Learn From Canada's Mistakes, Says English-Only Group

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. English, a group that advocates English as the nation's only official language, is offering an example of what can go wrong when "multilingualism" reigns.

U.S. English notes that a judge in Canada on Monday threw out a ticket issued to a motorist who made a left turn -- at a "No Left Turn" sign. Because the sign was not written in both English and French, the traffic infraction could not be enforced, the judge said.

"Official multilingualism creates many more problems than it solves," said Mauro E. Mujica, chairman of the board of U.S. English, Inc.

"What makes this case especially disturbing is that the motorist who committed this violation admitted that she doesn't even speak French." In other words, she understood the sign, which was written in English.

The defendant's lawyer was quoted as saying, "We didn't dispute she turned left and we didn't dispute she didn't see the sign. What we said was the sign itself was null and void." The judge agreed.

According to U.S. English, multilingualism in Canada has proved to be a "costly and divisive endeavor."

But the cost is only part of the problem, Mujica said, adding that multilingualism adds new levels of bureaucracy and prompts numerous legal challenges, such as the one involving the No Left Turn sign.

Mujica says U.S. government money should be spent helping immigrants learn English.

"We should learn from the mistakes of other nations and embrace our common language, English, the unifier for our diverse society," he said in a press release.

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