Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saratoga Police Get Rosetta Stone

This morning Saratogians are buzzing about the cops ::: You see, when police responded to a backstretch stabbing at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday night, none of the officers could effectively communicate directly with the victim or witnesses, all of whom apparently spoke Spanish exclusively. Now the police chief has taken the bull by the horns, word is he'll be issuing Rosetta Stone tapes/DVDs to EVERY officer. But given the number of dialects of Spanish-speakers from different countries and "street Spanish" - can the cops pull this off?

And what if, one day, there's an incident between a couple of Quebecois? Will the cops be issued French tapes? Just wondering...

(Source: Schenectady Gazette)

What next? Mexican Officials to Patrol Staten Island Following Latest Bias Attack - maybe they can follow the Hudson River upstate a little bit?

Hmmm... maybe the officers should be sent to Skidmore College to learn Spanish (at taxpayers expense, of course!)
At a Saturday meeting in Middlebury,VT Mexican nationals came from a wide geographical area. “They come from far and wide... we even have some from Saratoga, N.Y.

Seriously: New Yorkers, especially upstate, SHOULD have a working knowledge or at least a smattering of Spanish and French, considering our proximity to NYC and Canada. And a little Chinese in the mix isn't a bad idea. Certainly in a day trip to Montreal or the City and the Chinatowns there, one could avail onself of a bit of "field experience" in trying to interact with non-English speakers and bi-linguals.

On a recent trip to Montreal I was in a department store where there were two girls in their early 20s cashiering at one of the checkouts. I made a remark to one of the girls who just stared back at me blankly: her colleague began laughing and said "she doesn't know what you're talking about! She just learned English!" So I said back to the other girl "Oh, new to English," to which she responded IN PERFECT ENGLISH "Yes, I just finished an 18-month crash course so I could have better chances of finding work." So, if you have the right teacher you could master the basics of a language without picking up any discernible accent!

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1 comment:

  1. Well, good for them! If you live in New York you absolutely MUST know some Spanish. How could you not? It's one of the languages we hear most frequently besides English.
    If you're a cop, I'm thinking that should be a requirement! ;)

    As a regular citizen, we all should know basics like "hola", "como estas", "yo quiero" (I want), "yo tengo" (I have), "da me la..." (give me the...) and my all time favorite "dejame sola!" (leave me alone!) -- a must have for the ladies! ;)

    This ain't Cali, but you damn sure do need some Spanish skills in the Big A! ;)


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