Press 1 for English

Welcome to Venting Vendredi – pull up a seat…

At some point during this past week, I read a blog that addressed the American’s distain for having to press 1 for English. She was very accurate in pointing out the U.S. does not have an official language, that is 100% true.

So where does that leave us? Very frustrated.

I would hazard a guess that all the fuss and complaining about calling a company and being greeted by the prompt – press 1 for English -may have has something to do with the fact that the only other language presented in the prompt is Spanish – seems a little biased don’t you think?

If society wants us to believe that the U.S. is a melting pot (to co-exist, to welcome diversity) that should accommodate all races, than you have to actually accommodate them, otherwise it is prejudiced (some may say racist) resulting in (wait for it…) pissing off a whole lot of people. English is not the official language, nor is Spanish. The government, the companies, society, etc. do not have the right to cherry-pick two languages to represent the country as a whole.

Do the hundreds of thousands of people on the Mexican border, throughout southern California, parts of Florida and many other areas with a heavily populated Spanish/Latino culture justify Spanish as the second language choice? The northern border counts too. Drive through parts of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire and you will see signs in both English and French. Visit the Ogunquit shore in the summer and you will be surrounded by both vacationers and residents speaking French.

What about Chinatown in Boston, New York, Chicago and elsewhere? They don’t count either?

THAT’S why people get pissed. Because offering only one other choice is insulting to all the other races and cultures in the country.

How can you accommodate all the other languages? How about using the dial pad to spell out the language you wish to use? Companies use this type of system all the time. “If you know the last name of the party you wish to be connected to, please dial the first four letters of their name…” There has to be more than just Rosetta that has multilingual software to help the caller get to a person to assist them.

Let’s get some smarty-pants MIT students on this pronto!

6 thoughts on “Press 1 for English

  1. WooHoo! You tell ’em Giselle! And if I knew any language, other than English, I would be a smarty pants and have written in another language here, but I don’t, English is my only language.

    But there’s one thing I don’t understand, do other countries specify in their “rules” that one language is the language of their country? Like, how do Germans know that German is the language of their country, is it written somewhere? Or, do they have the same problems as we do? I’m digressing… sorry.

    Anyway, I love your thoughts here! Since when should Spanish be the next choice in phone prompts? And speaking of Spanish, do phone prompts in Mexico give a second choice for people to choose English? I doubt it. 😉


    • I did do a quick search on ‘official’ languages and can only surmise that the government indeed passes a law of some sort stating their country’s official language. I would even take it one step further to suggest that due to war and take over of land hundreds of years ago, many countries would shift back and forth from languages depending on what country was ruling them at the time.

      Thank you for the great insight 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well my Dear, you don’t give me a choice, now I have to follow you. English is not my Mother tongue..BUT I am an American, not by birth but by choice. I get so aggravated when I hear “press one for English”. As you said, why not all the other languages as well. All or nothing HELLLOOO. Regardless in what country you live, it is rude an a form of disrespect not to learn the language. So if you live in my country, please learn the language for Heaven’s sake it’s not that complicated 🙂


Give it to me straight....I can take it

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