• Dimensions Magazine is a vibrant community of size acceptance enthusiasts. Our very active members use this community to swap stories, engage in chit-chat, trade photos, plan meetups, interact with models and engage in classifieds.

    Access to Dimensions Magazine is subscription based. Subscriptions are only $29.99/year or $5.99/month to gain access to this great community and unmatched library of knowledge and friendship.

    Click Here to Become a Subscribing Member and Access Dimensions Magazine in Full!

For (whatever language) dial 8, bite my butt

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

Not open for further replies.
Sep 29, 2005
Tennessee, USA
As many of you know, I was born in Switzerland and lived there until I was 26. My mother tongue is Swiss German, which is sufficiently different from German that the Germans do not understand us. We understand them because, though we speak Swiss, we read and write in German. And start learning High German in 1st grade. So that's my second language.

In middle school we start learning French (it may be earlier now). That's because Switzerland has three official languages. In high school I learned Italian, which came in handy when they assigned me commanding officer to a Swiss Italian platoon. So Italian is my fourth language. I also learned English in high school, and that became my fifth.

I attended the Swiss Polytech in Zurich (ETH) and finished in the top three, which, in conjunction with high TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) scores, earned me a post graduate scholarship invitation to a US university. Once there, the first year was brutal as I needed to comprehend high level material and lectures in class at a rapid pace, and then present my work and assignments in proper English.

I am an immigrant. I came here with nothing, and by that I mean much less than the nothing Schwarzenegger claimed to have come here with around the same time as I. But it would have never, ever occurred to me that people should coddle and accommodate me with anything but English. I have a talent for language. But having that talent also showed me that learning a language is NOT an insurmountable challenge for anyone. The rest of the world knows that.

So I have no use for the Para Espanol push 8 nonsense on phone answering systems and ATMs. And no tolerance whatsoever for the bending-over-backward-to-be-politically-correct by providing official papers in 47 languages. No one ever asked me if I needed my forms in German or Swiss.

Anyone who comes to live in this country needs to learn, and speak, English. It's the national, official language here. There is no excuse, none, for not learning and speaking it. None.

Sometimes I suspect that on top of the sweet political correctness of it all -- all the enabling we do in keeping millions second class citizens because they can't speak English, or barely speak it -- Americans simply can't comprehend that one should learn a language. After all, Americans are probably the laziest, most presumptuous bunch of people when it comes to barging into foreign countries without ever making an effort to speak anything but English. No need, of course, because almost everyone out there will make an effort to accommodate those 'ugly Americans.'

And while I am at it, let's stop the nonsense about the culture. Foreigners who come to live here are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what degree of their native culture they wish to retain. They do not need for our government to help them with that. So again, coddling people by not making them speak the language of their chosen land is, in reality, an act of condescension. It doesn't help anyone. Just because Americans are too lazy to ever learn a second language doesn't mean others can't either. They can. And unless it's easier to press 8 on the phone, they will.

So why this charade? Tell me what you think (but rationally and not with the polit-corrected glasses on). And do you doubt that you could speak a foreign language well?
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts