Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Immigrants and language

I was watching a video about a Pakistani family who claims to escape that country and have sought asylum in the Netherlands and they were documenting how the old lady of the family is learning Dutch. Apparently there is a new law on the books there that anybody who does not learn Dutch and pass the language and culture test after a certain number of years will be deported to the native countries. Although this law seems to be apparently passed in the Netherlands so that they don’t have many Muslims, in essence an Anti-Muslim law but it will be applied to people outside the European Union and Turkey as I believe. But even if it deemed to be an Anti Muslim law, what harm is there to learn another language. I am saying that if there were no law to this effect, don’t you want to learn the language where you plan to stay for the rest of your lives. Learning a language is just the first step towards integration to a society and if I am in a place where the language is not English, I will make every effort to learn that country's language no matter how much time it would take me. I understand that old people will have a hard time learning new language but for the sake of being independent and integration, learning a language should not become an issue of West vs. Islam. If you want people to accept you to the least as part of their community, the least you can do is to learn their language so that you can show that you are making an effort to become part of their community. And the more languages you learn the more you would be equipped to handle daily activities if you happen to travel to non-English countries.

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