The Negative Effects of Not Speaking English in North America
By: Amy Nutt
If you are living in North America, you need to know English. Even if you are living in an area where another language is predominately spoken, such as ethnic regions in big cities or French speaking areas of Canada, not knowing English is a major disadvantage. Learning English is not difficult, so why not overcome these hurdles and learn the language so that you can live more comfortably in the area you have chosen?
Americans Expect You to Speak English
Unlike many parts of Europe, Americans do not cater to people who speak other languages. Unfortunately, many stores and businesses do not have bilingual employees. Americans expect those who live in their country to speak English. If you are living in or near America, the people around you will expect that you know how to speak their native tongue.
In fact, when you live in North America, especially in America itself, and cannot speak English, you will almost have to rely on someone else to serve as your personal translator when you are out and about in the community. Unless you want to drag your English speaking friend or child along with you to help interpret for you wherever you go, you really should learn English. This will allow you to be independent as a resident of America.
Signage and Labels Are in English
Since Americans expect the people living in their country to speak English, most signs and labels are printed in English. If you cannot read English, you will have a difficult time driving and shopping in North America. Some border areas, such as those near Texas, will have signs and labels that are bilingual, but the majority of places in America only print signage in one language, and that is English.
Imagine getting in your car and heading out on the freeway to go to the grocery store. You see a sign indicating that there is road construction and a detour, but you cannot read it. Suddenly you are sent on a detour that sends you somewhere you have never been before. How will you get back to the road you intended to be on in the first place? Knowing English is the only way to make sure that you can get where you need to go.
When you reach the store, you will need to know English in order to buy the items on your list. If you need shampoo, you will need to be able to read the shampoo bottle to choose the right type. You could end up walking out the door with shampoo meant for curly haired people when your hair is straight, or you could even end up buying conditioner. Learning to speak and read English will save you from these potentially embarrassing situations.
Knowing English Will Get You a Better Job
If you are looking for employment in North America, not understanding English puts you at a severe disadvantage. You will earn less money and work less prestigious jobs if you do not know English. Even if you have technical knowledge that would give you the chance to earn a decent income, if you cannot communicate in English you will not be granted the job. Most jobs that center on computers and technology require you to speak English, making these jobs unreachable for you until you learn the language.
The bottom line is that if you want to succeed as a resident of North America, communicate with your neighbors, and get a good job, you need to know English. If you do not know English, you are at a severe disadvantage. To overcome this disadvantage, sign up today for an English class or find a program online that can teach you the language. Your career and quality of life in North America depend on this action!
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