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Adopting English as an Official Language of the United States


Almost half of the nations across the world have official languages. For example, German is the official language of Germany, Castilian Spanish is the official language of Spain whereas Italy and France have Italian and French respectively. The United States, however, has never had an official language despite the observation that English is the most spoken language among over three hundred languages spoken in the United States. Spanish is the second most spoken language ensued by Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Accordingly, this paper assesses whether the United States should adopt English as its official language or not. The paper provides examples for both the reasons supporting the idea of officiating the English Language in the United States and reasons opposed to the idea.

Pronouncing English as the official language on one hand is vital and advantageous for the United States’ National Administration as well as its inhabitants. First, officiating the English language can encourage unity among the diverse populaces in the United States. The American national motto is E Pluribus Unum-out of many, one. As such, refugees from various nationalities built the republic; however, the “melting pot”, regardless of an individual’s origin, merged the American citizens into one people. Accordingly, the rule of using English as the official language in the United States might push the 21% of the American citizens who do not speak or know English to learn the language and, sequentially, reinforce both their economic development and democratic involvement (Ruiz, 2020). Additionally, adopting English as an official language in the United States is likely to decrease the need to seek translators for state documents in over three hundred languages. Consequently, the move will save the government a considerable amount of money. Proponents of the adoption of English as an official language in the United States also indicate that the translation matter is only restraint on the United States government and has no impact on the languages used in private firms. Moreover, the English language is already the most extensively used in the United States. As such making it an official language will probably reinforce its use among the citizens of the United States in various institutions.

In addition, officiating the English language in the United States is likely to empower immigrants. Settlers and refugees from other countries will gain from the promotion of English to the official rank. In place of the varied message the national administration sends to citizens to remind them to vote, file tax returns, among other services in diverse languages, migrants will comprehend that they ought to learn and know English to participate fully in the government processes. It is noteworthy that offering multi-lingual services fashions dependency on “linguistic welfare” (Zall, & Stein, 2020). However, it is noticeable that life without proficiency in English in the United States is that of low-skilled and low-paying occupations. In line with a survey of Census data, a refugee’s earning goes up by almost 30% following the efforts of learning English. Consequently, knowing the English language brings about the achievement of the American dream of augmented economic opening and the aptitude to become a more fruitful society member, which in turn profits all and sundry.

On another hand, some individuals think and argue that adopting English as the official language in the United States may challenge or negate the values of the United States. The opponents claim that, as a republic of immigrants, minority languages ought to be safeguarded and the speakers of the minority languages should have the right to state services in their language (Tsui, & Tollefson, 2017). The opponents further argue that failing to provide services in individual languages will be discrimination against the speakers of minority languages. Some of the opponents claim that the necessity for translators creates job opportunities for American citizens and has never shown to be a financial issue for the national administration. Additionally, officiating the English language in the United States might discourage learning an extra language, fashioning negative consequences for both intercontinental diplomacy and trade. Such is particularly disadvantageous owing to the element of globalization. Lastly, in case of a public emergency, the national administration may be unable to efficiently assist all citizens if they are restricted to the English language only.


Unlike the mainstream republics in the world, currently, the United States does not have an official language The question of whether the English language should or should not be adopted as an official language of the United States has been discussed by Congress for several years. Notwithstanding the observation that the federal government has been incapable of agreeing on the matter, about 23 states in the US have pronounced English as the official language in their states. Nevertheless, it appears that this discussion is probable to last for numerous eons into the future, as both the proponents and contenders provide valid opinions regarding the matter, that is to say, adopting the English language as the official language of the United States has both benefits and limitations.


Ruiz, R. (2020). Official languages and language planning. In Perspectives on official English (pp. 11-24). De Gruyter Mouton.

Tsui, A. B., & Tollefson, J. W. (2017). 1 Language Policy and the Construction of National Cultural Identity. In Language policy, culture, and identity in Asian contexts (pp. 1-22). Routledge.

Zall, B. W., & Stein, S. M. (2020). Legal background and history of the English language movement. In Perspectives on official English (pp. 261-272). De Gruyter Mouton.


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