understanding traffic signs. Therefore, a danger to other road users etc etc."
This is the typical attitude for the average American :( You do realize there are other countries and languages out there right? Traffic signs are the same in every country. Just because I can't speak or read Chinese it doesn't mean I can't drive in China, for crying out load!
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