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Thread: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

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    Default Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Sorry if the thread comes out too long...

    So I was having a small debate about this topic when I told a friend that back when I used to work a Burger King, and every time I see a straight up Hispanic person, how I instantly talked to them in Spanish and how some got pissed off at me and responded with "What, you don't think I know English or something?" when that wasn't my intention, just to get my job done faster to avoid wasting time by trying to decipher bad English pronunciation(although it is still assumption) and going like "What?" "Come again?". But she told me since it's still the USA, but I am mandatory to speak in English but my manager said to be helpful to the customers..and I follow that by speaking in Spanish because it's our native language and it's faster and clearer to communicate. That lead to the topic we are about to discuss.

    She told me how when she used to live in California, how the Mexicans that used to live around her always speak in English, zero Spanish. But why? It's your goddamn language...I seriously hate it when people refuse to speak their own goddamn language. I especially hate when parents are too lazy or just don't bother but all they are doing complicate things for their children. But then told me that parents shouldn't force you to learn something you won't need, but how the hell you don't need your own goddamn native language? I know when I get married, I am going to make sure my kid learns Spanish before anything else, because no matter what, it's part of he/she will be. I know Spanish pretty well because I lived in Peru for the first 13 years of my life, but even if I was born elsewhere I still think I would have been required to learn Spanish because no matter what, Peruvian is still on me and Peruvians speak Spanish. I mean, they are going to need it to be able to communicate with the relatives. They honestly need to cut the "We're in America, Speak ENGLISH!!!" or "I am American, so I speak English" crap cause...You're not freaking American, you are (insert heritage)-American...stick to your own goddamn culture as well.

    Same apply for all races, like how some straight up Asians don't know their native language. Like how this Japanese guy I know in one of my classes, I asked him to help me with something for my Japanese homework pretty quick, but he said he didn't know Japanese at all. I was like "What the hell?".

    So what is your guys' take on this?

    TL;DR: Do you think it's required to learn(or use) your native language?
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 04-13-2011 at 06:35 AM.


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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    No, it shouldn't be required. You should be able to learn what ever language you want. Just because a person is Hispanic doesn't mean they speak Spanish. This is America if you come here you should know English.That's like saying I'm going to go to Japan but i don't know any Japanese that's so stupid. I don't even know what my native language is.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    I definitely do think everyone shouldn't focus so much on English that they ignore everything else. However, immigrants shouldn't be required per se to study their native language. Everyone is free to choose whatever they learn and speak, so yea...

    HOWEVER, I completely understand what you were trying to say. People should NOT shy away or feel bad about speaking in their native tongue in an environment where another language dominates, and they definitely should NOT feel offended, either, when others speak to them in their native tongue. Take me, for example, whenever I go to a Chinese supermarket, the cashiers automatically speak to me in Chinese, and I don't see why that's a problem. I've also had Koreans trying to speak to me in Korean, and Japanese trying to speak to me in Japanese. To put it simply, no language is or should be inferior to another.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    I don't think it's really required to learn your native language. But it would be a big help. Like if you have relatives from your native country and you want to talk to them you could speak with them in that language. Or if you're living in that country/place where that language is dominant. Plus, it gives you a sense of patriotism.

    Like here in my country, the Philippines, we have more than a hundred dialects and our most dominant native language is Tagalog. And in school we have a Filipino class so we are required to learn it, and also because we are in the country itself.
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    "Native Language" refers to the language that you learn to speak first.

    ..Not entirely sure why you would be required to learn a language if you already know it. Seems redundant

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ericgamer1 View Post
    "Native Language" refers to the language that you learn to speak first.

    ..Not entirely sure why you would be required to learn a language if you already know it. Seems redundant
    I was thinking the same thing...

    I think it should be required you learn the language of where you reside, but I don't really see the purpose of requiring a language that you'll never use though../ I'm not sure if this is the answer you wanted.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    I do not think so. I agree though that it is quite sad to find out a person has lost part of themselves due to not knowing their language, but I suppose it's not all their fault if their parents did not help them learn it, or spoke to them with it in the first place.

    Same with what OtakuInu said, in the Philippines, almost all of us know at Least 2 languages. Because it is required in school.

    However, in America, English is dominant, there a lot of people who migrate here who do not know how to speak the language even, and there are also a lot more that knows how to speak only english. America just encourages everyone to speak English, so that everyone can understand each other, because what kind of country would it be, if it's like China and Italy combined? They would not understand each other.
    Also, at least in our state, we are required to take at least 2 years of foreign language [which usually consist of Spanish; main] if one is planning to go to a college. So if that person is lucky enough to have his language in the school's classes, he or she should take it.

    In relation to the japanese you are disappointed in for not knowing his own language.. My japanese friend knows as much japanese as my otaku friend and I know combined. So compared to the language itself, it really isn't that much. But he knows enough to be able to communicate a little with his parents, because his parents do not know how to speak english, but only Japanese. Unfortunately for my friend, he is raised in USA, therefore he adapts english more because he hears it more often on the outside like schools. But I feel bad for him, for language is like a barrier between him and his parents.


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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    I fully understand you, oppa.

    I understand at least 3 other languages because of my parents' influence and its also because some of my family members doesn't know English at all. So I guess I benefited from it a lot. I don't speak in any other language unless someone will tell me that they speak it, so of course, I'd speak it. I stick to speaking English because I guess thats what I can do for the time being here. I don't encounter a lot of Filipinos around my place, or Chinese people. Its kind of exciting to find out you meet up with someone that knows the same language as you do and know how this country is so diverse. After a while, I do hate hearing "I'm American so I speak only English." crap because, if you ask my opinion, bilingual people are better off, we learned English afterwards and one who only knows one language are just... plain. lol Its nice learning other languages and the one I'm currently learning is Korean and I'm doing a decent job at it.

    I have younger sisters who doesn't know any other languages except English, speaking-wise. My parents let them decide to speak it or not, but they kind of regret it because they feel like it'll be nice to talk to them in the language when we're just all together and leave speaking English to those who knows it. Both of them are born in the US while my older brother and I weren't, for a while I was just with my parents and my older brother so I grew up speaking Tagalog, Illonggo and Mandarin Chinese (from my dad). Until my sisters came around they just end up learning English because they watched a lot of TV and learned from there. My parents can't do so much about them, from how I see it they take little interest of learning. I don't think it should be an obligation to learn your native language, BUT it would be nice to know it just because you have family that can speak it too and you could benefit from it in other things. In school I had to take some Spanish, but I passed with a C. ;/ And I only understood the basic Spanish because of Tagalog, so it helped me a lot. It was only school and to get a credit. o_o

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    If I had to continue learning that goo goo ga ga language.... I'd hurt myself............ What? It's what I was born to learn first .__.

    In srsnz. I think you should at least know some basics of your native language. But you should just mainly focus on learning the language of the country you are in or might visit/move too. As well as the top 2 languages. Like right now I'm learning Spanish because it might help me a bit. :\


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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    You shouldn't have to learn your native language, but you should be obliged to learn the language of the land you live in. Upright refusal to learn a new language that's necessary for respectable living in your homeplace is not only stupid, but ignorant.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ericgamer1 View Post
    "Native Language" refers to the language that you learn to speak first.

    ..Not entirely sure why you would be required to learn a language if you already know it. Seems redundant
    But I also said "use your native language", which a lot of people seem to refuse to do because they think they are "100% American".

    Like for example, how those Hispanic people got all pissed off at me for speaking to them in Spanish....
    I think it should be required you learn the language of where you reside, but I don't really see the purpose of requiring a language that you'll never use though../ I'm not sure if this is the answer you wanted.
    Well, you still are require to know your own ethnic language because no matter how American you want to be, you are still Vietnamese-American(for example).
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 04-13-2011 at 06:38 AM.


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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Nah, I don't feel that your native language should be an obligation. Learning something just for the sake of learning it, without it having any practical use, doesn't make much sense. Of course if you feel that you would want to do it to preserve a connection to your heritage, then that's cool too.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou+ View Post
    Well, you still are require to know your own ethnic language because no matter how American you want to be, you are still Vietnamese-American(for example).
    Aren't virtually all Americans immigrants? And even those who aren't still have native languages to learn. What would be the purpose of teaching them a bunch of languages they will have little to no use of? Black people will have especially big problems with this. How are they to learn 16th century west African dialects that no living person knows anymore.

    A big part of immigration is cultural integration. That, alas, means giving up some of the culture of your forefathers for the culture of the country you've moved to.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Your opinions are at odds with an acquaintance of mine. He is a black dude living in Japan. He thinks the term "american" is the only legit term for americans since colored folk are referred as "something-american" while some white dude from Europe coming into the states is just referred to as american. Not really fair to him (and to me as well).

    To answer your question, it's not required to learn one's native language but I would recommend it. I think it's best to be fluent in at least 2 languages. Also, in this day and age, it's a very good idea to learn english due to it's broad reach around the world.
    ....

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albatross View Post
    Your opinions are at odds with an acquaintance of mine. He is a black dude living in Japan. He thinks the term "american" is the only legit term for americans since colored folk are referred as "something-american" while some white dude from Europe coming into the states is just referred to as american. Not really fair to him (and to me as well).

    To answer your question, it's not required to learn one's native language but I would recommend it. I think it's best to be fluent in at least 2 languages. Also, in this day and age, it's a very good idea to learn english due to it's broad reach around the world.
    But learning your native language is probably not the most strategic choice. If you want to go for a second language, pick one that's a valuable skill in the workplace. Mandarin is a strategic choice. So is German or French.

    If you learn something like Spanish, you're saying that the seedy motel you're gonna be working in may get visitors that don't speak English.
    If you learn Mandarin, you're saying that the big business you're gonna be working for may encounter foreign businessmen that don't speak English.
    Last edited by Eris; 04-13-2011 at 08:05 AM.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    Aren't virtually all Americans immigrants? And even those who aren't still have native languages to learn. What would be the purpose of teaching them a bunch of languages they will have little to no use of? Black people will have especially big problems with this. How are they to learn 16th century west African dialects that no living person knows anymore.

    A big part of immigration is cultural integration. That, alas, means giving up some of the culture of your forefathers for the culture of the country you've moved to.
    That case is different because many black people are descendant of slaves, and they were forced to drop their culture and their heritage. There is no way to pass down what have disappeared.

    But the mentality of a lot of people here is because is America, you should try to be "American" and drop your previous culture and lifestyle. That's another thing I am concerned about. People shouldn't just stop speaking Spanish or any language in particular just because you are in "America". People seem to think that America is only narrowed down to one single language.

    I made this exact thread in another forum, and I agree with one of the posters. He said that in one of his classes, he had a Cuban classmate whose family owns a CUBAN RESTAURANT and has the same mentality that I mentioned above. That poster is black and said that even he felt to stomp his foot in the guy's face, and I will gladly do it after him because I totally despite that kind of mentality.
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 04-13-2011 at 09:03 AM. Reason: lifestyle not lifetime


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  18. #17
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    It's called cultural integration, and in many ways it's a Good Thing. A complete monoculture is going a bit too far, but having a too disparate culture will lead to segregation and racial conflicts, as well as hurt a country both economically and culturally.

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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    There is really nothing wrong with choosing to talk to people in the common language. I do agree that it is nice to keep the language of the culture you are from, but there is no "need" or "must" there.

    I am wondering if in the case of that Cuban classmate, perhaps he and his family have no fond memories of Cuba, and would rather think of themselves as Americans, even though they run a Cuban restaurant out of expediency. You don't know the history of how they left Cuba, and I don't think can make such a simple judgment based on them wanting to integrate into the US culture.
    I was born in Ukraine, back in the Soviet Union. It is not my culture.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou+ View Post
    That case is different because many black people are descendant of slaves, and they were forced to drop their culture and their heritage. There is no way to pass down what have disappeared.
    Why is culture retention so important though?

    Far as I can tell, me learning Swedish culture and language isn't going to make me more apt at job opportunities.

    But the mentality of a lot of people here is because is America, you should try to be "American" and drop your previous culture and lifestyle. That's another thing I am concerned about. People shouldn't just stop speaking Spanish or any language in particular just because you are in "America". People seem to think that America is only narrowed down to one single language.
    that's not really a culture thing. that's called hyper-nationalism

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  21. #20
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    I understand your point, but I dont agree with you.

    Your native language is per definition the language that you learn to speak first. For instance: I live in Sweden right now and have never lived anywere else... but if my parents moved away with me to a new country when I was... maybe 3years old or so.. why is it required that I still "should" speak swedish? If I would live in france, wouldn't it be better for me to speak france, instead of swedish "just because I was born there"?


    Sure it would be helpful if I would like to speak to the relatives that would still live in Sweden, but still.


    I don't think you should be required to speak a language just because you were born somewere else, or has parents that comes from somewere else. For example the guy in your class: if my parents had moved to another country I would be the "swedish girl" but just because my parents would come from Sweden it doesn't mean that I would be good at swedish / or even would understand it.


    If you need help with your japanese homework: ask your classmates parents. maybe they know.
    Last edited by SuXrys; 04-13-2011 at 11:44 AM.
    Sol, vind och vatten šr det bšsta som jag vet
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    Full song, click, and text and translation to the song above, click.
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  22. #21
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    So what I think happens is this:

    OP to mexican-looking guy: Hola en espanol!
    Mexican-looking guy: Huh? Speak 'merican son!
    OP: But but... racial stereotypes says you says racial stereotypes says DOES NOT COMPUTE!*cognitive dissonance*
    OP: I must protect my prejudices! All Mexican looking guys must be forced to speak Spanish!

  23. #22
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    So what I think happens is this:

    OP to mexican-looking guy: Hola en espanol!
    Mexican-looking guy: Huh? Speak 'merican son!
    OP: But but... racial stereotypes says you says racial stereotypes says DOES NOT COMPUTE!*cognitive dissonance*
    OP: I must protect my prejudices! All Mexican looking guys must be forced to speak Spanish!
    Totally!! Their whiskers and their somsbreros stood out! There's no way they can't be Mexicans...they even smelled like tacos.
    Funny thing though is that they were speaking Spanish to each other after they made the order when they sat down.
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 04-13-2011 at 01:06 PM.


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  24. #23
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Man Formerly Known As The Kid
    I especially hate when parents are too lazy or just don't bother but all they are doing complicate things for their children.
    Preach! My mom was the same way, thinking that since I'll learn English in school and most likely will need to use it throughout my life, that Spanish is totally irrelevant. Being bilingual is awesome, regardless of the language, and I think if you ever have a chance to teach your child a second language, you should.

    On topic, I don't think you have to learn your native language, but I think it's helpful to do so.


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  25. #24
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    Being trilingual is more awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou Ace View Post
    There is really nothing wrong with choosing to talk to people in the common language. I do agree that it is nice to keep the language of the culture you are from, but there is no "need" or "must" there.

    I am wondering if in the case of that Cuban classmate, perhaps he and his family have no fond memories of Cuba, and would rather think of themselves as Americans, even though they run a Cuban restaurant out of expediency. You don't know the history of how they left Cuba, and I don't think can make such a simple judgment based on them wanting to integrate into the US culture.
    I was born in Ukraine, back in the Soviet Union. It is not my culture.
    I don't really know about their situation and won't really ask since it's not really my business but neglecting who they are doesn't really work. They can adapt to a foreign culture all the want but they still belong to the same ethnic group.

    You can be American if you want to, that's fine but don't look back what's really you. Generally speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuXrys View Post
    I understand your point, but I dont agree with you.

    Your native language is per definition the language that you learn to speak first. For instance: I live in Sweden right now and have never lived anywere else... but if my parents moved away with me to a new country when I was... maybe 3years old or so.. why is it required that I still "should" speak swedish? If I would live in france, wouldn't it be better for me to speak france, instead of swedish "just because I was born there"?


    Sure it would be helpful if I would like to speak to the relatives that would still live in Sweden, but still.


    I don't think you should be required to speak a language just because you were born somewere else, or has parents that comes from somewere else. For example the guy in your class: if my parents had moved to another country I would be the "swedish girl" but just because my parents would come from Sweden it doesn't mean that I would be good at swedish / or even would understand it.


    If you need help with your japanese homework: ask your classmates parents. maybe they know.
    That was far off what I was aiming for..I have people to help me with it both IRL and internet.
    Last edited by Kaitou+; 04-13-2011 at 01:53 PM.


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  26. #25
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    Default Re: Native Language - Is it obligatory?

    its like i am half japanese and i have never been to japan or learned the language but people expect since i look japanese that i naturally speak it
    Religion, ideology, resources, land, spite, love or just because... No matter how pathetic the reason, it's enough to start war. War will never cease to exist... reasons can be thought up after the fact... Human nature pursues strife.
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