The Official Language of the United States

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The Official Language of the United States

Do you know what the official language of the United States is? If you answered English, guess again. But don’t feel bad, the vast majority of people would answer that English is the official language of the United States of America. English is the de facto language since, at this point, it is the most widely spoken language in the nation. But Spanish is catching up millions Hispanics speaking their native language at home, at work, and on their daily lives.

This brings another point: Why is the U.S., an English-speaking country (or so you think), catering not only to the Spanish language, but to many others that you don’t even know about? Because the U.S. as a nation has never declared an official language. Many people have tried it with no success. In 1780, John Adams proposed to the Continental Congress that English should be declared the official language of the United States. His proposal was deemed "undemocratic and a threat to individual liberty.” This type of debate has been going on for years, with people on both sides of the fence. And yet, the issue isn't any closer to a resolution than it was 200 years ago. This doesn’t mean that the individual states have not declared an official language because many already have. Twenty-seven states, to be exact, have officially declared English as their language. U.S.English .gov

  Let’s not forget that since 1776 we have been—and continue to be—a multilingual nation. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon to hear up to 20 different languages spoken in daily life. Today, those numbers are more staggering. According to U.S. English Inc., an advocacy group that supports declaring English as our official language, 322 languages are spoken in the country, with 24 of those spoken in every state and the District of Columbia. California has the most languages, with 207, while Wyoming has the fewest with 56. So why won’t Congress declare an official language? Because we are a...
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