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Learning English

Saul Grabia
Tuesday October 15, 2002

To the Editor: 


“Recent immigrant” Beatriz Batungbakal says that it is “unforgivable” that we Americans are so “careless” in mispronouncing the names of certain Middle Eastern countries, and that we may indeed be “hurting their feelings” (Forum, Sept. 30). 

My parents emigrated to this country after World War II for more opportunities and a better life. They learned English, the language of their adopted country, started a small business and were very grateful to be here. 

Immigrants continue to arrive for the same reasons but many now come with an attitude that they are owed something somehow. Many don’t wish to learn English. Hospitals are financially obligated to provide 24-hour translation services to serve any languages that come through their doors. Just take a trip to the department of motor vehicles to note that learner manuals come in almost every language on earth. 


Saul Grabia