The Discrimination of Multilingual People — A Gem from Coding Manifestos

I have mentioned the different literary styles of party manifestos earlier. Today I simply wanted to share a gem I came across: “Bei Ausbildung, Jobchancen und Wohnungssuche begegnen viele mehrsprachige Menschen nach wie vor Barrieren.” (In English: When it comes to education, job opportunities and house hunting, many multilingual people are still met by barriers.)

Pause for a second. We’re looking at parts of the party manifesto about immigrants. To the authors words like foreigner or immigrant must have sounded too negative. They surely don’t mean the discrimination of polyglots because they speak many languages; they mean discrimination of foreigners who may not speak German (well).

This sentence is a gem as it illustrates the current debate on immigration: the tendency to see it in black and white picture. Immigrants are either seen as problems (I guess that’s black), or problems that come with immigration are denied (that’s white). Obviously there are many (more differentiated) positions in between, but somewhat they do tend to disappear in the public debate, and worse: among many academics.

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