It seems that immigrants are learning English at an even faster pace today than 100 years ago.
In fact, according to one study, there were four and a half more non-English speakers in the country in 1890 than in 1990.
How can this be, you ask? You can't call a company without getting a prompt asking you to press 1 if you want to proceed in Spanish. And the U.S. Census itself claims that seven out of ten Asian and Hispanic immigrants speak a language other than English at home.
All true. But there's a difference between not speaking English and being bilingual. Nine out of ten of people who speak something other than English at home have at least some facility in English; seven out of ten even speak the language "well" or "very well."
The increasing number of non-English speaking immigrants may require short-term accommodations, such as language training and bilingual ballots, but it does not portend the demise of the mother tongue.
On the contrary, it could make the typical American something we've never been before -- bilingual.