American English Needs Immigrants

The immigration debate often centers on who should be welcomed into our country. Some even argue that multiculturalism dilutes our national character — that the very the essence of the country is somehow vanishing. But far from undermining the American experiment, immigrants enhance our culture by introducing new ideas, cuisines and art. They also enrich the English language.

As newcomers master a new language, they lend words from their native lexicon to the rest of us. For example, the English language, or maybe we should just call it American, has borrowed from others to name the foods so many of us love. Italians gave us pizza and spaghetti, and we borrowed taco, burrito and churros from the Spanish language.

Chinese immigrants introduced us to chopsticks, while the ketchup we drown our hot dogs, burgers and fries in is believed to have derived from a Chinese word. Irish immigrants introduced us to hooligan, phony and

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