Why is Being Bilingual Necessary?
Everyone knows their native language very well. They won’t make any mistakes when speaking in their native language. They will be able to pronounce each word correctly. For instance, a citizen of the United States will speak the English language without a hint of a foreign accent. But sometimes, being fluent in your native language is not enough.
For instance, if a native citizen of France wishes to work in the United States, they will have to become fluent in English first. But every foreign language is different, and no one should be forced to become bilingual to adjust to the world. Learning a second language should be a choice.
There are different kinds of prejudices and discrimination. Sometimes, the labor force gets chosen because of their gender. Some people get rejected because of their marital status. But unless there is an actual conflict of interest or an employee’s performance is not up to the mark, their position should stay secure. As long as someone can speak standard English, they should get a job in a call center.
Language discrimination is the unfair treatment of someone because of their native language or speech accent, vocabulary size, and grammar. National origin discrimination occurs when persons are mistreated because of their country of origin, ethnicity, or accent, or because they look to be of a particular ethnic background – even if they are not. Some courts and government agencies have stated that language discrimination is national origin discrimination because primary language is closely linked to origin.
We found an increased frequency of chronic health disorders linked with linguistic and racial discrimination in seeking medical care after adjusting for age, primary language, and ethnicity. But you can take legal advice about language discrimination. Studies on African Americans, in particular, have found that discrimination in health care may contribute to disparities.
When listening to an unfamiliar language, it often sounds like a continuous cascade of sound. If the employer or potential employer denies someone an employment opportunity because of English proficiency, the employer must show a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason.
Sadly, learning a second language is not enough sometimes, and people get ridiculed because of their pronunciation or accents. Prejudice against a person or people because of their native language or inability to speak a foreign language fluently is called language discrimination. It affects people in multiple ways.
People are sometimes discriminated against for both their spoken language and ethnic origin. Some companies have a language policy that prevents them from hiring foreign language speakers. Children of immigrants are made fun of in primary school because of their accents.
According to the current study, linguistic discrimination means that not everyone will get an equal opportunity for jobs. Linguistic discrimination is often defined in terms of prejudice of language. Common language discrimination examples can be found in the history of the Kurdish language and the Basque Country and the treatment of Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka.
Subsequent studies on juror evaluations indicated an increase in negative ratings and guilty convictions when witnesses spoke African-American English. In Sweden, immigrants from different parts of the world are currently residing. These immigrants also have to face discrimination because of their ethnic origin and native tongue. It’s also important to note that cultural and social preferences determine linguistic discrimination. Cultural and social preferences decide linguistic discrimination.
Language Discrimination Examples in 10 Languages:
When human rights are discussed, no one pays much attention to language discrimination. But in truth, it is also a civil rights matter and should get the attention it deserves. For example, denying services to someone due to a lack of English abilities may be a violation of civil rights laws. The focus on a dominant or official language has affected millions of people worldwide.
Here are examples of linguistic discrimination in ten languages:
The English language is known all over the world. It is the language of business and opportunity. People who can’t speak it find it hard to get good jobs in countries like the United States and Canada. But even in today’s world, there are countries where the majority does not like English. China is one example of this where certain groups don’t like English and make no effort to learn it. Even those not against English still don’t understand it as it can bring them no benefit.
2. Indigenous Languages:
When the Europeans colonized different parts of the world, they promoted their language. They discriminated against people who spoke indigenous languages. The French language in Africa and the Spanish language in the Americas took over people’s daily lives. Eventually, every regional language faded into the background.
Spanish is the mother tongue of nearly 500 million people. But it is a minority language in the United States where its speakers have to face discrimination from time to time. A typical example is when an employer creates an English-only policy to keep the employees communicating in Spanish.
French is the official language of the province of Quebec in Canada. It is also spoken in Ontario and New Brunswick. Even the prime minister of Canada tweets in both English and French to promote both vernaculars. But historically, the English speakers have been financially strong. As a result, the native speakers of French have been discriminated against frequently.
Spoken in parts of France, Spain, Andorra, and Italy, this Romance language has had a complicated history. It has been discriminated against by the speakers of the dominant language everywhere. The predominant language is the one with which a bilingual or multilingual speaker is most familiar. In France, the French Revolution led to discriminating policies against Catalan. In Spain, even today, the Catalan speakers don’t enjoy the same civil rights as the speakers of Spanish.
This vernacular originated from Guangzhou, also known as Canton, in China. Despite being the second most popular vernacular in the country, it is not valued highly by the majority. Speakers of Cantonese are often discriminated against in China because of their language and their native region. A speaker of Cantonese will not get an equal employment opportunity compared to a speaker of Mandarin.
The long-lasting British colonization of Ireland turned Irish into a minority language. It was the establishment of the Republic of Ireland that saved the language. Today, it enjoys official status in the republic. But in the past, the speakers of Irish were discriminated against by the British.
From 1910 to 1945, Korea was under the rule of Japan. During this time, Japan made efforts for assimilation, which resulted in banning the use of the Korean language. Even the teaching of the Korean language was prohibited. Had the Japanese rule lasted longer, Koreans would have suffered more.
9. Spanish Accents:
It is not just the spoken language that people are discriminated against. In the US, if someone speaks American English with an unmistakable Mexican accent, they are perceived to be poor, uneducated, and undocumented immigrants. This can result in people not getting good customer service at restaurants or not getting a positive reply from an employment agency.
10. Polish, Ukrainian, and Other Languages of Soviet Satellites:
Under the rule of the Russian Empire and later Soviet Union, Russia was given the most importance by the officials. The Russification process tried to assimilate foreign vernaculars and culture with the Russian language and values. This affected the wording of the minority. Russia has only one official language, but a few other speeches are recognized in various regions.
How to Reduce Linguistic Discrimination?
Countries have taken various steps to save people from discrimination due to their native tongue. The European Union has twenty-four official languages to avoid bias. In most countries, there is a federal law against ignoring foreign-born citizens for public sector jobs.
To reduce prejudice, it is better to understand its nature. There are jobs in the school district and in magazines that would require a good command of English. If a person’s written language is checked before getting hired for such a position, that’s not considered discrimination. But for other places, only the job performance should affect their fate.
By promoting one vernacular and ignoring the other, language development will also stop. It is up to the federal government of every country to work towards reducing discrimination. They can do that by publishing every press release in multiple vernaculars, making sure health insurance is being offered in different languages, and forcing every financial institution to issue credit cards in multiple tongues.
The rulemaking process should also be telecasted in multiple languages so people can learn about their government. Information technology should also be made available in the wording of the minority. With strategic planning, the prejudice against those who speak a minority language can be reduced.
When Patients and Providers Speak Different Languages:
There are some fields where the employees should know a second language or be fluent in their mother tongue. But what happens when there is a language barrier between a health care provider and a patient? The solution is simple, and that is to hire qualified linguistic experts.
Although hospitals in regions where a minority language is popular can hire bilingual staff, it is not always necessary. If medical equipment can come with labels and manuals written in multiple vernacular, then there is no reason a hospital cannot hire expert translators. Everything from a birth certificate to a court order or insurance policy can be translated by qualified professionals. Read facts about the Bilingual population.
Social change can be good at times, but forcing people to learn a second language is not a path we should be choosing. Every country has made mistakes in the past. France prohibited the use of Catalan; people are hated in America because of their ethnic origin, civil rights have been denied to those with different skin color. Instead of hating on those different from us, we should celebrate them. Learning a second language is not easy, so every effort must be appreciated. Everyone can enjoy human rights if every unjust language policy should be terminated.
It is the type of discrimination in which a person or group is treated poorly because of their country of origin. For instance, the people of France mistreating an Asian would be considered discriminatory because of national origin. To give people their civil rights, laws should be made against prejudice and discrimination because of ethnic origin or second language. Every company should be asked to.
Language discrimination happens commonly because non-native speakers have different accents. When speaking a foreign language, native speakers of the same language are unlikely to notice their distinctive accents, but they may quickly judge others who attempt to speak a foreign language. And the more extreme form of discrimination isolates a non-native speaker from the group rather than focusing on the message directly. Moreover, People tend to believe non-native speakers are less genuine, intelligent, and competent; studies show that non-native speakers’ statements are less credible.
We cannot discriminate against someone based on language because it can be illegal. Essentially, language discrimination is a type of national origin discrimination.
You can help prevent discrimination in the workplace by making efforts such as maintaining an up-to-date equal opportunity policy. Ensuring that all employees receive regular anti-discrimination training makes it clear how employees can file a complaint if they believe they have been discriminated against.
Language discrimination is illegal because it is a kind of national origin discrimination. Preferring one language over another is generally forbidden. However, there are exceptions.
The three most common types of discrimination are:
- Racial discrimination
- Sex/gender discrimination
- Language discrimination
Another type of language discrimination is accent discrimination, which occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee because of their accent or difficulty speaking English.