The assimilation of immigrant cultures into American society has been described as a melting pot, and as a salad bowl. My impression is that it has always been both. A previous LTE cited the former Governor of Colorado, Richard Lamm, as maintaining that no country has been successful for very long without requiring one common language.
The same mountain range, the Rockies, that is so prominent in Colorado, continues north through Montana, and well into Canada. Apparently, the former governor was unaware that our neighbor to the north recognizes both French and English as standard languages. And I must point out that both of those state’s names are Spanish. A check with Wikipedia informed me that about 20% of Canadian families use a language other than French or English in their homes. Just to mention two, of the many, famous Canadians; Peter Jennings and William Shatner. Jennings served as anchor for ABC News for more than 20 years, and Shatner held the role of Captain Kirk, which led to other starring roles. Now, where would we be without Captain Kirk?
Switzerland recognizes twice as many official languages as Canada: German, French, Italian and Romansch. Wikipedia also informed me that each village, of Canton, in the predominately German-speaking region, uses their own distinct dialect. With the invention of the printing press, and the Guttenberg Bible, they needed to standardize the written form of language. Switzerland is famous, of course, for making great, multifunctional knives, reliable and durable timepieces; and those great watches enable the Swiss to keep the trains running on time. An example that Amtrak would benefit by following.
The one country on earth that has retained uniformity in having one language, and one culture, is North Korea. So, you could check with the former governor of Colorado, or anyone you’d care to consult with, or just answer on your own; which direction would you prefer?
Gene Nielsen, Crescent Mills