Skip to comments.California Lawmakers pass bill to protect language freedom
Posted on 08/20/2009 3:12:02 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
California would protect the freedom of a person to speak any language he or she chooses in a business establishment under a measure approved by the state Legislature today.
The bill, authored by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, is the lawmaker's response to a controversial proposal by the LPGA last fall requiring golfers to speak "effective English." The organization scuttled the proposal after loud objections by Yee and others, and the Democrat says this legislation will ensure it does not happen again.
"No one in the state of California should be compelled to speak a particular language to get service," Yee said. "It just boggles the mind that in the year 2009, when we are constantly talking about global trade and bringing customers from other countries to California that we would not have a law that protects everyone's ability to speak."
The law, which now heads to the governor's desk, would make it a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the state's highest civil rights law, if a business "requires, limits or prohibits" the use of any language, except if doing so is a business necessity.
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, called the measure "another full employment act for California's attorneys."
"This is the last sort of thing we need to do - to put additional burdens on businesses," DeVore said during debate over the measure today.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Heh. I would have loved to see that. It sounds like it was quality entertainment.
It was a fun encounter. My dad sent me to Vons for salad ingredients around Christmas. As I approached the lettuce, a couple ladies switched from speaking English to German. I selected my lettuce, then offered a seasonally apropos, "Froliche Weinachten". I had recently passed my oral and written proficiency exams in German at UCSD. Welcome to America. We speak lots of languages here :-)
Good Luck, With Uncle Teddy still in the Hospital I Doubt Governor Shriver has the Authority to Veto this Bill. So where will this law leave me, considering I almost always comment and walk out of any establishment that allows their employees to speak a foreign language in front of customers. I consider it to be extremely RUDE.
I studied German for four years in high skrool and became almost fluent in hoechedeutsche - able to carry on conversations about writers like Mann, et al completely in German.
Funny (and true) story: Bought a couple of pivots from a dealer in Utah. He was too busy to erect & install them himself, so he sub’ed out the job to a family-owned company from West Texas. They were a Mennonite clan.
Anyway, so the pivots arrive by two 18-wheelers, we scatter the parts out on the ground and the fellas get to erecting them. They were GOOD. Knew this business like the backs of their hands. The first day, they’re talking in west Texas English. The second day, tho, they were getting tired and they started talking to each other (there were five of them) in what “sounded” like German. So I up and asked one of the senior guys “Hey, what’s that you’re speaking?”
And he says “Oh, sorry, we speak German in our congregation and in our town most of the time...” and so I reply in hoechdeutsche “nichts passiert, I can auch Deutsche...” and the expression on his face was one of complete surprise - and he hollers down the field “Hey! Guys! This guy can speak German!”
And so they all drop their tools and come running over - when I’d been working next to them for a day and a half. It was as tho I was suddenly a discovery and them some — a guy in the middle of Nevada who could speak German.
Long story short — their families came into Texas in the mid-1800’s from Germany with a wave of Mennonite immigration, ended up in Texas shortly after that Alamo thing, and when they came over, it was most all of the community/congregation. Their German was a dialect I’d never heard, and it was as tho it were frozen in amber - it was old-sounding German, with old idioms, the works. It sounded nothing at all like modern German, and they thought my modern “high German” was completely alien to their ears. They never listened to shortwave radio or German language TV, so they had no idea how German had changed. They just knew from the time they were young ‘un’s that “this is what we speak in church and at home, and we speak this other language out in public...” and that was that.
Yep, we speak a lot of languages here....
Arnold just heard from me, not that he cares..
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