A few days ago at dinner, a few of us were discussing the presence of the English language here in Italy. Everywhere we go, although the language is not strong and tends to be broken, English is present everywhere. Every restaurant or store, or even on the street, its clear that all the individuals, even the Italian born and raised ones, understand a certain level of English. This summer I went to Israel, and the same thing was the norm. All of the store and restaurant owners we encountered on the trip were able to understand and communicate with us, even if they did not fully understand everything we were saying, there was basic level of them comprehending our English and responding in their own broken English as well. In addition to this, we had 7 Israeli soldiers who joined our trip, and they all spoke very great English. These soldiers were all in their early 20’s, meaning that they grew up in an Israeli society where they heard a very large amount of English. I find it very interesting how the norm seems to be that when Americans travel to different countries, the locals understand our language, but when foreigners travel to America they expect to encounter much larger language barriers. This leads me to wonder how English became the norm language and if this is a good or a bad thing.