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Many Languages Divide, Not Unite the Nation

October 10, 2004

I'm a naturalized citizen of the United States, but I had to learn English to take my citizenship test ("HMOs Criticized Over Refusal to Give Data," Sept. 30).

There was no bilingual education in school. Within one year of my arriving here, I was fluent in English.

By catering to every foreigner in his or her own language, my cost of providing services (e.g., printing DMV handbooks in 25 languages, translators, etc.) goes up. And, more important, it makes the nation divided, not united.

Assimilation was the key to the growth and strength of this nation of immigrants.

Assimilation does not mean giving up your religion, customs, cuisine or music in your home or among your friends and family. But requiring the infrastructure of your adopted home to speak your language is wrong.

Stephany Yablow

North Hollywood

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