According to a persistent urban legend, German was outvoted 41-42 in the US House of Representatives by English as the official language of the United States. Actually, what happened is that a group of German immigrants asked for a translation of some laws in German, and the motion was rejected.


In truth, there is no official language in the United States, although in practice, all laws and official texts are written in English.

Interestingly though, because of the perceived threat of the Spanish language, 31 states have enacted laws making English their official language, and sadly the list includes California.

There are some action groups dedicating their live to making English the official language, such as In this time of multiculturalism, I really don’t understand this need!