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Language in United States, North America
English is of course the dominant language, but the language situation is more complex than is generally imagined. According to the latest census, 82% of the population had English as their mother tongue. (For a description of American English see English.)
It is estimated that the indigenous people of the United States spoke about 300 different languages at the arrival of Europeans. About half of these have survived to the present, but most have a very small number of speakers, often older people, and many will disappear within the next generation. The largest native languages are navajo (which belongs to the Athapascan language family) with over 100,000 speakers as well as Cherokee, Dakota, Lakota and Yupik, all of which are spoken by about 20,000 people. The federal authorities responsible for the Indian Reserves previously regarded the native languages as a development barrier. A more positive outlook has now prevailed, but it is uncertain to what extent one will succeed in trying to preserve the languages. The native languages are official in the reserve, but apart from Hawaiian, spoken by a few thousand people in Hawaii,
Much of America's current territory was first colonized by non-English-speaking Europeans. The most important European language besides English is Spanish, which has been spoken continuously in the former Spanish territories of the southwestern United States, but now it is primarily the native language of immigrants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Latin American countries (a total of about 35 million people). Spanish has official status in New Mexico.
Distinct developments in European languages can be found in Louisiana (Cajun French) and Pennsylvania (Penn Sylvanian at Amish). Moreover, the large immigrant groups from Europe have only retained their mother tongue to a fairly limited extent. Among the immigrant languages that, according to the latest census, had over one million speakers, (apart from Spanish) can be mentioned Cantonese, French, German, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Italian. About 68,000 people spoke Swedish at home.
None of the languages originally spoken by the African slaves survived in the United States, but several Creole languages (Gullah, Louisiana Creole) are still used.
The English have so far not had any statutory status as official language at national level in the United States. In recent years, an "English Only" movement has emerged as a reaction to the efforts towards multilingualism. At the state level, English has gained statutory status in over half of US states.
Photography in United States, North America
As early as 1840, Samuel Morse opened a photo studio in New York, and photography in the United States gained an early scientific, cultural and commercial significance. An example is Mathew Brady, who together with a staff of photographers documented the American Civil War. Another example is that topographic photos were used when railways would be constructed and land exploited. The 19th-century landscape of partly useful landscapes was followed by a photograph in which the aesthetic experience of nature became the primary. A number of photographers - many from the west coast of the United States - have become world-renowned for their nature and landscape imagery, for example. Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and Edward and Brett Weston.
The photographic image as a social time document has often appeared in American photography. At the end of the 19th century, Jacob A. Riis photographed the immigrant situation in New York, and Lewis W. Hine continued on the same theme in the early 1900's. During the years 1935–41, the large Farm Security Administration (FSA) project was carried out, in which about fifteen photographers documented farm workers and small-town environments. The work resulted in approximately 270,000 images, which are currently stored at the Library of Congress in Washington. Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Ben Shahn are the most famous FSA photographers.
The big picture magazines Life and Look were started in the late 1930's. In addition to newsworthy images, they also contained longer picture stories in various subjects. Among the legendary photographic photographers are Robert and Cornell Capa, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and W. Eugene Smith. The fashion magazines Vogue and Harperʹs Bazaar were already frequent image users from the start, and fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn became stylists for this genre.
Photography gained early art status in the United States. In New York, Alfred Stieglitz opened his gallery 291 in 1905, where photography was interspersed with displays of painting, sculpture and graphics. Many of the exhibitions belonged to the Photosecession group, which had about forty members. The Museum of Modern Art in New York established a permanent photography department in 1940, and photo exhibitions are today a matter of course in most museums in the United States. Among the more artistically oriented photographers are Diane Arbus, Duane Michals, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman and Ralph Gibson.
The American photo industry was targeted at a broad amateur market early on.
In 1888, Kodak introduced an easy-to-handle box camera, and the Instamatic
system (introduced in 1963) also turned to a wide public. Like the electron
flash, the Polaroid camera, which provides direct images, is another American