Is speaking French a bad thing? Only if you want to be the president of the United States.
|Can you read this plaque about the Statue of Liberty? If so, perhaps you shouldn't run for public office.|
Since my daughter and I chat almost daily on Skype, I knew that she had something fairly significant to tell me when I received a rare email from her yesterday afternoon. Discovering what that was, however, turned out to be a bit of a treasure hunt because the vague subject line only said, "have you seen this...". Opening the email, I found the next clue, "Kind of ridiculous!", with a link to a BBC article. Getting closer to the meat of the matter, I clicked on the link and read the title:
"Mitt Romney lambasted in attack ad for speaking French - Quelle horreur! Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has been skewered in a new political attack ad - for speaking French."
Oh, no - I finally understood. Sara wanted to inform me that my lofty political aspirations are dead in the dirt. With a cheesy accordion soundtrack playing in the background, an ad released by Newt Gringrich prior to the primary in South Carolina presents damning evidence against the Republican Party front-runner: a closeup of Mitt Romney smiling as he says, "Bonjour, Je m'appelle Mitt Romney." Mon Dieu! I regret the day that I set foot in a French classroom -- now I'll never be the first woman President of the United States!
Raised to believe that you don't talk about sex, politics and religion at the dinner table or on a blog called, "Out and About in Paris", this isn't about politics but rather about the perceptions by some Americans that their compatriots who speak a foreign language aren't patriotic. Is this really the message that we want to send to our children when we should be striving to maintain our global competitiveness?
According to official statistics by the Chinese government, there are approximately 300,000,000 English learners in China.
According to the US Census Bureau, the current US population is 312,849,759.