Monday, January 26, 2009

Nashville 'Nay' on English-only

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By 10,000 votes, Nashville, the capital of the US state of Tennessee, defeated a measure pushed by its Metro Councilman Eric Crafton to mandate English-only proceedings in city government with exceptions voted by the Council.

Crafton had argued the measure would have saved the city more than $100,000 in translation costs.

Though there is no official language in the United States, 30 states among them Tennessee declare English the official language.

If the measure had passed, Nashville would have been the largest city (600,000 population) among 19 that do have an official English language policy. For that reason alone, Crafton's English-only measure garnered widespread media attention.

Language is culture as translators know. The US is undeniably a multi-cultural society - the proverbial "melting pot" - a country built by immigrants.

Indeed, English-only measures in the US are a subtext of the immigration issues facing the country.

Just as speaking French if you live in France or Spanish if you live in Latin America is plain practical to survive and prosper, so is English in the United States.

Declaring it the official government policy is another matter.

If you are in Buenos Aires and want English lessons personally designed to fit your needs, please call Professor Winn at 1160 461 342 or send an email to

Anyone interested in English-language services or translations (Sp/Fr/Pt>En) may send an email to for a prompt evaluation.

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