Z Blog: No habla espanol! | VailDaily.com

Z Blog: No habla espanol!

Matt Zalaznick

Responding to a story in which a candidate for the Eagle County Commission touted her ability to speak Spanish, we recevied the following insightful comment on our Web site:

“‘She said she speaks Spanish fluently.’ That is useful in Latin America ” not needed here … after all, anyone legally here under the age of 55 years MUST (not … try) be able to speak, read and write English — includes all voters.”

Right on. What use is knowing another language? Especially in a country where voters already have trouble speaking their native tongue; where people barely know what more than a few dozen words mean; where people learn the language from reality shows, car commercials and Friends.

A country where sportscasters think “notoriety” is a good thing. As in Joe Bob Griddlecakes earned notoriety as the great quarterback at Cornfield State University.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

It’s just not right bombarding our struggling linguists with all sorts of disturbing foreign sounds. They might think terrorists are living next door.

And who’s going to read “Don Quixote” or Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the original Spanish anyway?

Plus, we don’t want sweet but corruptible American children speaking a language their parents can’t understand, because they’d probably just talk about doing drugs and having sex and burning American flags and going to cockfights and all the other schemes they have to ruin their own morals.

I mean if everybody spoke English, it would be much easier (though not exactly a piece of cake) for government spies to understand the illicit phone conversations they’re illicitly listening to. Still, a terrorist with a grasp of the language and an ounce of wit could still confuse our intelligence agencies into impotence.

And we definitely don’t want Americans showing any weakness by breaking down and learning bizarre languages like Arabic or Chinese. Because even if those cultures threaten to crowd us on the world stage, even knock Uncle Sam off his imperial pedestal, we surely aren’t going to give them the satisfaction of surrendering in Cantonese or Farsi.

They can pry our translators out of old our cold, dead hands!

Surely, knowing another language enriches nobody’s life. Americans already know what words like “taco” and “sombrero” mean and that’s as much foreign culture as they need to get through their days of yakking about last night’s episodes of “American Idol,” “The Apprentice” or “Swordfighting With the Stars.”

Of course, the above commentator may have a point about folks being able to speak, read and write English. Americans would be well-advised to listen to him.

Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism