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Letter to the editor
Language barriers are a safety concern
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Forsyth County News
An experience on the new Big Creek Trail last week points out one very simple reason for sharing a common language in a community: safety.

While riding a bicycle on the new trail (which is fantastic by the way), riders will announce to pedestrians the fact they are approaching and intend to pass by shouting the warning “on your left.” But while riding on the trail last week a group of Hispanics were walking on the trail with several young children. The children, including teenagers, were ambling across the trail, walking from one side to the other taking in nature’s beauty and mysteries. Upon approaching the group, several bicyclists began shouting “on your left,” which evidently meant nothing since the pedestrians continued to utilize the entire breadth of the trail for their purposes.

The bicyclists finally had to stop rather than chance an accident. Once stopped and after eye contact with the adults was made, the adults evidently instructed the children to move to one side of the trail in order for the bicyclists to pass safely. The instructions to the children were given in Spanish.  

Asking anyone to learn the language common to the locality should not be construed as a form of bias or bigotry, but rather for safety.For centuries people mi-grating to this country have learned the English language. What if we had attempted to assuage every culture by adopting their language?
How many languages would be required on road signs and assembly instructions for swing sets?

Anyone having difficulty in understanding why people who come here should learn English should be cautioned against renting a car in Mexico.
Mexico has yet to understand why they need to print their road signs with English subtitles.

Larry Park