Washington Times on Benefits of Official English

Washington Times, ProEnglish Discuss Fiscal, Cultural Benefits of Official English

Joseph Cotto
The Washington Times Communities
December 10, 2013

In life, communication is everything.

While we can say a great deal without ever speaking one word, the importance of language stands without parallel. In today’s America, many no longer see the value in having a national language. For them, it is incomprehensible as to why English should be emphasized.

The reason for said mindset is multiculturalism. It is spreading across the Western world like wildfire. This has led not only to cultural barriers, but severe religious and ethnic conflicts.

“Adopting English as our official language would be a healthy step toward slowing and reversing multiculturalism,” Robert Vandervoort, the executive director of ProEnglish, explains to The Washington Times Communities. “The multiculturalists have moved many of our elites away from the idea of America being a Melting Pot nation.

“In the past, immigrants were expected to assimilate here if they wanted to be American.  This doesn’t mean people cannot retain some of the unique cultural and linguistic customs they bring with them, much of which has enriched America.  It does mean we do not promote other cultures and languages at the expense of our own common culture and language.”


Something rarely mentioned in our national immigration debate is money. At what cost does not having English as our official language come?

“We have been trying to get accurate estimates from the government, and they are hard to come by,” Vandervoort states. “Right now, we have a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how much Obamacare translators are costing us.  Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius, who oversees Obamacare, recently boasted about offering it in 150 different languages.  We hope to find out how much that is costing Americans soon.

“If your readers check out our website at proenglish.org, they will find a link we provide to a study by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2002.  The OMB estimated translation costs of around $2 billion a year, which has certainly gone up since the study was done.  It is clearly very costly to the taxpayer.”

Fare more importantly than money, some claim that by not having an official language, any given country’s social fabric is bound to tear apart. While this stance is controversial, it can be difficult to refute on a factual basis.

“One need only look at the experience with Canada, where they continue to have a conflict between French-speaking Quebec and the English-speaking provinces,” Vandervoort remarks. “Language is not the only factor that relates to the social cohesion of a nation, however it is one of the more important ones.”


Read the full article here.