Should UK have a "common" language?


(stella wood) #1

I do think this lady makes a valid point…


(anon62051519) #2

The Social - economic differences she illustrates (say, between the North and South of the country ) could - and should - be reduced (it’s a national disgrace)…but it would be impossible to achieve everyone speaking a common language. You’ve only got to look at the British in France example…


(anon71231711) #3

Easy enough to say.

15 years back I worked briefly for the outreach centre of a local technical college, their main thrust was to teach literacy and numeracy skills to adults who lacked those skills, and the literacy programme included English language classes for newly arrived immigrant refugees. A lot of money was spent on setting up the programme, booking rooms, employing tutors and arranging to share admin staff with the tech. The students were required to turn up because it was a condition of their acceptance as refugees, but they didn’t. Lots of admin hours were wasted trying to contact the absentees but it was impossible to get most of them to attend regularly, and some wives never came at all because their husbands wouldn’t allow them out of the house on their own.
So I wonder if Dame Casey knows what it’s like for workers on the ground trying to actually achieve this bright idea of hers.


(Carol Lokocki) #4

I haven’t been to England for 8 years but I am interested in whats going on over there via the Internet.Personally, i am thinking about Pakistanis and Indians who live and work in Britain.I would imagine they speak English and maybe their local language when together.
In England the common language is English in France the common language, is French. As Paul Rupa says You’ve only got to look at the British in France. But we can also say you have to look at the Chinese the Africans, Nigerians, etc. It seems to me it is normal to speak the language of the country we have chosen to live and work in.


(anon71231711) #5

Which again crosses over with another thread where we were debating whether or not Brits in France are immigrants. I said that I didn’t think we are because we haven’t gone through immigration procedures. Part of the immigration procedure involves attending integration classes and learning at least a little basic French.


(anon62051519) #6

Just impossible to police Carol (unfortunately). Assuming we could locate everyone to test them, what would we do…throw them out of the country if they fail the language test?


(stella wood) #7

Hi Anna…

l’INSEE does not have a section for Expats of any country.

It has various sections of French (born, affiliated or whatever) and it has Immigrants ((working/studying/non actif or whatever) from within or without the EU… :relaxed::relaxed:

Whether you have filled-in paperwork… if you are here permanently you will be put into one of the sections… :zipper_mouth_face::zipper_mouth_face:


(Carol Lokocki) #8

@Paul Rupa Yes Paul it would be extremely difficult next to impossible, but I was thinking about my young days, in France when i did my best to learn French it was a hard job, even today 50 years after I have difficulty writing French and now i realize i have difficulty writing English also,.Vive Angleterre vive La France


(Paul Flinders) #9

Just an impossible task to get 100%


(Jane Jones) #10

Louise Casey used to work for St Mungo’s and other charities like Shelter before she became a Dame. I knew her through work, and she’s a tough, no nonsense women who knows the realities of life - but also one who is comfortable with stirring up controversy.


(anon71231711) #11

https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/1906669?sommaire=1906743
Detailed country per country breakdown here.


(Graham Lees) #12

One issue here is that one article of the Constitution of the 5th Republic categorically states that the language of France is French. For that reason alone in my view, it is unrealistic to ask French bureaucrats to converse in anything other than French.
That would be an impossible task in the UK…


(David GAY) #13

She’s also supposed to be the rough sleeping Czarina who claimed to have solved the rough sleeping problem. Like she did in Nottingham where if reports are to be believed her workers were not allowed to venture into the city’s caves, notorious haunts of rough sleepers, to count the inhabitants for Health and Safety reasons.


(anon62051519) #14

Yet surprisingly… every official pro forma in the UK comes in about 20 different languages - you can even request a translator! Not so in France - depressingly…(especially when at the Tresor Public)…


(stella wood) #15

Hi Anna…

It is an interesting site… are you saying you have found it mentioning Expats… 'cos I haven’t as yet… open to offers and ideas :wink: :wink:

I’ve just had a thought… perhaps some folk are simply Foreigners… :relaxed: having re-read various bits… it seems I am a foreigner and an immigrant from England… I can live with that…:relaxed:


(anon71231711) #16

Ah sorry, I think I missed your point, I’m being slow on the uptake today… I can’t seem to grasp the notion of taking the term “expat” seriously, to me it’s a word like “yuppie” or “wide boy” that people use but you wouldn’t expect to see it used as a term on an official website!


(anon71231711) #17

If I were a UK taxpayer I think I’d find it more depressing that they were using my money to get forms translated and pay interpreters in preference to, for instance, paying nurses a decent wage. Far from being depressed, I’m actually glad that Marianne doesn’t do that and I hope it doesn’t change.


(stella wood) #18

I admit to being horrified that a Mayor was elected in UK (many, many years ago) who did not speak one word of English.

The onus was on everyone to make sure that documents and discussions were in his native tongue. :upside_down_face::frowning_face: I would not expect to be elected here if I couldn’t speak/read/understand French reasonably well (note, I did not say fluently… :relaxed:)


(Mandy Davies) #19

My experience of non-EU immigrants in France…

When I first came to France in 2007 I attended a small French language school that mostly catered for non-EU immigrants who needed to learn French for their language exam to allow them to stay in France. Had I known this I may have gone elsewhere.

They were mostly from North Africa and clearly did not want to be there. They spoke amongst themselves in their own languages and only did the work required under duress. They were sulky, badly behaved and insolent towards the tutors. It was like being in a classroom with 12 year olds and the tutors had to treat them as such in order to maintain control. I don’t know what happened to these people as I left the course at the end of the first semester.

Not sure forcing adults onto language courses will work but I agree that people should learn the language of the country they chose to live in.


(David Martin) #20

When I first moved to Germany I attended VHS (VolksHochSchule) German lessons. The classes there were a mixed group from a variety of backgrounds including Poland, North America, Turkey, Asia and North Africa. At first I was amazed by the class’ positive work effort but it certainly made the lessons easier for me.