Immigrants need to learn English to help them integrate

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I was staggered to read Veronica Hardstaff’s letter in The Star.

However, she is her usual blinkered self so I should not really have been surprised.

How interesting that she is complaining about cuts made by the council, which she claims are caused by the coalition Government cuts (of course blaming Nick Clegg as so many bigots in Sheffield do) and in the same newspaper we have front-page headlines relating how £700,000 was spent by our council on translation services which in many cases were unnecessary.

And what about the enormous amount of unpaid council tax our council has failed to collect?

It is outrageous that we spend so much money on translating services.

As your article states while we do so people will not bother to learn English and integrate into our society.

For many years I sat on School Admission Appeal Panels. We regularly had parents attending who had lived in Sheffield for 25+ years and who still didn’t understand or speak English. Translators had to be provided.

Our son married a Norwegian eight years ago and moved to Oslo soon afterwards.

Although most Norwegians speak English he felt that it was necessary for him to learn the language to properly integrate into his wife’s country.

He is now fluent and reads newspapers and novels in Norwegian.

Certainly in Norway the powers-that-be do not waste public money on translating everything into other languages.

Why can’t people who come to live in our country make an effort to learn English and integrate into this country?

Joan Stratford

Slayleigh Lane, Fulwood, Sheffield, S10