Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where the Hell am I?

Last night, as I fumed at hubby for being a poop head, I was watching TV (as per my normal routine) and a commercial came on that caught my eye. It was a catchy tune, but the song playing was not in English. And I'm normally okay with that. Sometimes commercials have foreign language lyrics but are still aimed at English speaking folks.

Oh but not this one. McDonalds has bent over and decided to pander to Spanish speakers so they'll visit McD's and spend their money. I love McD's ... don't get me wrong. I've been craving sausage biscuits with cheese for breakfast almost every day (though I'm not eating them every day...that would be wrong).

I don't live in Texas or some other border state with Mexico. I live in Washington for pity's sake. We border Canada. Give me a commercial in Canadian, eh.

Even the last frame with a little phrase that pops up on the screen under the Golden Arches was in Spanish. WTH?

I have nothing against people who speak other languages. Hell I took four years of Spanish in high school and then 2 more years in college. I can't speak worth a damn, but I can recognize a few words. And one of my coworkers speaks fluent Spanish (and Portuguese) and I love listening to her prattle on in different languages.

But there is a problem with allowing people to get by in society without learning one language. It does not build a cohesive community. It allows people to segregate themselves based on the language they can understand.

When I went to Japan I certainly wasn't catered to language wise. If I hadn't been with my cousins who could speak enough Japanese to get by I'd have been in big rouble trying to make my way around. I think it's pretty much known that if you live in Japan you need to learn to speak Japanese.

Why can't people who live in America learn how to speak English? Why can't we have one national language that is used for all more of this printing twelve different voters ballots to accommodate different languages. It's ridiculous and wasteful.

I'll still go to McD's ... I can't help it. This pregnancy is making me wacky...I hardly ever used to eat there. Maybe when I'm done being pregnant I can think about boycotting ... for now cravings take priority.

But I hope that they rethink their marketing a bit. It would be one thing if they played that commercial on a Spanish language station or even near the Mexico border. It doesn't make a lot of sense on an English language station in Washington State.


Sandee said...

They don't have to learn English. Many refuse to learn English. I know I live in California. We've been overran with illegal aliens. Overran. You can go to the mall and not hear a word of English. I hear you.

Have a terrific day. :)

Da Old Man said...

Here in NJ, the commercials on TV from McDonald's are in Spanish, too. I can't go to my local McDonald's and order in English. And, no, I don't live in a Spanish 'hood. But all the workers, virtually, speak Spanish. To get my coffee is an adventure.
So, I stopped going to MickeyD's and get my coffee from Burger King, which is just down the street. Their workers all speak English.

pamibe said...

Here in south Florida it's the same thing. And no, they don't have to learn English. There are entire enclaves down here where nobody speaks English and it works just fine.

Assimilation be damned; they want to live here and still be Cuban/Mexican/Puerto Rican... which is the single largest difference between them and the immigrants who made this country great and were proud to be here.

Ailurophile said...

You're right about cohesion in society and language playing a part in it! All the best with your pregnancy though.