[lit-ideas] Re: Some Statistics on Non-English Speakers in US

  • From: Judy Evans <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 23:27:07 +0100

EY> *Ten percent* of the Spanish-speaking population of the USA do not
EY> speak English at all, according to the Census stats. -EY

Eric I don't know what to say about this.  I suppose I'd want to know
how many of them were a) recent immigrants b) very young c) older,
weren't educated in the US.

EY> [* A linquistically isolated household is one in which no member 14
EY> years old and over (1) speaks only English or (2) speaks a 
EY> non-English language and speaks English "very well." In other words,
EY> all members 14 years old and over have at least some difficulty with
EY> English.]

that may tend to "linguistic isolation" (though why the criterion's
"very well" not "well", I don't know), but doesn't really, alone, explain
social isolation.

-- and I still don't see why they're "parasites/parasitic". The
people who own and run several of my neighbourhood shops speak English
either "well" or "not well" (and some of them chat away in Bengali or
Urdu -- or lesser known related languages) but are not in any way
"parasitic".

Some junior doctors at the teaching hospital here come from families
like that -- one has a mother who speaks almost no English, I know
that because I met her mother -- and the devout
female Muslim ones wear a variant of religious Muslim dress (the one
that reads "just add a black scarf"!): "parasitic" my arse

(OK, young women like that would make the family one that isn't
linguistically isolated; and I do now realise that Spanish-language
schools are seen as a problem there in a way that Welsh-language
schools are not here; but then I imagine Spanish-language schools are
not great places to go if you want to be socially mobile)


Judy




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