New York: Difficulties in Translation. English is lame in every fourth

New York: Difficulties in Translation. English is lame in every fourth

Nearly one in four New Yorkers admits to not fluent in English, nearly three times the national average, according to the New York Post’s US Census data.

About 5.7 million of the 7.3 million city dwellers aged 5 and over report a “very good” knowledge of English. Contrast that with the more than 1.6 million residents who speak English “not very well,” according to the 2005 American Community Survey census. New York’s English proficiency stands out sharply against the national background. Census data show that only 8.6 percent of the 268.1 million residents of the United States of America over 5 years of age can master English.

“If New York is a city of opportunity, not knowing English makes it a city of wasted opportunity,” said David Chen, executive director of the China American Council for New York City Planning. According to the census, Spanish is in first place in terms of the number of native speakers in New York – 1.8 million. Of these, 946,770 say they speak English “very good”, while 862,108 said they speak English “below average”. Former baseball player John Rocker, notorious for expelling immigrants from the New York subway, claims that even 8.6 percent of the population who speaks poorly in English is too much for the country.

“Those who do not speak English suffer the most from not knowing English … Name at least one decent job where you don’t have to speak English,” explains Rocker, who promotes the Speak English campaign on his website. www.johnrocker.net and talk shows on one of the TV channels. “Your American Dream can only come true if you speak English. Otherwise, you will have to work on ancillary work until the end of your days. It is unlikely that you want to dig ditches before age 70, wipe your hands to the bone and die, giving all your strength to this work. ”

The second most popular foreign language in New York is Chinese with 359,839 native speakers, of whom 128,171 reported that they speak English very well, and 231,668 admitted that they have difficulty with the language. According to Chen, the number of Chinese speakers in New York is not fully counted in the census, only recently arrived immigrants in the city, who practically do not speak English, are counted. One Chinese American social worker says that immigrant workers cannot always afford to improve their English skills to get a chance to improve their financial situation.

“I truly believe that immigrants want to learn English,” Chen says. – This is a matter of material and physical capabilities. If you put them in front of a choice between learning English and work, they will choose a job. ” In third place in terms of the number of native speakers in New York – 198,969 people – Russian. Of these, 76,212 speak English well and 122,757 have problems with it. Italian is in fourth place with 103,109 native speakers in the Big Apple. European French is spoken by 92,539 New Yorkers, followed by Indian (92,257), Creole French (88,420), Yiddish (77,392), Korean (75,175) and Arabic (56,257).