The Debate of English Being the Official Language

Over the last several years, there have been debates and meeting sessions on English being the official language of this country. Most times people will agree where as other people do not want to stick with one language. Learning a new language when someone needs it to get around different countries. The English language is universal. Though most countries have one official language, our country has millions of people speaking different languages. Currently, there is an issue with establishing English as the official language. Although government officials do not want to declare an official language for the U.S., the English language should be official to help newcomers have the same advantages as Americans.

I don't remember reading any blogs about this topic or debate, but I decided to write on it because it is interesting to debate with other people and understand how they feel about different issues. I remember reading a couple of essays last semester from several writers and most of them really did not tell the reader if they are for or against amending the law to making English official. When I wrote the essay, I kind of did not think to which side should I choose since I may go against what I believe. In a past post that I wrote on understanding other views before we contradict ourselves we should first listen to others before we actual make a quick judgement. The Spanish speakers will most likely be against learning English for several reasons. Check this video out on Spanish speakers refusing to want to learn English. I'm not sure when this aired on TV, but I found it interesting.

From viewing this first part of the CNN news coverage, it seems that, or I think, that some the Spanish speakers or others of another language will think that a proposed law to mandate English as an official language will cause discrimination towards them as immigrants. India and Switzerland are good examples of countries that are successful using two official languages. On the other hand, English as an official language in our country will allow everyone to be equal and unified since everyone will be using the speaking the same language to take the American advantages that we have in this country. If English will be an official language limited documents, pamphlets, and other materials will be available in English; however those who speak Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc., will need to request literature in their native language.

Furthermore, the writer Robert King in this essay "Should English Be the Law?," he states that "language does not threaten American unity" (189). If we make English official then, we should be united to bring everyone together by language. There will not be any more communication problems, increased literacy scores in reading and writing will go up. Along the same lines King quotes the author of fairy tales, Jacob Grimm: "a nation is the totality of people who speak the same language" (184).

A law should be created to allow immigrants the chance of learning English that allows them to not be just be in the United States, but to be part of the culture, the business world, and the modern lifestyle. In short, English will allow immigrants to have the advantage of having freedom without being lost in the world. Though I can't do much that will force government officials to make a law or what have you, however, the U.S. should have one official language.

A good essay to read is "Why And When We Speak Spanish Among Ourselves in Public" by Myriam Marquez. Often times when someone speaks another language around us, we always think that are talking about us. Sometimes that may not be the case; however, this writer puts it in writing on why they speak their native language in public. We can't contradict everyone, but we sure can take time to understand and learn them.

Do you think English should be official? Will everyone that does not speak English as a first language will be have a better life? I'm sure you may not think English will be official, but what do you think? I find it interesting to see people debate on this issue.


  • I personally think that English should be the official language. Most countries have an official language yet we don't.

    As far as the quality of life, I think most would agree that English is a world language and not knowing it does put you at a disadvantage.

  • Mr W., I think learning a second or third language can also help out with those who are willing to learn English. The point of my post is to let everyone know that though
    English may be official, they should expect everything in english, but that will not leave out other languages to use as communication.

  • over in CA, we have blocks of businesses where the language is either Chinese or Korean and no English is written me that is wrong. I think there should be an English sign somewhere. Some could argue it's a form of discrimination.

  • That is interesting. I think they should have signs in those areas in English. I know in most cities they have signs in two or more languages including English. You look at it as they don't want to be bothered with English and just stick with their native language. They decide to plot their culture in on the block and go on with their every day life.

  • Making English the "official language" is akin to making the sun the "official source of heat and light." Most everyone that comes to this country wants, and usually does, learn English. The rates on completely non-English speakers in this country is the lowest it's been in centuries. If we truly want every new American to learn English, the legislation we should be pushing is more funding for ESL classes so people have more flexiblity to learn the language. There are many people who are working with other non-native speakers and have little time for classes. They WANT to learn but need some help. Thanks.

  • i think India has its own identity n dats through its language.y 2 make english its national language.Our constition says dat hindi n english iz da official language.y do u want 2 give english more importance dan hindi.Afterall we r indians.

  • I have exactly no clue what you are talking about. First, you did not even type the comment correctly in the form of grammar and punctuation. I think you do not make sense.

  • well, i think that people should be free to speak whatever language they are comfortable with and not speak the English language for the rest of their lives. For example, what if our parents dont know english even if they've lived in the U.S. for 20 years? so what do you expect of those old people? To learn English even when they can't even remember their own son's name?

  • I personally think that English should be the official language. Most countries have an official language yet we don't.

    As far as the quality of life, I think most would agree that English is a world language and not knowing it does put you at a disadvantage.