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Native American sign languages




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A sign-language trade pidgin, known as Plains Indian Sign Language or Plains Standard, arose among the Plains Indians. Each signing nation had a separate signed version of their oral language, that was used by the hearing, and these were not mutually intelligible. Plains Standard was used to communicate between these nations. It seems to have started in Texas and then spread north, through the Great Plains, as far as British Columbia. There are still a few users today, especially among the Crow, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Unlike other sign languages developed by hearing people, it shares the spatial grammar of deaf sign languages.

Austronesian languages

Hawaiian

state language of Hawaii as prescribed in the Constitution of Hawaii. Hawaiian has 1,000 native speakers. Formerly considered critically endangered, Hawaiian is showing signs of language renaissance. The recent trend is based on new Hawaiian language immersion programs of the Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii, as well as efforts by the Hawaii State Legislature and county governments to preserve Hawaiian place names. In 1993, about 8,000 could speak and understand it; today estimates range up to 27,000. Hawaiian is related to the Māori language spoken by around 150,000 New Zealanders and Cook Islanders as well as the Tahitian language which is spoken by another 120,000 people of Tahiti.

Samoan

Samoan is an official territorial language of American Samoa. Samoans make up 90% of the population, and most people are bilingual.

Chamorro

Chamorro is co-official in the Mariana Islands, both in the territory of Guam and in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In Guam, the indigenousChamorro people make up about 60% of the population.

Carolinian

Carolinian is also co-official in the Northern Marianas, where only 14% of people speak English at home.

 

A trash can in Seattle labeled in four languages: English, Chinese (垃圾),Vietnamese (should be rác), andSpanish. Tagalog also uses the Spanish word.



Some of the first European languages to be spoken in the U.S. are English, Dutch, German, French, and Spanish.

From the mid-19th century on, the nation had large numbers of immigrants who spoke little or no English, and throughout the country state laws, constitutions, and legislative proceedings appeared in the languages of politically important immigrant groups. There have been bilingual schools and local newspapers in such languages as German, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Irish,Italian, Norwegian, Greek, Polish, Swedish, Romanian, Czech, Japanese, Yiddish, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Welsh, Cantonese,Bulgarian, Dutch, Portuguese and others, despite opposing English-only laws that, for example, illegalized church services, telephone conversations, and even conversations in the street or on railway platforms in any language other than English, until the first of these laws was ruled unconstitutional in 1923 (Meyer v. Nebraska).

Currently, Asian languages account for the majority of languages spoken in immigrant communities: Korean, the varieties of Chinese, and various Indian or South Asian languages like Punjabi, Hindi/Urdu, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil,Telugu and Malayalam, as well as Arabic, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Persian, and others.

Typically, immigrant languages tend to be lost through assimilation within two or three generations, though there are some groups such as the Cajuns (French), Pennsylvania Dutch (German) in a state where large numbers of people were heard to speak it before the 1950s, and the original settlers of the Southwest (Spanish) who have maintained their languages for centuries.

English

 

English was inherited from British colonization, and it is spoken by the majority of the population. It serves as the de factoofficial language, the language in which government business is carried out. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 80% spoke only English at Home and all but 57,097,826 of U.S. residents speak English "well" or "very well".[38]

American English is different from British English in terms of spelling (a classic example being the dropped "u" in words such as color/colour), grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and slang usage. The differences are not usually a barrier to effective communication between an American English and a British English speaker, but there are certainly enough differences to cause occasional misunderstandings, usually surrounding slang or region dialect differences

Some states, like California, have amended their constitutions to make English the only official language, but in practice, this only means that official government documents must at least be in English, and does not mean that they should be exclusively available only in English. For example, the standard California Class C driver's license examination is available in 32 different languages.

Spanish

 

Spanish was also inherited from colonization and is sanctioned as official in the territory of Puerto Rico. Spanish is also taught in various regions as a second language, especially in areas with large Hispanic populations such as the Southwestern United States along the border with Mexico, as well as Florida, parts of California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. In Hispanic communities across the country, bilingual signs in both Spanish and English may be quite common. Furthermore, numerous neighborhoods exist (such as Washington Heights in New York City or Little Havana in Miami) in which entire city blocks will have only Spanish language signs and Spanish-speaking people.

In addition to Spanish-speaking Hispanic populations, younger generations of non-Hispanics in the United States seem to be learning Spanish in larger numbers due to the growing Hispanic population and increasing popularity of Latin American movies and music performed in the Spanish language. A 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, showed that Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 35 million people aged 5 or older, making the United States the world's fifth-largest Spanish-speaking community, outnumbered only by Mexico, Spain,Colombia, and Argentina.

Spanglish is a code-switching variant of Spanish and English and is spoken in areas with large bilingual populations of Spanish and English speakers, such as along the Mexico – United States border (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas), Florida, and New York City.

French

 

French language distribution in the United States. Counties and parishes marked in yellow are those where 6% to 12% of the population speak French at home; brown, 12% to 18%; red, over 18%. Cajun French and French-based creole languagesare not included even though the Creole dialects are spoken throughout the U.S. and taught in many U.S. schools.

French, the fourth most-common language (when Chinese dialects are combined), is spoken mainly by the Louisiana Creole, native French, Cajun, Haitian, and French-Canadian populations. It is widely spoken in Maine, New Hampshire,Vermont, and in Louisiana, with notable Francophone enclaves in St. Clair County, Michigan, many rural areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the northern San Francisco Bay area.

Three varieties of French developed within what is now the United States in colonial times: Louisiana French, Missouri French, and New England French (essentially a variant of Canadian French). French is the second de facto language in the states of Louisiana (where the French dialect of Cajun predominates) and Maine. The largest French-speaking communities in the United States reside in Northeast Maine; Hollywood and Miami, Florida; New York City; certain areas of rural Louisiana; and small minorities in Vermont and New Hampshire. Many of the New England communities are connected to the dialect found across the border in Quebec or New Brunswick. More than 13 million Americans possess primary French heritage, but only 2 million speak French or French Creole at home.

German

 

 

German was a widely spoken language in some of the colonies, especially Pennsylvania, where a number of German-speaking religious minorities settled to escape persecution in Europe. Another wave of settlement occurred when Germans fleeing the failure of 19th Century German revolutions emigrated to the United States. A large number of these German immigrants settled in the urban areas, with neighborhoods in many cities being German-speaking and numerous local German language newspapers and periodicals established. German farmers also took up farming around the country, including the Texas Hill Country, at this time. The language was widely spoken until the United States entered World War I.

In the early twentieth century, German was the most widely studied foreign language in the United States, and prior to World War I, more than 6% of American school-children received their primary education exclusively in German, though some of these Germans came from areas outside of Germany proper. Currently, more than 49 million Americans claimGerman ancestry, the largest self-described ethnic group in the U.S., but less than 4% of them speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2005 American Community Survey.[43] The Amish speak a dialect of German known asPennsylvania German. One reason for this decline of German language was the perception during both World Wars that speaking the language of the enemy was unpatriotic; foreign language instruction was banned in places during the First World War. Unlike earlier waves, they were more concentrated in cities, and integrated quickly.

There is a myth (known as the Muhlenberg Vote) that German was to be the official language of the U.S., but this is inaccurate and based on a failed early attempt to have government documents translated into German. The myth also extends to German being the second official language of Pennsylvania; however, Pennsylvania has no official language. Although more than 49 million Americans claim they have German ancestors, only 1.24 million Americans speak German at home. Many of these people are either Amish and Mennonites or Germans having newly immigrated (e.g. for professional reasons).

Chinese

Over 2.6 million Americans speak some variety of Chinese, making it the third most-spoken language in the country. Until the late 20th century, Yue dialects includingTaishanese and Cantonese were the most common among immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, especially in California. Since the opening of the People's Republic of China, Standard Chinese (Mandarin), the official language in the PRC and Taiwan, has become increasingly prevalent. Many young Americans not of Chinese or Taiwanese descent have become interested in learning Mandarin.

In New York City at least, although Mandarin is spoken as a native language among only 10% of Chinese speakers, it is used as a secondary dialect among the greatest number of them and is on its way to replace Cantonese as their lingua franca.

Tagalog

 

 

Tagalog speakers were already present in the United States as early as the late sixteenth century as sailors contracted by the Spanish colonial government. In the eighteenth century, they established settlements in Louisiana, such as Saint Malo. After the American annexation of the Philippines, the number of Tagalog speakers steadily increased, as Filipinos began to migrate to the U.S. as students or contract laborers. Their numbers, however, decreased upon Philippine independence, as many Filipinos were repatriated.

Today, Tagalog, together with its standardized form Filipino, is spoken by over a million and a half Filipino Americans, and is promoted by Filipino American civic organizations and Philippine consulates. As Filipinos are the second largest Asian ethnic group in the United States, Tagalog is the second most spoken Asian language in the country. Taglish, a form of code-switching between Tagalog and English, is also spoken by a number of Filipino Americans.

Tagalog is also taught at some universities where a significant number of Filipinos exist. As it is the national and most spoken language of the Philippines, most Filipinos in the United States are proficient in Tagalog in addition to their local regional language.

Vietnamese

 

According to the 2010 Census, there are over 1.5 million Americans who identify themselves as Vietnamese in origin, ranking fourth among the Asian American groups and forming the largest Overseas Vietnamese population.

Orange County, California is home to the largest concentration of ethnic Vietnamese outside Vietnam, especially in its Little Saigon area. Other significant Vietnamese communities are found in the metropolitan areas of San Jose, Houston, Seattle,Northern Virginia, and New Orleans. Similarly to other overseas Vietnamese communities in Western countries (except France), the Vietnamese population in the United States was established following the Fall of Saigon in 1975 and communist takeover of South Vietnam following the Vietnam War.

Italian

 

Current distribution of the Italian language in the United States.

The Italian language and its various dialects has been widely spoken in the United States for more than one hundred years, primarily due to large-scale immigration from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century.

In addition to Standard Italian learned by most people today, there has been a strong representation of the dialects and languages of Southern Italy amongst the immigrant population (Sicilian and Neapolitan in particular). As of 2009, though 15,638,348 American citizens report themselves as Italian Americans, only 753,992 of these report speaking the Italian language at home (0.3264% of the population).

Arabic

Arabic is spoken by immigrants from the Middle East as well as many Muslim Americans. The highest concentrations of native Arabic speakers reside in heavily urban areas like Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. Detroit and the surrounding areas of Michigan boast a significant Arabic-speaking population including many Arab Christians of Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian descent.

Arabic is used for religious purposes by Muslim Americans and by some Arab Christians (notably Catholics of the Melkite and Maronite Churches as well as Rum Orthodox, i.e. Antiochian Orthodox Christians). A significant number of educated Arab professionals who immigrate often already know English quite well, as it is widely used in the Middle East. Lebanese immigrants also have a broader understanding of French as do many Arabic-speaking immigrants from North Africa.

Cherokee

Distribution of the Cherokee language

Cherokee is the Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people, and the official language of the Cherokee Nation. Significant numbers of Cherokee speakers of all ages still populate the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina and several counties within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, significantly Cherokee, Sequoyah, Mayes, Adair, and Delaware. Increasing numbers of Cherokee youth are renewing interest in the traditions, history, and language of their ancestors. Cherokee-speaking communities stand at the forefront of language preservation, and at local schools all lessons are taught in Cherokee and thus it serves as the medium of instruction from pre-school on up. Also, church services and traditional ceremonial "stomp" dances are held in the language in Oklahoma and on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina.

Dutch

There has been a Dutch presence in America since 1602, when the government of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands chartered the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC) with the mission of exploring for a passage to the Indies and claiming any uncharted territories for the Dutch republic. In 1664, English troops under the command of the Duke of York (later James II of England) attacked the New Netherland colony. Being greatly outnumbered, director general Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam, with Fort Orange following soon. New Amsterdam was renamed New York, Fort Orange was renamed Fort Albany. Dutch city names can still be found in New York's neighbourhoods. Harlem is Haarlem, Staten Island is Staten Eiland and Brooklyn refers to Breukelen.

Dutch was still spoken in many parts of New York at the time of the Revolution. For example, Alexander Hamilton's wife Eliza Hamilton attended a Dutch-language church during their marriage.

African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth (born 'Isabella Baumfree') was a native speaker of Dutch.

Martin Van Buren, the first President born in the United States following its independence, spoke Dutch as his native language, making him the only President whosefirst language was not English.

In a 1990 demographic consensus, 3% of surveyed citizens claimed descent from Dutch settlers. Modern estimates place the Dutch American population at 5 million, lagging just a bit behind Scottish Americans and Swedish Americans.

Notable Dutch Americans include the Roosevelts (Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Eleanor Roosevelt), Marlon Brando, Thomas Alva Edison,Martin Van Buren and the Vanderbilts. The Roosevelts are direct descendants of Dutch settlers of the New Netherland colony in the 17th century.

Around 136,000 people in the United States still speak the Dutch language at home today. They are concentrated mainly in California (23,500), Florida (10,900),Pennsylvania (9,900), Ohio (9,600), New York (8,700) and Michigan (6,600) (i.e. the city of Holland).[48]

A vernacular dialect of Dutch, known as Jersey Dutch was spoken by a significant number of people in the New Jersey area between the start of the 17th century to the mid-20th century. With the beginning of the 20th century, usage of the language became restricted to internal family circles, with an ever-growing number of people abandoning the language in favor of English. It suffered gradual decline throughout the 20th century, and it ultimately dissipated from casual usage.

Finnish

The first Finnish settlers in America were amongst the settlers who came from Sweden and Finland to New Sweden colony. Most colonists were Finnish. However, the Finnish language was not preserved as well among subsequent generations as Swedish.

Shortly after the Civil War, many Finnish citizens immigrated to the United States, mainly in rural areas of the Midwest (and more specifically in Michigan's Upper Peninsula). Hancock, Michigan, as of 2005, still incorporates bi-lingual street signs written in both English and Finnish.[49] Americans of Finnish origin yield at 800,000 individuals, though only 26,000 speak the language at home. There is a distinctive dialect of English to be found in the Upper Peninsula, known as Yooper. Yuper often has a Finnish cadence and uses Finnish sentence structure with modified English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish vocabulary. Notable Finnish Americans include Gus Hall, U.S. Communist Party leader, Renny Harlin, film director, and the Canadian-born actress Pamela Anderson. Another Finnish community in the United States is found in Lake Worth, Florida, north of Miami.

Russian

 

Russian language distribution in the United States.

The Russian language is frequently spoken in areas of Alaska, Los Angeles, Seattle, Spokane, Miami, San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia, Woodburn, Oregon, and Chicago. The Russian-American Company used to own Alaska Territoryuntil selling it after the Crimean War. Russian had always been limited, especially after the assassination of the Romanov dynasty of tsars. Starting in the 1970s and continuing until the mid-1990s, many people from the Soviet Union and later its constituent republics such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Uzbekistan have immigrated to the United States, increasing the language's usage in America.

The largest Russian-speaking neighborhoods in the United States are found in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island in New York City (specifically the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn), parts of Los Angeles, particularly West Los Angeles and West Hollywood, parts of Philadelphia, particularly the Far Northeast and, parts of Miami like Sunny Isles Beach.

Slavic Voice of America media group serves Russian-speaking Americans out of Dallas, TX.

Hebrew

Modern Hebrew is used by some immigrants from Israel and Eastern Europe. Liturgical Hebrew is used as a religious or liturgical language by many of the United States' approximately 7 million[51] Jews.

Ilocano

Like the Tagalogs, the Ilocanos are an Austronesian stock which came from the Philippines. They were the first Filipinos to migrate en masse to the United States. They first entered the State of Hawai'i and worked there in the vast plantations.

As they did in the Philippine provinces of Northern Luzon and Mindanao, they quickly gained importance in the areas where they settled. Thus, the state of Hawai'ibecame no less different from the Philippines in terms of percentage of Ilocano speakers.

Like Tagalog, Ilocano is also being taught in universities where most of the Filipinos reside.

Indian Languages

There are many Indians in the USA, and they speak various Indian languages. Major Indian languages spoken in the USA include:Telugu ,Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi (over 500,000 people) Punjabi and Marathi .

Irish

Up to 37 million Americans have Irish ancestry, many of whose ancestors would have spoken Irish. According to the 2007 American Community Survey, 22,279 people speak Irish at home. As of 2008 it was the 76th most spoken language in the USA.

Khmer (Cambodian

Between 1981 and 1985 about 150,000 Cambodians resettled in the United States.[53] Before 1975 very few Cambodians came to the United States. Those who did were children of upper-class families sent abroad to attend school. After the fall of Phnom Penh to the communist Khmer Rouge in 1975, some Cambodians managed to escape. In 2007 the American Community Survey reported that there were approximately 200,000 Cambodians living in the United States, making up about 2% percent of the Asian population.

Polish

The Polish language is very common in the Chicago metropolitan area. Chicago's largest white ethnic groups are those of Polish descent. The Polish people and the Polish language in Chicago have been very prevalent in the early years of the city, as well as the progression and economical and social development of Chicago. Poles in Chicagoland make up one of the largest ethnically Polish population (650,000 people) in the world comparable to the city of Wrocław, the fourth largest city in Poland. That makes it one of the most important centres of Polonia and the Polish language in the United States, a fact that the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park.

Portuguese

The first Portuguese speakers in America were Jews who had fled the Inquisition; they founded the first Jewish communities, two of which stiil exist: Congregation Shearith Israel in New York and Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia. However, by the end of the 18th century the use of Portuguese had been replaced by English. In the late 19th century, many Portuguese, mainly Azoreans and Madeirans, immigrated to the United States, establishing in cities like Providence, Rhode Island, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Santa Cruz, California. Many of them also moved to Hawaii during its independence.

In the mid-late 20th century there was another surge of Portuguese immigration in America, mainly in the Northeast (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts). Many Portuguese Americans may include descendants of Portuguese settlers born in Africa (like Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique) and Asia(mostly Macau). There were around 1 million Portuguese Americans in the United States by the year 2000. Portuguese (European Portuguese) has been spoken in the United States by small communities of immigrants, mainly in the metropolitan New York City area, like Newark, New Jersey. The Portuguese language is also spoken widely by Brazilian immigrants, established mainly in Miami, New York City and Boston. (Brazilian Portuguese)

Scottish Gaelic

In the 17th and 18th centuries, tens of thousands of Scots from Scotland, and Scots-Irish from the north of Ireland arrived in the American colonies. Today, an estimated 20 million Americans are of Scottish ancestry. The province of Nova Scotia, Canada was the main concentration of Scottish Gaelic speakers in North America (Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland). According to the 2007 American Community Survey, 1,445 people speak Scottish Gaelic at home.

Swedish

 

There has been a Swedish presence in America since the New Sweden colony came into existence in March 1638.

Widespread diaspora of Swedish immigration did not occur until the latter half of the 19th century, bringing in a total of a million Swedes. No other country had a higher percentage of its people leave for the United States except Ireland and Norway. At the beginning of the 20th century, Minnesota had the highest ethnic Swedish population in the world after the city of Stockholm.

3.7% of US residents claim descent from Scandinavian ancestors, amounting to roughly 11–12 million people. According to SIL's Ethnologue, over half a million ethnic Swedes still speak the language, though according to the 2007 American Community Survey only 56,715 speak it at home. Cultural assimilation has contributed to the gradual and steady decline of the language in the US. After the independence of the US from the Kingdom of Great Britain, the government encouraged colonists to adopt the English language as a common medium of communication, and in some cases, imposed it upon them. Subsequent generations of Swedish Americans received education in English and spoke it as their first language. Lutheran churches scattered across the Midwest started abandoning Swedish in favor of English as their language of worship. Swedish newspapers and publications alike slowly faded away.

There are sizable Swedish communities in Minnesota, Ohio, Maryland, Philadelphia and Delaware, along with small isolated pockets in Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, and New York. Chicago once contained a large Swedish enclave called Andersonville on the city's north side.

John Morton, the person who cast the decisive vote leading to Pennsylvania's support for the United States Declaration of Independence, was of Finnish descent. Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden in the 18th century.

Welsh

Up to two million Americans are thought to have Welsh ancestry. However, there is very little Welsh being used commonly in the USA. According to the 2007 American Comminty Survey, 2,285 people speak Welsh at home; primarily spoken inCalifornia (415), Florida (225), New York (204), Ohio (135), and New Jersey (130).[55] Some place names, such as Bryn Mawr in Chicago and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (English: Big Hill) are Welsh. Several towns in Pennsylvania, mostly in the Welsh Tract, have Welsh namesakes, including Uwchlan, Bala Cynwyd, Gwynedd, and Tredyffrin.

Yiddish

Yiddish has a much longer history in the United States than Hebrew.[56] It has been present since at least the late 19th century and continues to have roughly 148,000 speakers as of the 2009 American Community Survey. Though they came from varying geographic backgrounds and nuanced approaches to worship, immigrant Jews of Eastern Europe and Russia were often united under a common understanding of the Yiddish language once they settled in America, and at one point dozens of publications were available in most East Coast cities. Though it has declined by quite a bit since the end of WWII, it has by no means disappeared. Many Israeli immigrants and expatriates have at least some understanding of the language in addition to Hebrew, and many of the descendants of the great migration of Ashkenazi Jews of the past century pepper their mostly English vocabulary with some loan words. Furthermore, it is definitely a lingua franca alive and well among Orthodox Jewry (particularly hasidic Jewery), particularly in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

 

 

Questions:

1. What arethe national dialects?

2. What is the Native language statistics for the United States?

 

Theme 11. Work Culture and Office Environment in the USA:

1.How to address to your boss.

2. Work hours.

3. Dress code. Corporate social life.

 




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