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primalclaws1974

The United States is more a "melting pot" now than 100 years ago

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The people of the United States have always been diverse, but racism and prejudice kept people from interacting very much. Language barriers were hardly ever crossed. Today we have an even deeper multicultural society, and other languages, besides English are becoming more mainstream. I believe that for this reason, the first language after English should be Spanish, because it is almost as widely used as English. If you are still wanting to learn a language, this should be based on the people you are around and the place you inhabit.

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I haven't been to the States, so I have no personal experience with any language barrier there. So, I'll just limit my comment on your last line:

. If you are still wanting to learn a language, this should be based on the people you are around and the place you inhabit.

I think this is the most sensible thing to do when choosing a language to learn. Language was primarily developed for communication purposes. I believe it can be frustrating to be learning a language when people around you have no interest in that language you're studying. So, you'll end up just memorizing stuff without really having someone to converse with if the language you've chosen to study is not really used where you are or by the people around you.

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Yes, it is now inhabited with more people from different countries now more than ever, probably because it's only gotten more and more famous and popular as the years went by. I also agree that it's best to learn the language of the people nearest to you because it helps with communication as well as offers a more instant form of gratification since you could practice your new conversational skills almost immediately on others as opposed to if you learned a new language from countries that are far away.

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I went to the States on a vacation trip back in December 1995, and I haven't experienced any language barrier there.  I'm very knowledgeable in the English language, but whenever I'm with my relatives I speak in the vernacular.  I'm pretty sure that the States has greatly evolved into a more multicultural society.  Back then, I never really thought about language barriers as I was then a minor.

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This is true that we have so many people that are of different backgrounds since the beginning of the "melting pot." However, we're far from being perfect. If more people were willing to learn, at the very least, two languages, I'd say we'd be a bit closer as a nation. It takes time for people to let go of hate of any sort, but I'm hoping that more progress will be made long after I'm gone. Here's to people being able to get along a bit more and cultures being a bit more accepting of one another.

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This is true that we have so many people that are of different backgrounds since the beginning of the "melting pot." However, we're far from being perfect. If more people were willing to learn, at the very least, two languages, I'd say we'd be a bit closer as a nation. It takes time for people to let go of hate of any sort, but I'm hoping that more progress will be made long after I'm gone. Here's to people being able to get along a bit more and cultures being a bit more accepting of one another.

I agree with you that the common consensus among native-born Americans is that they should not have to learn another language, because English is the language of America. As a matter of fact, America has no official language, as opposed to many other countries. The reason for this is clear to me. We have always had a variety of people here, and different languages came with them. I have noticed younger people are more eager to learn, so with the passing of the years, hopefully the issue will be moot.

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I agree with you that the common consensus among native-born Americans is that they should not have to learn another language, because English is the language of America. As a matter of fact, America has no official language, as opposed to many other countries. The reason for this is clear to me. We have always had a variety of people here, and different languages came with them. I have noticed younger people are more eager to learn, so with the passing of the years, hopefully the issue will be moot.

I'm no American, but with the world becoming smaller because of the Internet, I believe there is a reason to hope. With your observation that younger people are more eager to learn another language, the likelihood that the issue will be moot is high. For one, the Internet has paved the way for the younger people to interact with people miles away and whose backgrounds are completely different from theirs. With the awareness that there are worlds different from their own, these young people will be more open and as quoted earlier more accepting of one another.

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I've heard the US described both by inhabitants and visitors as more of a "palette" than a melting pot. If you want to, you can mix and experience different languages and cultures without that large of a backlash, but the most people wouldn't frown on staying "the way you were raised" if you were raised in a household dominated by a single language and/or culture.

That being said I definitely think that there is some racism towards inhabitants who don't actually speak English. I have heard some downright hateful things on the internet about Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrants.

On the flipside of that I have also heard some nonsense about something some people call "cultural appropriation" the idea that if you celebrate a part of a culture different than your own, you are appropriating it, and that people should stick to their "real" culture.

There are racist people everywhere, and some people will always fear change, so I think that the US, like any country, will always have its fair share of bigoted people. The trick is to look at the rest of the people, and see the growth the country has been through through them.

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Yes, I agree. American schools should be teaching their young students a second language, preferably Spanish and then as the students grow they should be allowed to choose another language of choice. Since they have still not succeeded to provide this I doubt my other desire will ever come to fruition: that the children be taught the basics of a character language, like Chinese. With the growth of international business, I think this would not only aid them in developing their learning skills but might also come in handy with future employment. Children absorb so quickly and tutors who could come in under the guidance of the educator would be easy enough to find. Many third world countries teach a 2nd and even a 3rd language and their resources are far more limited than what most Western worlds have. To say one is American and English is the international language so why bother is unwise and narrow minded. The world is changing all the time and the American children need to be taught how to grow with those changes.

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I like to think of it as a more accepting and less violent melting pot. Racism is still alive and well, but there are less violent outbursts. It seems like now there are more violent racial tensions between the police and citizens compared to just different races going at it.

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This is true that we have so many people that are of different backgrounds since the beginning of the "melting pot." However, we're far from being perfect. If more people were willing to learn, at the very least, two languages, I'd say we'd be a bit closer as a nation. It takes time for people to let go of hate of any sort, but I'm hoping that more progress will be made long after I'm gone. Here's to people being able to get along a bit more and cultures being a bit more accepting of one another.

I think countries like America and South Africa are in the very unique and privileged position of having "rainbow nations", classic examples of melting pots of cultures. I wish I were in that position, because I'd take full advantage of this by soaking up all the cultural differences and try to learn (definitely) Spanish and some of the other languages out there.

The world has definitely become a lot smaller due to the advent of modern technology and boarders opening up to welcome people from all four corners of the globe. We're truly enjoying the global village effect, learning about different people from all cultures and backgrounds, even interacting with people we would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. So I think all this is leading to very positive changes in race relations :)

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Definitely true. This is one of the smallest cities I've currently lived in (Edinboro, PA) but the diversity the college brings in is really unique. From the Koreans and Japanese to various other Asian Ethnicities and then right next to them the Mexican minorities. In a very redneck northern PA town. Like farmers type rednecks. It's interesting to see how we all coexist and learn from each other. And I just don't mean the different restaurants, either. I mean wholesome good education.

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