First off, this isn’t an anti-English rant.
I’m Scottish but a proud citizen of the UK and I have many English friends.
People are people and in my experience there are good and bad everywhere and it’s not wise to generalise.
But there’s always a few who let the side down and spoil it for everyone else who then gets tarred with the same brush.
Take these idiotic Leceister City fans in Madrid last night, singing about Gibraltar being theirs and not part of Spain.
Legally they are correct, morally Gibraltar is part of mainland Spain.
But why mention this when you are over to support your team play a game of football?
No wonder people prejudge and don’t like the English as a nation.
As I said, I have no problem with English people. These football hooligans are arse holes who should be locked up and banned.
They do not represent England as a nation where most people are welcoming and civilised in my experience.
My only gripe about the ignorance of English is that as an English speaker we have a presumption that everyone else can speak our language.
Right now, tucked away in a remote island of Spain surrounded by Spanish, German, French and many other nationalities, I’m amazed by how many of these people can converse almost fluently in English but I have no ability to speak in their language except for the basic pleasantries of Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You etc
It’s a failing Not just personally but on our education system.
It’s not as if the Givernment haven’t tried. French or a similar language is mandatory in primary schools and in the first two years of secondary until pupils choose their subjects.
The schools even try to arrange it so that you have no option but to take one language or other in your subject choices.
As a kid, I did French and like most others I hated it and didn’t see the need for it. .When choosing my subjects it was French or German and having already did French for a few years and no German whatsoever it was a moot choice.
Add in to the bargain that aged 14 i had a crush on JoanB and took the class so that I could be near her, not that anything ever happened apart from scoring an average C in the final exam.
My heart just wasn’t in it.
That’s the thing, as a nation we can try and force other languages down our kids throats but children are resistant unless they see a tangible benefit.
For most Scottish kids, French is a complete waste of time. Hardly anyone goes there on holiday as there are so many alternatives that offer better value.
However a fortnight in a Spanish resort every year where you don’t have to speak Spanish except the pleasantries is not conducive to learning the language.
What’s the solution?
With limited resources it’s about making the best of what we have.
I’d cut mandatory language education for the kids who aren’t interested. But offer better education with trips abroad where only the chosen language is spoken to the kids who are interested can immerse themselves in their language of choice.
What about the football hooligans?
The ignorance of only speaking English and the attitude of the football hooligan are related in my opinion.
Being an English speaker does not make you a football hooligan.
But if you’re a British football hooligan it’s a safe bet that you don’t speak any other languages or have experienced other cultures.
It doesn’t really matter what team they support Leicester, Chelsea, England, Rangers or even my team Celtic.
Arseholes will continue being arseholes until they realise there is a consequence for their actions.
Last night the Spanish police went in heavy and made a few arrests. Not really enough to deter the problem.
For me, if you cross the line and are arrested, it’s an immediate 30 days in prison, maybe let you out after a fortnight if you behave yourself and promise to be a good boy.
A bit Draconian, but that’s the only language these people understand.
Try explaining that to the wife or your boss on your one phone call.