10 May 2009

Finally! A Sign that Gets Me.

I was looking at my blog stats this morning and found that someone from France was looking at an older post from The Lettuce recently. It was a post I'd written concerning a woman in a WalMart that was upset over a sign being in English and Spanish. The ensuing debate between me, Liz, and Amy (basically 75% of my readership!) was interesting to read. I must admit now that I've had some distance that a lot of what Amy was saying made sense and I didn't read all of it as intently as I should before I responded. There's a huge difference with disagreeing with someone's well researched points and responding as though you think they don't know what they're talking about just because of their position.

There's also something to be said for my own verbosity. My former English teachers would have had a FIELD DAY with some of my responses! I'm amazed that anyone involved in that debate could follow ANYTHING that I said.

Anyway, it was interesting to revisit that post now that I am living outside of the US. While you do see most signs and almost all product packaging, etc., in several different languages here in the UK, it's somewhat of a paradox. One of the newer requirements of immigration to the UK is a certain level of English proficiency. if you don't pass the test, you're not granted a visa and certainly not eligible for British citizenship.

That requirement is new as of the past few years and at first didn't even register on my radar because I obviously could pass easily. However, in light of that post I went back to read, I thought it interesting that the US, who doesn't have an OFFICIAL language has all signage in English and a few in Spanish here and there, and yet has no such language requirement for entry as a visitor or potential naturalized citizen. The UK, who clearly has an official language (with the exception of Wales, where Welsh and English share dual recognition as official language), has most signage, etc in at least two languages but won't let you in to stay unless you can speak English.

Interesting, no? Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Sunday. Simon and I are off to see the new Star Trek movie in Leeds. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day in the US!!

1 comment:

Nancy E. Dunne said...

Just wanted to say that when I say "..in several different languages here in the UK, it's somewhat of a paradox." I didn't mean paradox. I meant an interesting comparison of two seemingly polar opposites. Seems I've put my editor's hat back on finally...but I can't edit via blogger or the flickr text goes away under the picture. There, back to your regular insomnia cure...

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