Reply to post: Re: RE : "Living in a British/English enclave is not the way to integrate."

Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: RE : "Living in a British/English enclave is not the way to integrate."

> Integration? yeah we've heard of it.

Careful with that. "Integration" as understood in most of Europe involves, implicitly or explicitly, renouncing one's identity to a large degree, and the expectation that one will adopt traits, customs, and habits with which one cannot meaningfully identify.

> Please do come and live in my country, you're very welcome.

Keep in mind, the moment someone unpacks his suitcase, it is now "his" country as much as it is "yours", and whether you like it or not, they had the freedom to choose and you (if a native) didn't, so...

> All I ask is Live by the same rules I do,

...those are rules which will be agreed upon by all together, and revise and adapt as the host society evolves. An obvious example are the British Isles, where a Germanic language is predominant, the cuisine (the edible parts of it anyway) comes from the colonies, and entertainment from the US.

> speak the same language I do.

Why? A language is part of one's identity, and it is important that people are able to express that. Of course, in some cases language also serves a communication purpose (it is not its main purpose, certain renowned linguists argue), and then it is of course highly desirable that we be able to exchange information effectively. Even that may and is often achieved, sometimes even more effectively, without the interlocutors using a common language.

> I've lived and worked in Italy, guess what language I spoke. It's simple courtesy.

Friulan? Ligurian? Ladino? German? Piemontese? Sardinian? Albanian? Catalan? French? Greek? Slovene? Tuscan? Venetian?

All those are languages of Italy, meaning they are spoken natively by communities with a historical presence in the country--in every case, since well before the Italian language was codified in the first place. Speaking Italian (more or less an artificial language, as I just mentioned) is not courtesy, it is a fallback for when the information exchange function of language overrides the identity expression function, or as part of a negotiation process with an unknown interlocutor. It is quite fascinating, in parts of Italy, to see natives conducting a conversation in two or three languages, none of which standard Italian.

The concept of a nation-state as the normal form of a state is quite novel, having its genesis in a process that in Europe started towards the middle of the 19th century and culminated with the Second World War.

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