ALABAMA POLITICIAN INSISTS THE STATE SPEAKS ENGLISH
April 29 2010
Montgomery, Alabama – English is perhaps the most remarkable language human beings have yet created. Fusing multiple other languages, pulling in words from vastly different language groups, and boasting the largest vocabulary of any on the planet, it
is perhaps the most formidable and powerful language ever. That is also evidenced by the widespread usage of the language. Though ranking behind Mandarin Chinese and Spanish for the most native speakers, English has become a kind of Lingua Franca, a single unifying language that people all over the world speak regardless of their mother tongue.
Over the last hundred years, the greatest proponent of the English language has been the United States. Her rise to the heights of one of the greatest powers the world has ever seen has dragged the language along with it, embedding the dialogue across the world, spreading the tongue further and further and embedding it deep into global culture. Of course, the U.S. has had its own struggles with the language, adapting it and seeing it organically mutate from its original form to a new unique version of the language with dozens of dialects spread across the country. Of course, America is a country of immigrants and thus not everyone in the nation speaks English as their mother tongue and now an Alabama gubernatorial candidate is insisting that the people in his state be forced to speak the language despite little or no history throughout the area.
“This is Alabama; we speak English. If you want to live here, learn it,” said Republican candidate Tim James in his most recent campaign message. In particular he was referring to availability of 12 different languages on the state driving test. “I have come under attack and under assault by a very interesting group of far-left reporters. English exams are a public safety issue, to ensure drivers can read signs. It will also save the state money and it just makes sense.”
Currently the tests are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese, however none of those languages are spoken widely across the state.
“Frankly I don’t know what language they speak in Alabama. I’ve been there a handful
of times and I haven’t heard any of those languages. He speaks English and I guess he just assumes that people across the state do as well but I can tell you that English is not the languages that I’ve heard when travelling down there,” said Scrape TV Political analyst Gabriel Kinsey. “Perhaps he hasn’t been out meeting the people lately. This speaks to how in touch he really is with the state and the people within it. I don’t have any idea what language they speak but I can tell you it isn’t English and by insisting that it is he could very well alienate a whole bunch of people, assuming they understand what he’s saying.”
Alabama’s official language is English and much of the state documentation is done in that language even though few real people speak it.
“It’s kind of funny that they have this insistence of keeping English in the government structure. Yes the road signs are in that language but those are designed with universality in mind, which is why they are in such funny shapes. Considering that so few people in the state actually speak English they should really adapt to whatever it is they do speak there,” continued Kinsey. “Of course this will bring James a lot of attention but not really the kind that he should want. Assuming that the voters understand him, they are going to realize how out of touch he is and he might lose more voters than he gains. Stupid, stupid move.”
We attempted to contact James’ representatives but couldn’t understand a word they were saying.
Mike Michaels, American Correspondent