Poll question for you:

Do you feel English is being drowned out by another language where you live; and as such feel it’s a sign that we’re richer and more diverse as a nation, or are we becoming “Balkanized”?

In Atlantic City….according to a report,

its growing diversity can be found in the language its people speaks.

Patrons are speaking Bengalese in one market by the corner of Fairmount and Morris avenues. Vietnamese is heard steps away at another market. Nearby are several other markets where Spanish and other languages dominate.

These many languages, heard in different corners of the city, reflect Atlantic City’s diversity.
The U.S. census estimates that about 40 percent of the city’s population speaks a language other than English.

Diversity is clearly evident in the city’s schools, and even the casino work force has a mix of people from different backgrounds.

That diversity extends to the small business scene, with a sizeable group of immigrant retailers who cater to customers who share a similar heritage. They say they have found success in that niche market given that they share the same language.

The city’s diversity also is found in the schools. In Atlantic City High School, only 61 percent of the students speak English at home; the rest speak a foreign language, according to the latest state school report card issue earlier this month.

Some schools have an even more diverse student population, such as the Sovereign Avenue School, which offers a bilingual class for every grade. In that school, only 19 percent speak English at home. The rest speak about two dozen different languages, with Spanish, Bengali and Vietnamese being the most popular.

Other languages spoken by school students include Creole, Burmese, Cantonese, Haitian Creole French and Urdu, Principal Medina Peyton said.

And our common bond?


Or so you would think.

Immigrants of late 19th and early 20th Centuries came to this country with no knowledge of English.

Their communities reflected that.

However, the common thread for many of these immigrants was not to hold onto their cultural roots as tenaciously as do many of our current immigrants!

Instead, they made sure that their children learned the language of this new country!

And our society at the time tolerated not the polyglot of languages that fill the aural landscape, but stressed the communality of all speaking one language….English!

With that, the Posse Poll: