Language Matters: Making It Official

Does your country have an official language?

Many, if not most, countries do.  That official language is the one spoken by most residents, and it is generally required to know that language before becoming a citizen.

The United States (you might be surprised to learn) does not have an official language.

Some people think that English should be the official language of the U.S.  Others disagree, and the debate has gone on for decades.

Those who are against English as the official language say that doing so would put immigrants at an unfair disadvantage in finding work, and might interfere with due process and legal proceedings.  If someone who doesn’t speak English breaks the law, how can they have a fair trial if everything is only in English?

Others say that making English the official language would actually help immigrants.  Knowing the dominant language of the land is the first step to becoming truly successful in a country, they say, so requiring people to know English before becoming citizens is the only way to provide them with truly equal opportunities.

What do YOU think?  If your country has an official language, do you think it helps unify the people?  If it doesn’t, do you think it causes problems?

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