The Observer – March 2017


by Jim Feldman

Some thoughts on language

Riderwood Village may have the most sophisticated population of all the Erickson Living managed communities. Its location close to Washington, D.C. ensures that we will always have a diverse population.

We not only have people here from just about every state of the union but also from many other countries. And while English is the official language, many residents and staff members also speak other languages too.

The United States is lucky to have a common language, English, which is used in all states, although there are many Spanish speakers (Spanish holds a special place in New Mexico).

For example, India got English from the British but there are many Indian languages, and they use different alphabets. The most used single language in India is Hindi. Back in the 1960s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi tried to make Hindi (a north Indian language) the national tongue but failed after lots of protest in the south.

For another example, Belgium is a small European country that has two languages – French and Flemish (a dialect of Dutch). Brussels, the capital, uses both languages on street signs.

The U.S. brought English to the Philippines where it pretty much replaced Spanish after the Spanish American war but it also has local languages. Canada, the U.S.’s closest neighbor, uses French and English. The Americans tried to conquer Quebec in December, 1775, but were defeated by the British. The Parti Québécois has long spearheaded a sovereignty movement. Incidentally, our Montgomery County is named for American General Richard Montgomery, who was killed in the battle for Quebec.




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only who is left.


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