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Old 08-07-2013, 11:28 AM  
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Use of languages other than English in the U.S. on the rise: Census

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...e=domesticNews

(Reuters) - The number of people in the United States who speak a language other than English at home has nearly tripled over the past three decades, far outpacing the overall population growth, U.S. data released on Tuesday showed.

While Spanish remains the most widely spoken language after English, other languages, particularly those from South Asia and Africa, have also soared in use, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report.

Some 60.6 million people, or nearly one in five people in the United States aged 5 or older, spoke a language other than English at home in 2011, according to the report. That is up from 23 million in 1980, or almost one in 11.

Over the three decades, the number of people speaking a language other than English at home rose 158 percent, far faster than the overall U.S. population, which grew 38 percent.

Linguistics expert Peter Sayer said the findings highlight increasing "multilingualism" in the United States as a growing number of people speak at least one other language besides English.

"Spanish is the main language, but there's an increasing amount of linguistic diversity," said Sayer, a professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio's Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies.

Among those who speak a language other than English at home, two-thirds speak Spanish. About 37.6 million people in the United States spoke Spanish at home in 2011, up from about 11 million in 1980, the Census report found.

Chinese was the next most widely spoken language with nearly 2.9 million speakers in 2011.

Those two languages, along with Vietnamese, Russian, Persian, Armenian, Korean and Tagalog have seen their use more than double in the United states over the last 30 years. Other Asian and African languages such as Hindi and Swahili have also seen significant growth, the Census report said.

Meanwhile, many European languages are fading in the United States.

There are now half as many Italian speakers in the United States as there were in 1980. German, Hungarian, French, Greek, Yiddish, and Polish also saw significant drop-offs, according to the Census Bureau. The United States has tracked language use since 1890.

STEADY SHIFT

The changes reflect a continuing shift in America's make-up amid the latest wave of immigration from Asia and other regions following influxes from Mexico and other Central and Latin American countries and, before that, Europe.

"While increased immigration led to gains for some language groups, other groups experienced aging populations and dwindling migrant flows into the United States," the report said.

"As people get older and spend time in the United States, they are increasingly likely to make English their main language," wrote Camille Ryan, the report's author and statistician at the agency.

The language trend does not appear to be hurting the use of English, which remains the most widely spoken language in U.S. homes, the findings showed.

Among those who speak another language, 78 percent said they speak English "well" or "very well," while 22 percent said they speak English "not well" or "not at all," the 2011 data showed.

Sayer said the data dispels the notion that immigrants resist learning English. "We continue to be a country of immigrants, but that misconception of immigrants not learning English is not really true," he said.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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Thatguy can barely write English.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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Good. Being multilingual is a positive.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Good. Being multilingual is a positive.
In what way?
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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In what way?
So you understand better when foreigners make fun of you, I guess.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Good. Being multilingual is a positive.
It is. Inability to speak English is a negative, though. I'd bet that the 22% who speak English poorly if at all is a significant increase over the last census.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Speak what you want but if poor English skills decrease your marketability then have fun making less money.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It is. Inability to speak English is a negative, though. I'd bet that the 22% who speak English poorly if at all is a significant increase over the last census.
I didn't dig into the numbers but here is an article: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/relea.../cb13-143.html


"This study provides evidence of the growing role of languages other than English in the national fabric," said Camille Ryan, a statistician in the Census Bureau's Education and Social Stratification Branch and the report's author. "Yet, at the same time that more people are speaking languages other than English at home, the percentage of people speaking English proficiently has remained steady."

I would assume that is harder to be proficient in languages without common roots. So being multilingual in European languages would be easier than, say, Vietnamese and English. Therefore changing trends in immigration may be responsible for a slight change in raw percentages.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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Speak what you want but if poor English skills decrease your marketability then have fun making less money.
I'm guessing they're making more money here than they did before despite being able to speak the native language of their birthplaces.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:06 PM   #11
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Narrow minded white men complaining about people who don't speak English....nothing new to see here: move along.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:12 PM   #12
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Narrow minded white men complaining about people who don't speak English....nothing new to see here: move along.
If only we could all be so different that we couldn't get along with each other. That would be perfect.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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In what way?
You don't understand/acknowledge the mental skill required to actively use multiple languages, or you don't understand the process whereby use of a mental skill to the point of proficiency increases cognitive function?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:29 PM   #14
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You don't understand/acknowledge the mental skill required to actively use multiple languages, or you don't understand the process whereby use of a mental skill to the point of proficiency increases cognitive function?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:34 PM   #15
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You don't understand/acknowledge the mental skill required to actively use multiple languages, or you don't understand the process whereby use of a mental skill to the point of proficiency increases cognitive function?
It seems that I misunderstood what he was saying. I presumed that he meant that it's a positive that we have 36 million Spanish-speaking households in our country.

I agree that an individual speaking two or more languages can be a positive.
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