PODCAST: Bill Would Make English Official Language in PA


HARRISBURG – Two bills that would make English the official language of Pennsylvania were the topic of a House State Government Committee hearing held Wednesday in Harrisburg.

Rep. RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon), sponsor of one of the pieces of legislation, said her bill does not require anyone to learn English, but it does require all official business conducted by state government to be done in English.

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  1. Amazed says:

    How did i guess it is a Republican sponsoring this legislation? They are all about alienation and politics of race and division. Apparently these issues are far more important then things like the economy, job and the environment. WOW!!!!

  2. Jenn says:

    I think it is a good idea!! I mean this is America!! If people want to live here they need to learn the language!! If you go to another country you need to learn their language if you want to communicate with people!! The same should go for the U.S.

  3. Tim Hallman says:

    Amazed, lets take a look at the issue.

    I’ll begin with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

    “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americans . . .The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. We have but one flag. We must also learn one language and that language is English.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

    Now, with all due respect, I beg to differ with your assumption that a unifying language is about alienation, division and race, and here is why:

    1. A common language unites people, it does not divide them.
    2. Immigrants would not be ‘alienated’ if they learned our language. If they do not learn our language, how can they expect to exist as a contributing member of society? They would not be able to read most texts (further education and learn American history), and would not be able to write (tax forms, voter registration, and school registration).
    3. There are plenty of Americans whose ethnicity is Black, White, Asian, and Mexican, who speak English well… I don’t think it is about race. It is about a Nation… and that Nation is America. American is not a race.

    And most importantly, the biggest issue is the burden and cost on our society to support multiple languages.

    Lets think about this for a moment. If we don’t have a standard language, then how many languages do we support? Just Spanish? Spanish and French? Japanese? Arabic? Where does it end?

    And, consider that each language we support exponentially increases the burden on our government and society. For every language we now need to hire translators… every text (welfare forms, school registration, health forms, voting forms, etc.) must be translated and printed with those translations. This increases the costs of such services dramatically. Imagine that every school, health center, courthouse and welfare office across the country needs to have a dozen or so translators on staff just to support such a thing.

    And this doesn’t even take into consideration costly mistakes made by inaccurate translations.

    Also, consider that this Bill does not require anyone to learn English – it only aims to make English the official language, so that official documentation (such as above), can be written and printed in on unified and standardized language.

    No, with all due respect, I believe not having an official language is actually detrimental to our solidarity and economic system. I believe not having an official language is serving to divide this nation.

    Thank you for considering my opinion in this matter (because that is all this is, just my honest opinion 🙂

  4. Bill says:

    I have to agree with this legislation. I still get agitated when I’m calling a government office and get the automated answer that says, “press one for English”! And I know that I’m not alone in this. As a 20 plus year veteran of the military, I absolutely support our government as I have sworn to do. I just wish that it would get back to our roots and make it the wishes of the majority again. The special interest groups seem to run the country instead. Just my opinion.

  5. essie says:

    Agree agree agree. English as the official language of good old PA! Yes!

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