Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

In speaking Spanish, Pope Francis invigorates the future of U.S. Catholics

“The pope’s use of the Spanish language is also a reminder that the United States is the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country – ahead of Colombia and Spain, and just behind Mexico. By 2050, the U.S. could have more Spanish speakers than any other country.

The debate over making English the official language in the U.S. has heightened in recent years, overlapping with the immigration debate. In fact, as the number of non-English speakers rises in the country, a growing number of states and counties have adopted English as their official language.

The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a national official language, and with the nation’s fastest growing minority, Latinos, steadily gaining influence in American society, the number of bilingual speakers continues to go up. About 20 percent of Americans speak a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census bureau.”

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Languages do matter!

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