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Speaking of assimilation

September 28, 2008

Re "Speaks volumes," editorial, Sept. 24 and "Census study finds a greater blend," Sept. 23

The editorial on Spanish speakers and the news stories that preceded it is a classic case of news that should not be news, at least for those acquainted with American history.

The tale of how, within three generations, Spanish speakers tend to go from almost exclusively Spanish to English fluency and often forget the language of their ancestors has had a long history in this country. It is a common immigration experience. Germans, Poles, Italians, Chinese, Japanese and many other immigrant groups have all had it.

Complaints about language and culture have been common every time a major new group arrives here in large numbers. Recall the complaints about the Irish -- most of whom spoke English. Or Ben Franklin's fear that the colony of Pennsylvania would be overrun by all those Germans, altering good English language and culture. This too will pass.

David Hudson

Fresno

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You must not venture east of Westwood very often! Where I live, every laundromat is called a lavanderia. Almost every TV set and radio is set to a Spanish-speaking channel. One only needs to read the Nielsen ratings to see how many Spanish-speaking channels are near the top.

Drive to the end of the Long Beach Freeway toward Alhambra, turn east on Valley Boulevard and look in amazement at the stores and signs that go for miles and miles in one foreign language or another. Not to mention Little Saigon in Orange County.

If the people who do these reports call this assimilation, then they must be the same ones who still believe there were weapons of mass destruction. I'm not buying it.

David Price

Bell Gardens

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