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High Noon For The English Language?
As the New Year began, the final round of the popular television program, World Idol, was down to ten contestants. Belgium, Germany, Norway, Denmark, South Africa, the U.K., Canada, the United States, "Pan Arab" States, (which seemed to consist of the Emirates), and South Africa.
All the finalists cast deciding votes and the winner performed his song, once again, in English. A gap-toothed, rather pudgy and extremely pale Norwegian won.
It was not difficult to understand the varying accents of the contestants. The only diction hard to decipher was that of the two Northern England, soccer-hooligan types who emceed. [VDARE.COM note: Hmm maybe this explains why no-one understands Peter Brimelow.]
English is the de facto lingua franca of the world. But its survival is threatened in its mightiest stronghold, the United States.
According to US English Inc., there are 328 languages now spoken in the U.S. Some are on the point of forming self-sustaining enclaves. Contrarily, ninety-two percent of the world's countries (178 of 193) have at least one official language. It is more pressing than ever that we establish English as the official language of the United States.
Not all 328 tongues, threaten English equally. Spanish, of course, takes the lead by a wide margin. Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latin American and Latino Cultures at Amherst, grew up speaking Yiddish in his native Mexico City. He has just published Spanglish: The Making Of a New American Language .
Stavans is enthused by the prospect of American English being transformed into a Spanish-based dialect. His views are the linguistic equivalent of Richard Rodriguez's provocative 2002 book, Brown: The Last Discovery of America, which envisions the ultimate "browning" of the American population.
Let's examine the balance of forces when it comes to language. The language of the Roman Empire obliterated most Italic, Gallic and Iberian tongues and drove Celtic-speaking remnants to the wild isles and fringes of Europe. The Germanic tongues were not as affected and the Romans had abandoned their occupation of Britannia before waves of Anglo-Saxon immigrants flooded the shores.
English is marvelously versatile, practical, flexible, direct and free of the structural tics that hobble other tongues. The only snake in the English garden is its spelling, which like some grand museum of archaic phonology has faithfully preserved extinct pronunciations.
From the shotgun wedding of England with the French Norman's in 1066, English became a vocabulary of Latin-derived words amalgamated with rich Saxon and Celtic roots. Therefore, there are few Spanish words we have not already obtained courtesy of the French.
The Normans were ambitious conquerors, great in number and determined to rule and dispossess the Anglo-Saxons. But nearly 1,000 years later, not only is the structure of English still Germanic, but the core vocabulary is derived from the Anglo Saxons.
J.R.R. Tolkien brilliantly demonstrated in his great trilogy, The Lord of The Rings, that exceptional literature can still be written using, on average, less than one Latin-derived word per page. In fact George Orwell, with his 1940s essays, Politics and the English Language and Propaganda and Demotic Speech, demonstrated that it is not coincidence that phrases such as "objectively counter-revolutionary left-deviationism" and "drastic liquidation of petty-bourgeois elements" are supposed to be the "language of the proletariat," when they are, of course, no such thing.
"Nearly all English people" wrote Orwell, "dislike anything that sounds high-flown and boastful."
The true English language does refuse to be dazzled by bombast. Champions of our Greco-Roman heritage maintain that Greek and Latin introduced "high concepts" that had no equivalency in the languages they colonized. Yet the final murmur of William Wallace, "Freedom" means exactly the same thing as any Cri De Coeur for "liberty".
One of the oddest aspects of the debate is that Spanish itself is a tongue of Colonialism and Imperialism, a Conquista far more brutal than anything the English-speaking nations, or even Rome herself, visited upon their own people.
While we were preparing a book on the Galapagos Islands for publication, one of the editors insisted we use the "original" [Spanish] island names rather than their "British Imperialist" names. What would the Great Inca have thought?
There is however, a language we affectionately call Spanglish. As the name suggests, it is the melding of two languages, Spanish and English. It consists primarily of English words for modern things, ideas and activities hung on a sagging Spanish grammatical framework. Typical Spanglish formulations are ""COMPRE UN par DE jeans EN LA mall, ESTAN BIEN cool!"" and ""Honey, PODRIAS startear EL carro, please?""
In his essay Mexican Immigration And the Latinization of the United States, Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, a Professor of Education at Harvard University explained:
"The English language needs a new word for this extraordinary process of change in the Americas. I propose the neologism Latinization".
Professor Suarez-Orozco [Send him mail]offered this translation:
"I tentatively define Latinization as the processes of sociocultural (sic), economic, and political hemispheric change traced to the experiences, travails, and fortunes of the Latin-American origin population of the United States".
There is a way that Spanish could become the language that replaces English in the United States. Through the replacement of our current population with non-English speaking immigrants, our own language first assimilates into a hybrid cacophony and then eventually just disappears.
English remains the lingua franca in the United States, but only as long as the country's largest economic group speak the language.
As everyone, even the Sierra Club, should have learned by now, almost all population growth in this country is due to immigration and immigrant fertility. If such trends continue, it is only a matter of time before a Spanish-mestizo one replaces the English-based civilization of America.
The Spanish language alone is not strong enough to affect English in any important way, but Spanish borne on the tongues of millions of invaders could well drown out the sound of English in the all-too-foreseeable future.
So far one still has to learn English to participate in the middle to upper reaches of the American economy. But as millions of immigrants flood our markets, the source of America's supply will adjust to reflect the demand of the consumer.
For example, the Small Business Administration estimates that there are about 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, generating about $300 billion in sales every single year. This trend is expected to double every five years and within 10 years there could be as many as 8 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States. This would make the Hispanic market a significant force in the U.S. economy.
Defending our language by declaring it official is not enough, even if the major political parties were willing to allow us to do so. Unfortunately, the Democrats are too evil and the Republicans too stupid, to know they should care whether the American people or their culture, survives.
It is our very selves we must defend. Never in history had the extinction of a culture been so brazenly and graphically promised by its enemies and so embraced and welcomed by their leaders.
Marian Kester Coombs is a freelance writer in Crofton, Maryland.