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Thread: Why Isn't German A More Dominant Language In The U.S.?

  1. #11
    Senior Member rainman's Avatar
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    In Cincinnati they have a pretty upper class German speaking private school. Classes are conducted in German so the child learns German there. The street names in Northern Kentucky are called "strasse" from German influence. The architecture is also highly German and there are many "Germantowns" "German village" and Over the Rhine in downtown Cincinnati. But now there aren't really any Germans left. They fled to the country side and haven't had any babies so now its all mostly minorities.

    The schools don't seem to teach German anymore. They want everybody to learn spanish in school. Seem like BS to me. Learning a second language goes beyond practical purposes of commerce.

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    Senior Member Vandal Lord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    The dominant language and culture of the Founding Fathers was English. It should not be any other way. Germans are a significant ethnic group in the USA and many Americans of old stock have German ancestry too, but I don't believe German would reflect the true heritage of the USA. It was founded by Englishmen so English has its rightful place here. The Germans adapted quickly and have no problems living by the standards of Anglo-America.
    Dagna I am not advocating that German replace English as the official language or anything like that. I support measures to make English the official language of the U.S. I don't think people should only use German and isolate themselves. I am just surprised that German isn't the "secondary" language of the U.S. based on the sheer numbers of German immigrants that came into the U.S. historically. You would think German would have been more commonly spoken and taught as a foreign language in our educational institutions rather than French or Spanish, even with the effects of WW1 and WW2, German should be much more existent in this country than it currently is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimsteinr View Post
    That's True.........
    However, at this point in Our History, we have been recently overrun by Spanish speaking immigrants from Mexico. They are reaching the point of being a dominant majority in some areas. And they have been becoming more visible.
    Granted, that has slowed down somewhat with the present state of Our Economy, as the Hispanics are going back across the Border.
    But there is still a disinct advantage, financial & otherwise, in many Areas of the US, in being able to understand and speak Spanish.
    I'm just saying.........
    We should not be making it easier though for illegals by catering to them and learning their language. I think the so called financial or economic advantages of learning Spanish has been exaggerated. Most these of these illegal aliens are brought in as cheap labor and many have this audacity for us to learn and use Spanish for them while they take more of our jobs. As American Germanics we should always support ways of preserving Germanic Culture in the U.S., advocating the deportation of these illegal aliens and promoting German instead of Spanish as the secondary language of the U.S. are ways of helping our cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauke Haien View Post
    The Germans in America did not adapt quickly, but they folded rather easily when pressure was applied to them. I do not doubt that they would be better off now if they still had a distinct ethnic community with its separate language to rely on, rather than forming an integral part of a society that is heavily non-Germanic. Faint memories of ethnic ancestry cannot be substitutes for functional ethnic groups and neither can racial categorisations added as afterthoughts, especially if they are as broad as whiteness is.
    There were some Germans that used their language for quite some time in America, they didn't all fold from the pressure. Even if distinct communities of pure ethnic Germans don't quite exist much anymore in the U.S., there is no reason for Americans that have some German ancestry not to learn and use German if they desire. If an American have both Anglo and German heritage in them, they could still know both English and German to better reflect their heritages. Thanks for posting that wikipedia info on the number of American school children who were exclusively taught in German before WW1. I seem to remember reading an article on the history of foreign languages in America a few years back and it stated that German was becoming a fairly common foreign language taught in schools and colleges before WW1. Even those that didn't have any German ancestry were learning it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lei.talk View Post
    "The dominant language and culture of the Founding Fathers was English." http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scr...ca/ghba00.html
    Lei.talk, I appreciate the article and link to the site, it provided some good information on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by InvaderNat View Post
    Germany had no colonial influence in the Americas beyond actual immigrants.
    True, the Germans themselves didn't find and establish their own colonies in America like the English, but despite the fact the French had founded their own colonies in what would become part of America, far more Germans immigrated to the U.S. than French yet French has been taught much more as a foreign language in the U.S. than German. Logic would seem to suggest German would be the most commonly taught foreign language in the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by rainman View Post
    In Cincinnati they have a pretty upper class German speaking private school. Classes are conducted in German so the child learns German there. The street names in Northern Kentucky are called "strasse" from German influence. The architecture is also highly German and there are many "Germantowns" "German village" and Over the Rhine in downtown Cincinnati. But now there aren't really any Germans left. They fled to the country side and haven't had any babies so now its all mostly minorities.

    The schools don't seem to teach German anymore. They want everybody to learn spanish in school. Seem like BS to me. Learning a second language goes beyond practical purposes of commerce.
    It must be bad if they are not teaching German as much in a state like Ohio. They are even pushing Spanish as well in these kind of states. I couldn't agree more with you that language should not only be learned for economic or commerce reasons. But even if we used this argument alone, one could argue that German actually has more economic, philosophical and scientific uses than French or Spanish. German is a real under taught and underrated language.

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    Senior Member Eoppoyz's Avatar
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    I have read for few years ago that America had an election for about 300-400 years ago if English or German should became first language. I dont know it only was in Pennsylvania or more early states voted about this.

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    I wanted to learn German in Highschool but it wasn't offered. Had a choice between Mandarian, French or Spanish. Retarded if you ask me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    The dominant language and culture of the Founding Fathers was English. It should not be any other way.
    Yes, but as was stressed --- what about it being more prevalent with foreign languages being taught. At present, the whole English-speaking world at large snubs German as the first foreign language to be taught, instead resorting to French, and then later Spanish.

    I think that German should have a more prevalent role in all of these countries' educational system: For contact with Europeans, it is quite important --- for if you discount Russia (which "doesn't really count" - they are a "case apart"), then Germany is the most commonly spoken first language in Europe.

    It would thus be good for inter- and intra-Germanic relations that other Germanic languages were to be taught beyond non-Germanic languages such as French or Spanish. In school I too bought the argument that Spanish is a world language whilst Swedish etc. was not --- but as a general rule, since I am nowhere near Latin America nor Spain, I found learning that language pretty useless whilst I converse with Swedes every odd day.

    It surely can't be that almost every young Finn speaks good German, but virtually no Englishman does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eoppoyz View Post
    I have read for few years ago that America had an election for about 300-400 years ago if English or German should became first language. I dont know it only was in Pennsylvania or more early states voted about this.
    That is incorrect. That "one vote" story has been misinterpreted often. What happened in truth is that the vote was about whether German should also appear on official documents in Pennysilvania. This vote is the one that is always discussed --- but making it an overall first language was never debated on a large scale nor balloted upon as far as I am aware.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eoppoyz View Post
    I have read for few years ago that America had an election for about 300-400 years ago if English or German should became first language. I dont know it only was in Pennsylvania or more early states voted about this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    That is incorrect. That "one vote" story has been misinterpreted often. What happened in truth is that the vote was about whether German should also appear on official documents in Pennysilvania. This vote is the one that is always discussed --- but making it an overall first language was never debated on a large scale nor balloted upon as far as I am aware.
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.p...845#post929845

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Yes, but as was stressed --- what about it being more prevalent with foreign languages being taught. At present, the whole English-speaking world at large snubs German as the first foreign language to be taught, instead resorting to French, and then later Spanish.

    I think that German should have a more prevalent role in all of these countries' educational system: For contact with Europeans, it is quite important --- for if you discount Russia (which "doesn't really count" - they are a "case apart"), then Germany is the most commonly spoken first language in Europe.

    It would thus be good for inter- and intra-Germanic relations that other Germanic languages were to be taught beyond non-Germanic languages such as French or Spanish. In school I too bought the argument that Spanish is a world language whilst Swedish etc. was not --- but as a general rule, since I am nowhere near Latin America nor Spain, I found learning that language pretty useless whilst I converse with Swedes every odd day.
    Indeed, but since English is the lingua franca of the world, most Americans do not speak another language. They do not need it. Spanish is taught because of the large number of Hispanic immigrants.
    It surely can't be that almost every young Finn speaks good German, but virtually no Englishman does.
    I have been learning German by myself.


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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    yes, this is "old school" - how ever, periodic reviews of the material will maintain your proficiency

    http://audioforum.com/index.php?crn=...mode=cat_click
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    I have been learning German by myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    Indeed, but since English is the lingua franca of the world, most Americans do not speak another language. They do not need it. Spanish is taught because of the large number of Hispanic immigrants.
    Who cares if it's the "lingua franca" of the world? Does this mean that to communicate with other Germanics, especially those of English language --- we should all be the ones going all the way to learn your language whilst you're not willing to do the same thing back?

    (Mind that the "you" I am using is not directed at you in person, but to Anglophones in general. I understand that is not your view --- but the view of many of your countrymen).

    As a German it is technically my right as much as yours not to know a language other than my own. The fact that "the whole world speaks English" doesn't change that.

    I personally find it a little arrogant that Anglophones assume just because their language is the "lingua franca of the world" that if they visit our countries we should be the one to speak English rather than you to speak German.

    Learning languages is important. That's why we learn them in school, and why throughout the past centuries people of high education and high social standings oft knew several languages. That can both be for communication with the neighbour --- as well as understanding what your enemy mutters whilst your overhear it.

    Would you not agree in general that native English speakers should much rather learn German than Spanish or French, though, anyhow?
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Senior Member Vandal Lord's Avatar
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    As people can see from my posts in this thread, I am quite passionate about this subject. As an American I guess I am just sick of tired of the promotion of Non Germanic languages in the U.S. The U.S. is still mostly made up of Germanic descended people who founded and built this nation and its just asinine that the foreign languages that are taught or promoted are from recent foreigners, illegal aliens and historical peoples who came to the U.S. in very low numbers. I think Germanic culture in general would be much more stronger and vibrant in the U.S. if the other Germanic Languages were taught and emphasized in the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Who cares if it's the "lingua franca" of the world? Does this mean that to communicate with other Germanics, especially those of English language --- we should all be the ones going all the way to learn your language whilst you're not willing to do the same thing back?

    As a German it is technically my right as much as yours not to know a language other than my own. The fact that "the whole world speaks English" doesn't change that.

    I personally find it a little arrogant that Anglophones assume just because their language is the "lingua franca of the world" that if they visit our countries we should be the one to speak English rather than you to speak German.

    Learning languages is important. That's why we learn them in school, and why throughout the past centuries people of high education and high social standings oft knew several languages. That can both be for communication with the neighbour --- as well as understanding what your enemy mutters whilst your overhear it.

    Would you not agree in general that native English speakers should much rather learn German than Spanish or French, though, anyhow?
    I defiantly agree Sigurd, there many in the English speaking world that have become arrogant or lazy when it comes to learning and mastering other foreign languages. English is maybe the current lingua franca of the world at the moment that could change in the future. Communication between different Germanic peoples should not be one sided. I think our Germanic Cultural Preservation movement would become even stronger if more of us English Speaking people mastered German and if they desire or have time learn other Germanic Languages as well.

    I remember when I was learning some German as a teenager, a friend and I were standing out in front of a mall waiting for some more friends, and about four Mexicans stood near us waiting. They were loud and arrogant, first speaking English and then Spanish. They were giving us some dirty looks and were laughing at us, they spoke Spanish fast and we didn't quite understand what they were saying. So my friend and I started speaking some German we had learned, a basic conversation. All the sudden the Mexicans stopped speaking and laughing, they stared at us with uncomfortable facial expressions, they couldn't understand us. We continue speaking what we knew at the time, and suddenly our other friends showed up smiling and started to speak some German they knew. I over heard one of the Mexicans say, Lets get out of here! My friends and I just started laughing. I have to say it felt empowering to turn the tables on these rude Mexicans by speaking a language they couldn't understand.

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