OT: Social Security Admin or scam?

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Actually, it probably isn't a scam, but I'm fuming. A few weeks ago, I got a questionnaire about the new SS "drug benefit" and figure I may answer it some day. Or not.
Today, I get a call from someone representing herself as from the SSA with a survey that will take 2-1/2 minutes.
Memorized patter, with an Indian/Pakistani accent.
I guess the U.S. government is now outsourcing to India, if this is not a scam.
Jesus wept. It wasn't bad enough when they tried to have China produce the berets for the Army.
I'm writing of blockheads, solid oak, so it's semi-on topic.
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You're living too narrow a life. There are thousands of Indian/Pakistani/Arabic accents out there in the US. Most have jobs, some with firms hired by Uncle Sam. Mom got the real SSA application paperwork and the boiler-room call, but it sounded like a pure "Joiszy" accent on hers.
Ask for a Spanish speaker next time.
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George wrote:

Or next time ask the speaker where they are located.
--

FF


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Putting the 'scam or not' aside for a moment . . .
I'm the first to admit that my Farsi is non-existent . . . but then again I'm not 'operating' in the Middle-East. A bit of an accent I don't mind, HOWEVER if you are working - in a 'people communicating' position - you should have a GOOD COMMAND & COMPREHENSION of the language of THAT country.
I don't mean to 'interpret' for Charlie, but what really gets to me is when it is on 'your' dime, that this happens. You call 'Tech Support' for computer/software assistance and get a heavily accented, barely understandable voice, reading a 'script' {which may - or may NOT - have anything to do with your problem}. It gets worse when you try to explain that HIS answer has nothing to do with YOUR question . . . and are angrily informed that you can only be on the line for 7 minutes !!
It's bad enough when the 'local number' for Verizon Customer Service is across the country {I'm in PA, they are in AZ}, but at least they speak clear English {so far !!}.
Regards {with my fingers crossed}, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop {PS - Be careful what you wish for . . .}

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On 9/18/2005 8:31 AM Ron Magen mumbled something about the following:

Ummm, when did the US establish a national language?
--
Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

We've ALWAYS had a national language, English. What we don't have is a legally official language, and I'm coming to think that is a mistake, as more and more groups come in and insist on having things done their way, in their language. Diversity in that sense makes for absolutely nothing but confusion.
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On 9/18/2005 9:45 AM Charlie Self mumbled something about the following:

several different languages that existed here before then. English wasn't the only language that came over before a good portion of North America became the US, there was German, French, Spanish, Dutch and several other languages. When the US was formed, there still existed all these languages, and we've added several more since then. Which one is the national language? Apache? Cherokee? Lakhota? Choctaw?
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wrote:

You might want to make allowances for those who use the language more precisely than you do.
This would involve understanding the difference between a Nation and a State.
Charlie is entirely correct in asserting that We have always had a National language, and that it is English (or, at least a form of same).
What we do not have is a State language.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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Strange that a man calling people stupid, backs it up with elementary school history facts. Before Cherokee, humans in ( what is now) the US, grunted and banged as a language. By your elementary reasoning we should accept that as a language as well.
The original languages in the US all melted into on language, English. For a reason. A functioning country cannot function without commons.
Wonder how this guy would feel if he had an accident, called 911 and they did not speak English.
Brings up the question. People in the US who cannot speak English, are they a burden or a profit to our society?
What was Andrew Dice Clay's joke??? :)
Chris
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On 9/18/2005 12:28 PM Chris mumbled something about the following:

spoken English since the beginning of the US. Now, because we have people who speak something else, it's no longer okay that there are people who don't speak english? What about the vast differences between english in the Northeast and the deep south, or the midwest, or even California, for that matter. None of us speak the same english. We don't even speak english according to the Brits, so what is our national language again?
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Odinn wrote:

see what happens.
No one that I know of has said it is not OK to speak another language. What is not OK is the insistence that the official systems in the U.S. be made to use different languages and teach different languages. As I recall, when the large mass of Italians hit the U.S., most of them learned English as quickly as possible. Same with the Germans and the French who showed up here. In fact, all the Vietnamese I know speak pretty good English, as do most of the Pakistanis and Indians, though their singsong accent often baffles me...quite possibly because of my poor hearing at this point in my life.
English differs little in its written form from Alabama to Maine and west to Washington and California, and doesn't change a whole lot in Chicago, St. Louis and Des Moines.
Dialects of languages are common in all major languages. If you get curious, Google Chinese and discover how many dialects a billion or two people can form. In English, though, the written form remains the same.
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Charlie Self wrote:

That isn't quite true about those immigrants. There were large enclaves of Italian, Germans, French, Finns, Swedes, etc. where the people mostly spoke their native language and many of the actual immigrants never learned English or didn't learn it very well. But to be fair, they usually made their kids go to school and learn English. I have a friend who is a Finn that never spoke any English until he went to the first grade.
Ah, but the written form of Chinese is the same regardless of the dialect. But those dialects in Chinese are far different from our regional accents.
Nonetheless, I agree, using translations in conduction of government and teaching in different languages is a waste of resources and a waste of money.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

And I one who spoke nothing but Russian until he was twelve. He was raised in Washington DC.

Though there are idiomatic sxpressions unique to each dialect that, even when weritten, make sense only in the context of their respective dialects.

I disagree. In many cases it is not only not a waste it is essential to the proper functioning of government when you consider that functioning includes police investigations, courtroom testimony disaster relief, and so on.
In education it is far from wasteful to teach English to non speakers of English and other languages to English speakers.
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

We are in agreement. On the translation part I was referring only to using several languages for normal conduction of business, i.e., legal notices, ballots, minutes of a meeting, etc. Certainly translators are needed in any court or legal type situation where one of the parties does not speak English.
Your last part is most valid. What is not valid is trying to teach school subjects by translation or in classes conducted in a foreign language to K-12 students. It is far more efficient to simply teach the nonspeaker English and forget other subjects. In other words, intensive language training with 5-6 hours a day. That will set the child back 1 year in school but thereafter he/she learns in English.
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On Tue, 20 Sep 2005 02:53:39 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

"Conduction" ?
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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Tom Watson wrote:

That's how static electricity travels through your dust collection tubing to cause explosions;-) Joe
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On Tue, 20 Sep 2005 00:22:32 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, Tom

The non-electrical, non-temperature type, Tawm.
==================================================================== -=Everything in Moderation,=- NoteSHADES(tm) glare guards -=including moderation.=- http://www.diversify.com ====================================================================
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Legal notices, of course, are a legal type situation and when you consider one of the societal benefits of a legal notice is to reduce future legal hassles then publication in the predominant language(s) of the community in which it is published is not wasteful.
I think one point on which we agree is that the need to provide tranlsations for non-English speakers is highly situational. Neither total accomodation nor a prohibition on accomodation makes sense and reasonable persons can disagree as to where to draw the line in various situations.

That's the basic idea, the devil's in the details.
--

FF


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Not really.
I've been out of retirement a couple three times to ease the transition for Russian kids. Since they are illiterate in both languages, it makes perfect sense to teach the one they'll use to find a toilet or burger in real life. The worksheets have a picture of a frog to prompt for a short "o" sound, or spelling, which might as well be f-r-o-g as l-ya-g-u-sh-k-a.
Pull up a chair and sit side-by side in the classroom, where they can get a feel and an ear for English in use rather than as some sort of mathematical construct as we teach other languages. Don't isolate them. ESL is a bad hoax in almost every case, because the people instructed are, by and large, illiterate in their native language.
The best teacher is the playground....
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George wrote:

Well, I'd call those details.
--

FF


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