What is Official English?

What is Official English?

It is NOT “English Only.”

Having English as our official language simply means that for the government to act officially, or legally, it must communicate in English. It means the language of record is the English language, and that no one has a right to demand government services in any other language.

Official English would also reinforce America’s historic message to new immigrants — that we expect them to learn English as the first step in their assimilation — and that we are committed to ensuring that all Americans share in the economic, social and political benefits of having a common language.

Official English does not mean “English only”

The term “English only” is inaccurate and is a phrase used by opponents of the official English movement in an effort to discredit it and give the impression that official English will rid the United States of all foreign language use.   None of the 32 states with official English laws prohibit individuals from using foreign languages in their personal daily lives or government agencies from using other languages when there is a compelling public interest for doing so.  These areas include, protecting public health and safety, assuring equality before the law, promoting tourism, teaching foreign languages, and providing for national defense.