We Have No Official Language, Mr. Santorum

Rick Santorum demands Puerto Ricans speak English as a condition of statehood. Common sense says otherwise.

Mr. Santorum is somewhat out of touch it would seem. You see, Puerto Rico has TWO official languages: English and Spanish, the latter the dominant.

So, what is the official language of the United States? – We have NO official language.

It has been customary, at least here in Texas, to publish documents and post signs in languages understood by affected populations. I remember well when a Czech language radio station in El Campo, TX would broadcast news in the native tongue of the Czech farmer immigrants.

Click here for Polka
music broadcasts in the
great state of Texas
Click here for oldest
Danish newspaper in

Danish immigrants founded another small agricultural community near my hometown of Palacios, TX. And, no, they didn’t speak English, at least not initially. Likewise, German immigrants who founded Fredericksburg spoke German, as do a considerable number of their descendents to this day.

Last of all, but not least, I remember well those “Alto” (Stop) signs in the Valley. As I drove down to the Valley with my elder brother, he warned, “When you see those Alto signs, you better stop, or they’ll give

Stop Sign in The Valley

you a ticket.”

English is possibly the most complex, most difficult to learn language in the world. The Global Language Monitor the 1,000,001th word added to our American English vocabulary on June 10, 2009. Immigrants don’t easily learn a second language. It’s a learning process that can take a lifetime.

If we elect to make American English the official language of the United States, let’s start with educators, news reporters, preachers and politicians whose language skills fall short.

Our ability to integrate into our society “every tribe and every tongue” is one of the features that set apart America from the rest of the world.