English, please

Published October 3, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The editorial "¿Hablas democracia?" (Our View, Sept. 22) championed bilingual English-Spanish poll workers because "full access to the electoral process is the right of all citizens. Not just those who are fluent in the Queen's English."

We do not speak the Queen's English here. We speak American English, the language of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., of technology, medicine, science and pop culture.

The language standardized by Noah Webster and influenced by African slaves and waves of immigrants. As the daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter of immigrants, I am proud to speak it.

As to bilingual poll workers providing translation to a specific group of voters, Frans Kohlschein rightly pointed out the unfairness of helping speakers of only one foreign language ("Not only Spanish," Forum, Sept. 22). Another unfairness is depriving poll work to capable and willing citizens who don't know Spanish.

If one needs a translator at the ballot box to exercise the most essential right of a free society, one is not truly free and independent. To rise in this country, to enjoy full liberty, we all need to speak, read and write American English, and to speak, read and write it well.

Ginny Vogel

North Ogden

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