December 18, 2014 17:21 UTC

This Is America

AMERICAN MOSAIC - Chief Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota / Music by the Fiery Furnaces / How Many Languages Spoken in U.S.? - 2004-09-16

Broadcast: September 17, 2004

(MUSIC)

HOST:

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

(MUSIC)

This is Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

Music by the Fiery Furnaces.

A question from a listener who wants to know how many languages are spoken in America.

And, a progress report on a huge memorial to Chief Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse Memorial

HOST:

On September sixth, a celebration took place in the state of South Dakota. September sixth is the anniversary of the death of the American Indian chief Crazy Horse. It is also the birthday of the artist who started work on a huge memorial. Shep O’Neal has more.

ANNCR:

In nineteen forty-eight, Korczak Ziolkowski began to cut a likeness of Crazy Horse into a mountain. The Polish-American artist was asked to carve the statue by Chief Henry Standing Bear of the Lakota Indians.

Crazy Horse was a young leader of the Lakota. He was a hero to his people. He died in eighteen seventy-seven. Crazy Horse had gone to an Army commander to protest a broken promise by the government. The promise was to let his people choose where to live. Soldiers arrested Crazy Horse. A soldier stabbed him when he tried to escape.

Korczak Ziolkowski died in nineteen eighty-two. His wife, Ruth, and seven of their ten children have continued his work. Visitors pay to see the monument even before it is finished.

The huge statue is at the top of Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The head was completed in nineteen ninety-eight.

The Ziolkowski family says more than eight million tons of rock has been taken off the mountain. They are now working to carve the head of a horse on which the chief will sit. The family expects the finished statue to be more than one hundred seventy meters tall and one hundred ninety-five meters long. It is already considered the largest mountain sculpture in the world.

The family has established the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. This group is also working to improve the education of Native Americans. The foundation has completed a building to show Indian arts. Other plans include a university, medical center and history center to be built near the statue of Chief Crazy Horse.

HOST:

On Sunday at this time, learn about another Indian chief, Rain in the Face, on PEOPLE IN AMERICA. And listen Monday to THIS IS AMERICA. We tell about the opening in Washington of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Languages Spoken in the United States

HOST:

Our VOA listener question this week comes from Jijiga, Ethiopia. Abdikader Gahnug Muhumed asks about the number of languages spoken in the United States.

More than three hundred languages are spoken in this country. The most recent report comes from the Census count of the population in the year two thousand.

Of more than two hundred sixty million people over the age of five, eighty-two percent spoke only English at home.

Spanish is the most commonly spoken foreign language in the United States. The two thousand Census found that twenty-eight million people spoke Spanish or Spanish Creole at home. The second most commonly spoken foreign language is Chinese, with two million speakers.

More than one million six hundred thousand people said they spoke French at home. And more than one million three hundred thousand reported speaking German.

Italian, Tagalog and Vietnamese also have more than a million speakers each. More than half a million people reported speaking Arabic, Korean, Polish, Portuguese or Russian. Nearly five hundred thousand spoke Japanese at home. And more than four hundred thousand spoke African languages.

Persian and Hindi each had more than three hundred thousand speakers. There were two hundred sixty thousand speakers of Urdu.

Also in the last Census, close to four hundred thousand people reported speaking Native American languages at home. The largest number speak Navajo. Reports say more than one hundred fifty languages are still spoken by American Indians. Others include Ojibwa, Dakota, Choctaw, Apache, Cherokee and Yupik.

The Fiery Furnaces

HOST:

The Fiery Furnaces are out with their second album, to a lot of praise from music critics. Steve Ember has our report on this brother-and-sister group.

ANNCR:

Eleanor and Matt Friedberger grew up near Chicago, Illinois. Matt is older than his sister. Their interest in music led them to perform and record together when they both moved to New York City. They got the idea for the name of their band from a Bible story and the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” The letters F.F. also represent their names: Friedberger and Friedberger.

The Fiery Furnaces became well known in New York from performing in clubs. Then, last year, they recorded their first album, “Gallowsbird’s Bark.” Ten months later they released their second one. “Blueberry Boat” opens with a ten-minute song called “Quay Cur.”

(MUSIC)

"Blueberry Boat" is currently the most popular record among American college students. Music critics say the Fiery Furnaces are unlike any other group performing today. Their songs are long and tell stories. Like this one, “My Dog Was Lost But Now It’s Found.”

(MUSIC)

Eleanor and Matt Friedberger are already working on a third album. Eleanor will sing with their eighty-year-old grandmother. For now, the Fiery Furnaces will perform across the country. We leave you with the title song from “Blueberry Boat.”

(MUSIC)

HOST:

This is Doug Johnson.

This program was written by Nancy Steinbach. Paul Thompson was the producer. And our engineer was Rob McLean.

I hope you enjoyed AMERICAN MOSAIC. Join us again next week for VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • A screenshot from Cuban television shows President Raul Castro addressing the country, in Havana, Dec. 17, 2014.

    Audio US, Cuba Normalize Relations

    After the release of Alan Gross from prison, U.S. and Cuba announce policy changes that end more than 50 years of diplomatic isolation that began in the Cold War. Also in the news, India joins Pakistan in mourning after Tuesday's Taliban attack. And Sony Pictures cancels release of "The Interview." More

  • Audio How Much of You Does Facebook Own?

    If you use Facebook, your friends may have posted an update recently saying Facebook is not permitted to violate their privacy. But how much of your data -- things you post -- does Facebook legally own? Experts say Facebook's terms of service agreement clearly says they own most of what you post. More

  • India schoolgirls offer prayers for victims killed in a Taliban attack on a Pakistan military-run school, in Mumbai, India, Dec. 17, 2014.

    Audio India Joins Pakistan in Mourning Murdered Students

    India and Pakistan have long disagreed about many issues. But on Wednesday, Indian lawmakers and students lowered their heads and observed two minutes of silence in memory of 132 Pakistani children. The children died on Tuesday in an attack on their school in the city of Peshawar. More

  • Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki, center left, gestures next to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center right, as they pose during an election night event at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Dec. 14, 2014.

    Video Shinzo Abe's Victory Likely Raises Conflict with Neighbors

    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in Parliament on Sunday. Mr. Abe’s win will permit him to continue economic reforms. At the same time, he can also pursue policies likely to increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors. More

  • Texas Execution

    Audio In US, Support for Death Penalty Is Strong

    Public opinion surveys show 60 percent of Americans want judges and juries to be able to sentence criminals to death. But the same studies show that many Americans have concerns about the justice system and the way executions are carried out. | As It Is More

Featured Stories

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas

    Audio Mob Museum Tells About the Mafia in America

    The U.S. government has long used public money to fight organized crime. Now, public money is also paying for a museum in Las Vegas to tell about "The Mob,” and not everyone is happy about that. But some say it helps the local economy by bringing people to a part of Las Vegas that few visit. More

  • Big Hero

    Video Filmmakers Create New Technology for 'Big Hero 6'

    Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams wanted the film to be based on some real science, to make it believable. 'We don’t have any super-powered people in this movie. It’s all super technology.' The film was just nominated for a 2014 Golden Globe award for best animated film. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs