www.whyville.net Sep 12, 2003 Weekly Issue

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I live in Canada, a place where diversity is accepted and hardly ever questioned! In my neighborhood, you see people from every single corner of the earth, and you see their different homes, and their different stores, churches and schools -- everything catered to their needs because we want everyone to feel at home. I am English. I have no background that stands out prominently, and therefore, I consider myself to be Canadian.

BUT all that I have just told you is to get to the point that I only speak English. I know a little French, and about 10 words in Serbian, but I couldn't hold my own in a conversation! So, when I discovered (while taking my chat room test) that speaking different languages was not only accepted but ENCOURAGED, I was outraged. When 6 people are in a chat room and 5 of them are speaking a foreign language, the 6th person not only feels left out, but sometimes hurt at the fact that they don't know what the other people are talking about.

I have to go through this almost every day because of the society I live in. I don't know if they're discussing the weather, talking about what they watched on television last night, or how bad my outfit is! The fact that a safe haven such as Whyville encourages people to speak in different languages is a LARGE contradiction in my eyes, because you never know what people are saying, and that not only takes from the friendliness level in Whyville, but it takes from civil decency. If the people don't have the heart to converse with their peers in a way that everyone can understand, than Whyville shouldn't have the heart to keep those people in their town.

I'm not a racist person! I think that everyone deserves the right to feel at home in any location, even if that means to speak a certain language, but people, be considerate, and take a look around before you confuse, and possibly upset the people around you!

Thank you,

Editor's Note: I think City Hall hopes that anyone who knows another language would help you learn, so that you would't feel left out. How can we make Whyville friendly for the folks who don't know English very well?


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