OFF TOPIC Spanish in the USA

Marko Rauhamaa marko at
Mon Mar 31 10:39:12 CEST 2014

Mark H Harris <harrismh777 at>:

> The main point of the link is the status on English as an official
> language. 28 out of 50 states have legislated English as the official
> language; meaning, that you either speak and write English, or you're
> going to have a really tough time participating in culture, business,
> government, and recreation.

What does "official language" mean?

Finland has two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. It means you
are guaranteed to get state services in both languages. At municipal
level, you might get guarantees in one or both of the languages
depending on census data.

In California, OTOH, it's the other way around: English being official
means you are guaranteed *not* to get services in languages other than
English. If a government social worker speaks Spanish and the customer
only knows Spanish, the social worker is not legally allowed to use
Spanish to conduct their business. In Finland, no government worker is
disallowed from using any language they deem useful in their work.


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