Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tower of Babel

According to the website twenty-eight of the fifty U.S. states have passed "English as Official Language" legislation.There is considerable anxiety in parts of this country concerning the new-found prevalence of Spanish.Many Americans are upset by the notion of this country becoming bi-lingual.They claim that having two "official" languages will only lead to disunity.At first glance, it might seem that the situation on Philippines gives credence to that idea.There are eight major languages spoken in Philippines with countless numbers of dialects and variations.There has been a governmental movement towards making "Filipino" the standard.Critics of this say that "Filipino" is actually "Tagalog" and there is some resistance to the language from native speakers of the other seven.Unlike the Japan Archipelago, the Philippine Archipelago was never a "natural" country. The country of Japan is populated by a single ethic group speaking a common language.This is the complete opposite of the history of Philippines.The islands included in the Republic of Philippines are the remnants of a Spanish colony where a common language was not encouraged.Rather than being united by a common language,the unifying factor in Philippines is the Catholic faith shared by 80% of the population.This faith may work to keep the country together despite the linguistic and ethnic differences among the people.The U.S. will never know the advantage of having a unifying religion.There are a great many forces working to dissolve the country and I don't know if "English Only" can stop the tide.

No comments: