Slippery slope on bilingualism

 

Recently Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia delivered an entire speech in Spanish on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Kane added, “One of my people got a call by a Latino staffer in the House who said, ‘I have waited 20 years to see this happen.’”

In many countries, in addition to the official language, there are minority languages that are used in special governmental situations where understanding of the message is deemed important. In Florida, voting ballots are trilingual: English, Spanish and Creole.

I fear that Kaine’s speech might be the slippery slope to losing our linguistic cohesiveness. While Kaine’ speech might be applauded by some in the Spanish-speaking population, it’s a step in the wrong direction because it won’t lead to bilingualism. Rather, it might geographically marginalize those who see official bilingualism as a reason to not use English.

A geographically marginalized society would impede the mobility of our labor force, to the detriment of our economy.

Harvey M. Rosenwasser, Key Biscayne

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