Why Chicago Must Learn Polish (#LanguageClub )

It's a sad reality: Chicago folks will eat Polish sausages before they speak the Polish language. In other words, they will chew Polish food before they "spit out" Polish phrases. That's quite ironic given that Polish is the third most spoken language in the state of Illinois-- behind English and Spanish. But Go Zack is going to change that.  

Just like Spanish is considered a major language of the city, Polish should also be given the same attention. Polish residents have made tremendous contributions to Chicago and they should have access to more people speaking their native language. 

Before you come with the "Americans should only speak English" rebuttal, here are a few reasons why Polish can help Chicago:

1) Tourism- While many people in Poland know English, it will still make them feel more about home to visit a city which honors their language. Some might come to visit relatives; others could be exploring the United States for employment opportunities. Whatever their reasons are, Chicago should be prepared to have more Polish speakers around for hospitality. 

2) Job Market- As mentioned in the previous point, Polish corporations could set up headquarters in Chicago to expand their American presence. In turn, Chicago job seekers will have more opportunities to work here or participate in worker exchange programs. 

3) Diversity & Culture- Learning languages can lead to new perspectives and new friendships. Every May, the Polish Constitution Parade draws a large crowd. But a majority of those people are from the Polish community. If Chicago residents knew more about Polish culture, it would help the city to become less segregated. 

Yet there's hope. Chicago activist Jahmal Cole has a project called "My Block, My Hood, My City" which explores the cultural diversity of the city's 77 neighborhoods.  

If you would like to learn more about Chicago's Polish community, visit this website.  

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