Adding More Languages

by Amelie Galvez, age 12
Adding More Languages

“About 40 million immigrants move to the United States every year. About 50% of those immigrants don’t speak English.”

About 40 million immigrants move to the United States every year. About 50% of those immigrants don’t speak English. This is maybe because they were unable to learn it, or didn’t have anyone to teach them the language. Whatever the reason is, they will probably have trouble learning a new, different language. Besides Spanish-speakers, we don’t help those who can’t speak English because we lack translations for different languages on basic labels, signs, and products.

This could be a problem, medically and mentally. If there are ingredients in a product that the person is allergic to, he or she wouldn’t notice and might use the product. For example, if there were nuts in a food product and a person was allergic to nuts, they wouldn’t know because they wouldn’t be able to read that there are nuts present in the food product. Also, if there are notices that this person couldn’t translate, they might end up doing something against the notice just because they couldn’t translate it. For example, if a sign on the road said to not turn left, the person might misunderstand and turn left. There would be fewer accidents if immigrants could read signs.

A way to solve this conflict is by including more non-English translations. If immigrants can read labels and signs, then there would be fewer accidents. Even though we can’t include every language, we can at least fit a few more. It is unfair that only Spanish-speakers would be able to read labels because there are only Spanish translations on them. Another way to solve this problem that doesn’t involve including many translations is by putting pictures on signs instead of words. This way everyone would be able to understand what the sign is saying. We can also help non-English speakers learn English by having someone teach them or translate English for them.

We can’t fit every language onto a small amount of space, so we have to choose which languages to include. There’s no debate on that we should put the most used languages in the United States. The most popular languages are Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Neighborhoods where most people speak the same language can be exceptions.

Even though there are classes and/or translators that can help these people along the way, how long would they even be there for? It could take years to completely learn a new language. Some people don’t even want to learn English! But they are forced to since they live in the United States, and most people speak English. So the best way to help these people is by adding their language to labels and notices.

If you disagree with helping immigrants by including more languages, you would probably say that they should just learn English. But, as stated before, it could take a long time for someone to completely learn/understand a new language. I’ve been taking Spanish in my school for three years and I barely understand it. This might be the same conflict as other immigrants with English. Also, the United State is a melting pot and full of different cultures. If we don’t welcome immigrants to the United States, then we wouldn’t be known as a melting pot anymore. Putting other languages on labels and notices could make a big difference.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.