Speak English

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Editor:

For more than 20 years I was engaged in international business. My travels have taken me to 31 countries. Without exception, the language of business was English.

In Japan, high-ranking businessmen use their personal time in evenings and weekends to learn how to speak and conduct business in English. The country of Singapore has emerged as a leader in technology and financial markets. While populated by Chinese, Malays and Indonesians, the government declared the official language of the country as English.

The leaders recognized that to be successful in the world economy, one must speak English.

I made numerous trips to Mexico doing business both with Mexican companies and American companies with subsidiaries in Mexico. Every one from the manager to the line worker spoke English. Recently there was an article in which an immigrant young lady expressed her belief that in order to be successful in America, she needed to speak English.

I lived in Japan for nine years. I had a green card “resident alien registration” which I was required to present upon demand. I was also expected to learn Japanese for everyday activities. I did not expect the Japanese to print everything in English for my benefit.

Those who refuse to learn and speak the English language, will be limited in their ability to be successful and will be restricted to communities which most often exist below the standard of living. We are doing all immigrants a gross disservice by not insisting that they learn and exercise the English language in their everyday lives. Printing material in Spanish and offering Spanish as an option in telephone messages contributes to the lack of necessity of learning English.

My grandparents legally emigrated from Germany and understood the necessity of speaking English. Had they not, I would be writing this in German instead of English.

Gary Hampsch

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