Blogging mostly about mundane stuff like, immigration, Workers' Compensation and other immigrant related activities.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LPGA to Golfers: Learn English...or Else!

(Via International Herald Tribune)

English is the de-facto official language of the United States. It's also the preferred language that business has emraced accross the world. The fact is that few could argue with the opportunities and benefits that are confered upon those individuals who effectively converse and attain proficiency with the English language.

Todays sports figures and celebreties are quick to attempt to converse in English when interviewed. They would gladly pursue their attempts if our media representatives were not too eager to have interpreters step in and facilitate (speed up) the interview, most interpreters fail to convey the true message or words they interpret because they mistakenly resort to "consecutive" which requires that the interpreter render the source-language message after the source-language speaker has paused, instead of using "simultaneous" interpretation in which the interpreter immediately speaks the message in the target language while listening to it in the source language.

So why is the LPGA so concerned about it's golfers ability to "converse" in English. Well it appears that the sucess of the LPGA, a golf organization is preidcated on it's ability to convince corporations to underwrite a tournament. The LPGA is betting that corporations would prefer to speak with professional golfers in English and has taken measures to increase the ability of its players to converse in English by 2009. (From IHT)

Concerned about its appeal to sponsors, the U.S. women's professional golf tour, which in recent years has been dominated by players born outside the United States, has warned its members that they must become conversant in English by 2009 or face suspension.

Perhaps the LPGA's efforts would get better reception from it's players and create less controversy with their proposed suspensions, if they just encouraged their players to speak more English.

It's a lesson that English Only proponents in the United States could also adopt. To their credit in the United States proponents of "English Only" have quietly adopted the more politically correct tern if "Pro-English". It's unfortunate that the group was founded by John Tanton who also founded CIS, and FAIR, as well as co-founding NumbersUSA. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes NumbersUSA as part of a network of "anti-immigration" organizations, which also includes the afformentioned organizations founded by Tanton.

The Pro-English movement goes as far as providing a personal message from Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In his message he explains the subtle differences between "Official English" and "English Only". You can hear the message here.

Algun Dia! (Someday!)

Someday, I would hope that Newt Gingrich and other fellow Americans fixated on an English Only/Pro-English message, would ponder how much greater this country, a country built by immigrants, could become if we spent more of our time and resources promoting that our citizens learn other languages, any language.

Fact is the vast majority of immigrants that come to America fully embrace democracy and the ideals this country represents.  They do their able best to adopt English, some more successfully than others, but that does not make those who speak a bit of "broken English" any less American.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

I see that the dictatorial imperative that "everyone should speak English now extends to golf.

At least the Beijing Olympics appointed an Esperanto translator and CRI broadcast daily, about the Games, in this language.

You can see this at