Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

When I read “Lost in Translation” (The Hurricane’s editorial, April 6) and Nicholas G. Moses’ subsequent letter to the editor (The Hurricane, April 9), I realized that the definition of being American is distorted. Some believe that being American means having one language and one culture. To me, being American means having the freedom of integrating both my Filipino and Western ideals and having the right to be recognized and respected for all aspects of who I am. Moses seems to acknowledge the influence of other cultures in America, but he also says that minorities arrive in America and “still pledge [their]first loyalty to [their]countries of origin,” implying that this is a threat. Many people in this country speak perfect English but desire to speak the languages of their native countries in order to remain close to their roots. Contrary to what Moses believes, I don’t think that is something they do “because they can get away with it.” This desire to integrate their ethnic background with their American identities is their own interpretation of the American Dream. We shouldn’t see other cultures as being mere contributions to American culture; American culture is a collection of these other cultures.
Moses believes that immigrants ought to learn the language of a particular country “rather than make the country accommodate them by learning [the immigrant’s]native tongue.” However, many people in their countries are fluent in at least two or three languages. If anything, with America celebrating its status as a “melting pot” of different cultures, shouldn’t Americans reflect the same proficiency? I’m not suggesting that Americans be required to learn multiple languages, but, learning other languages should not be viewed negatively; it should be viewed as an opportunity to grow and become more global.
Moses believes that if people are going to live in America, they ought to learn English. This notion seems to arise from a belief that English is the native language in this country. But if we go from that, then we should speak the language of the Spanish conquistadors that arrived in this land long before other European settlers. In fact, what follows is that we actually ought to learn and speak the languages of Native Americans.

Sincerely,

Tiffany Biason

April 16, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

June is a huge recruiting month for the Miami Hurricanes. It concludes with Paradise Camp on June 22 ...

The University of Miami showed women’s basketball coach Katie Meier how much it appreciates her on F ...

Frank Garis first watched Jalen Rivers from the opposite sideline, and the offensive lineman was imp ...

George Stewart had a big problem, and little time to solve it. It was Week 6 of the 2018 season, and ...

One of the interesting subplots of this Hurricanes season will be watching the evolution of a bunch ...

The Emmy Award-winning journalist, who grew up in Miami and started her career in Spanish language t ...

Nursing researchers and music therapists test a simple and cost-effective way of motivating critical ...

The University of Miami Libraries offer readers multiple ways to access the books, which are popular ...

Rosenstiel School researcher Martin Grosell weighs in on how marine life in the Gulf could be affect ...

Varona, an attorney and educator who specializes in administrative law, communications and media law ...

University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced Friday a contract extension for head ...

Adrian Del Castillo garnered his second Freshman All-America honor of the year, appearing on the Per ...

Two-time Miami women's basketball team co-captain Laura Cornelius is set to start her professio ...

Courtney spent nine years previously on Jim Larranaga's staff from 1996-2005. ...

The University of Miami track and field program received 17 All-America honors at the conclusion of ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.