Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If you're not talking proper, then you're not coming in...

Interesting Fact Number 1, nowhere is in UK Law is it legislated that English is the nation’s official language.

Interesting Fact Number 2, under the Nationality Immigration Act 2002(PDF), UK residents seeking British citizenship must show a sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic. My emphasis.

OK, I know it’s more a technicality rather than something likely to arise in reality, but would a knowledge of Welsh or Scottish gaelic really be enough for an immigrant moving to any part (even those areas where the languages are spoken) of the UK to cope with everyday life?

And if the answer to that is "yes", then why isn’t Irish gaelic also included, isn’t it also an indigenous British language?

Finally, as Damon Lord points out here, whilst newcomers hoping to become British citizens are required by law to have the ability to speak English (or Scottish/Welsh gaelic), there is no such compulsion on the *native* British population...which doesn’t really seem that fair, does it?

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