With the English Only debate raging across the states of the US and a personal conclusion along the linguistic lines of learning a new language there is much to be said regards the topic at hand.
English Only is one of those distracting issues which political Republicans in the dual political establishment of Washington tend to chew at every now and then to draw attention away from the electorate. Nothing like a thorny and contentious issue to give beleaguered leaders a fresh breath of air. I personally don’t understand how in the world a language can save identity or strengthen it when language, and I speak from experience, is nothing more than a communications tool best manipulated by people who know languages and not by so-called nativists and monolinguals who are too lazy to even bother to research their language beyond the charms of the dialectal aspects that make up a given population. And I suppose that English Only proponents might find the English language the most natural language for the US but alas! by applying said thinking they are exacting a price on the Americas still fresh out from colonial rule. Forget the most natural languages of America, those spoken by natives of the land.
The most curious thing of the English Only gang is that they want to do their bidding in a democratic fashion by squashing all forms of attempt to communicate with the government in none other language than English hence creating a so unamerican institution such as a hierarchy between those who know and those who don’t know and their meddlesome middlemen otherwise known as translators. Which is ironic in some fashion because that would mean that the democratic principle of one man one vote would in effect exclude said votes inasmuch as voting in America is a federal institution who, if there will be such a mandate to implement, create a transloacracy peddling interpretations at the best price. I can now see the interests group market drooling that a new cadre of power peddlers are creating their own niche and the commissions they will exact to them for stomping on their grounds. This may sound dirty but it seems that those proposing their own agenda to fulfill their need of belonging at the expense of others are willing to throw the baby along with the water.
Then again these days it is not so much about democratic ideas but of extreme principles and dire consequences isn’t it? We must heed the cry of the leaders that decry the sky is falling. It has happened before and it will happen again, so there. Embolden the bilinguals of America to take a stand, they ought and we ought to raise our voice once and for all to this silly notion that America the Great only speaks English, caca de toro sayeth I.
Well, I finally realized the futility of it all. Learning a third language has cost me my dignity, my self esteem and countless hours of intense and embarrassing pain that still manages to kick in a pang or two as we speak. The excruciating pain I tell you. O-uch10.
To put it simply it has not been worth it. I suppose that I could of chosen a more lenient language variant other than the Swedish one but I ended up with this one due to family and unlike friends well one can’t choose that either. Please, allow me to expound.
What has made me to come to such a drastic decision, and some have said superfluous and ludicrous at some point during the past 2 weeks where I have ventilated said dangerous and precarious period in my life, well ten years of trying to master the Swedish language, that’s what, I have retorted randomly in minor tones as well as exaggerated ones and at times, I do confess, with a tad of irritation in my voice which has thrown some of my acquaintances off guard, no doubt partly due to some intoxicating spirits. And some impatience of mine to thwart off the masses appeal of learning a third language so positive in society. There has not been any positives in acquiring a new language as of far. At least not in the everyday if you will.
Learning Swedish has been a gateway to many treasures, yes, one cannot deny the fact of that yet on the other hand it has also been a constant source of irritation on one account. I am not sufficiently proficient at it to make my point come across. There, I said it, am not a good Swedish speaker. So learning a third language does bring its limitations along with it and that is that one must be ready to surrender the I of one’s constitution and let it be thrown to the hungry and savage beasts of ignorance to be had for brunch and leftovers. Either that or I am a jinxed motherfuck who has been lotted nothing but unkind and unfriendly sentients on this earth of ours all whilst I try to communicate with the so-called earthlings on this far fetched patch of mostly frozen dirt. Yes, I am reduced to nil every time my mouth opens to communicate in Swedish. This has been hard to endure because I have sacrificed personal development at the expense of trying to be understood, and I pray feverishly most of the times for it, halfways.
Swedish people will not meet you halfway when learning a new language. They will neither try to correct you nor they will try to finish your thoughts thereby creating a bridge for a common understanding. The pro’s an con’s of this attitude I have not weighted with earnest and I only mention it here because I have a grudge at it. I am most certain there is a positive in their attitude towards Swedish language learners yet I fail to grasp the purpose in it. This attitude as only left me rueful at best.
But the important thing here about my firm, unwavering adherence to the judgment upon my third language learning is that it limits me as a person in the everyday. Speaking Swedish means a certain death for me as a person because I cannot fully express myself. I can at most present a half cooked notion of my full potential and pray it is welcomed with open arms yet that seldom happens.