Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for June 11th, 2008

Blogging in Tongues Against HB 477 Recap

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Yesterday was quite a day here in the Ohio Blogosphere, and I was glad to be part of it.  Last week Jill Miller Zimon had one of those creative ideas that has made her quite famous or notorious in the Blog World.  She asked her fellow bloggers to take one day-Tuesday June 9th and write why they thought the latest ENGLISH ONLY bill that passed the Ohio house and is headed for a  Senate Committee  is a very bad idea.  Now, for a lot of people that would have been the end of the creativity, but not Jill.  She suggested that we choose a foreign language and write our post in that language.

As people signed on, the languages were flying fast and furiously-Vietnamese, Hungarian, Polish, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Urdu, and there I was with three years of high school Spanish taken 40 years ago.  I was obviously out of my league, and then, Jill told me it would be quite easy with google translator.  I immediately signed up.

Jill created a blog just for this effort and you can read all of the posts here in English.  But I would suggest, at least, checking out each blog for the  original post in a foreign language.  It will give you a feel for just how difficult and frustrating it is when there is a language barrier.  These bloggers not only did a stand up job with the task given them, but each and every blog on this list is worth a periodic visit if you are a person who wants to know what is going on in Ohio and beyond.

American Pink Collar (French)

Bad American  (Polish)

bitter-girl::musings (German)

blogesque   (Korean)

Blue Bexley  (Dutch)

Bring Ohio Home  (Czech)

Bring Ohio Home (German)

Buckeye State Blog (Italian)

Glass City Jungle (Hungarian)

Gloria Ferris  (Spanish)

Ohio Daily Blog  (Croatian)

Pho’s Akron Pages (Vietnamese)

Plunderbund (Redneck)

Rowsey Blog (Spanish)

The Chief Source (Spanish) at the point

The Daily Bellwether  (French) 

Tim Ferris  (French)

Writes Like She Talks (Portuguese)

One of the things I found truly amazing was the common threads that were woven through the posts.  Each of us wrote these independently and in our own style but we all came to the same conclusions that the bill is exclusionary, that it panders to a certain mindset, that it reflects badly on Ohio when it comes to the subject of immigration,  that it will be costly, that it appears to be nearly unenforceable, that technology advances are not taken into account,  that there are so many exceptions to the rule that it is essentially meaningless, and therefore, has the look and feel of politics at its worst.  If we truly want to have an English Only state why isn’t more done to see that English as a Second Language classes are a priority?

I can’t wait for Jill’s next great idea.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Oh, she gave you homework too.  She has asked that every reader write or contact their legislator to voice their opposition.  And for those of you, who are in favor you should contact your legislators too.  Of course, I doubt if you are reading my blog, but if you are I want to be democratic.  Hmm, with legislators passing this kind of legislation, I wonder how much longer we will be able to consider ourselves a democratic society.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 11th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Cleveland

English Translation: Ohio House Bill 477–Bad Legislation On So Many Levels

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Ohio House Bill 477–Bad Legislation On So Many Levels

In an era when we should be inclusive instead of exclusive, again, we in Ohio show ourselves to be on the wrong end of the spectrum.  We are a state losing population, and therefore, we should be embracing immigration. But, our state legislature in its collective wisdom has decided to show the world that we believe in isolationism.

This English Only bill is nothing more than a diversionary tactic.  Our state legislators continue to propose bills that really aren’t worth a hill of beans.  It is a known fact that immigrant families who come to America within three generations become acclimated to the English language, and it is the language of choice often to the chagrin of elders who worry about  the loss of ethnic culture. 

With the advent of technology is it truly so burdensome to translate into other languages?  Should we not embrace the learning of additional languages by our young people?  When we pass such restrictive legislation does it not send the wrong message?  Do we not have “English as Second Language” classes to promote the learning of English by people new to our country?

Why do we the electorate continue  to allow our legislators to continue to ignore the elephant in the room?  Which elephant you ask?  Pick one–the economy, the burden of taxes, the number of people leaving our state-young and old, the medicaid crisis, and on and on.  Instead we allow them to pass laws that are meaningless, albeit restrictive and exclusionary.  Convince me that we will be better with the passage of such a ridiculous notion.  This country was built by immigrants.  Cleveland is known as a melting pot.  We should all stand up and tell the state legislature that we want them to be better, to be bigger, and to envision a state where all are welcome to live, work, and play.   

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 11th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Cleveland