Editor, The Transcript:

In the January 14 Editorial page, a reader wrote about her concerns regarding Senator Wilcoxson’s proposed legislation to make English the official Oklahoma state language. It would appear to me a common language of business is a time honored solution to the difficulty of conducting state business in diverse populations.

The civilized world has always had a language of diplomacy (business). In the Ancient World it was Akkadian. Two hundred years ago it was French. (Yes, our diplomats spoke French.) Today, it is English.

Think of the number of languages currently spoken in Oklahoma. As a former educator, I had colleagues in Canada who were required by law to lecture in French and English. They all seemed to agree, this was not a solution to quality communication.

I support preserving the multi-cultural flavors of our diverse population. For example, in Tahlequah, many of the street signs are in Cherokee and English. Some Mexican restaurants in Oklahoma have menus in Spanish. However, to do official business with the State there must be a common language, otherwise, against whom should we discriminate by excluding their language.

Don Johnson


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