“Translate for Me” – Racially Ambigous Problems

Hello everyone!

I wanted to try to blog a lot more, and thought I would try out the Daily Prompts. Today’s prompt is ‘translate’.

It made me think about all of the wonderful languages out there and the fact that I only know one, as you may be able to tell (I hope), English. Though I know how to read and understand a little Spanish, I’m no expert and definitely cannot hold a conversation in it.

Ever have people come up to you and assume you can just speak another language? I do, all the time. See, I’m Indo-Guyanese American, which means technically my race is Indian, but my parents are from Guyana, South America and I was born in the U.S. Basically, I look Indian, but my culture I grew up with is a fusion of South America and the U.S, but I only know English. Though I believe that I look predominately Indian, people tend to associate me with Latin countries and sometimes Middle Eastern, (once I even got Jamaican).

People come up to me all the time and speak to me in another language and I have to do the awkward shrug and say “Sorry, all I speak is English”. It doesn’t bother me that people do that, but I always get that feeling of shame for knowing only one language.

Especially at work, it’s the worst. If there’s a customer who doesn’t know English well, and they’re Hindi, Arabic, or Spanish speakers, coworkers tend to look at me, expecting me to take them off of their hands. Sometimes they even say “Hey, can you translate for me?” Uhhh….no, sorry. Might be brown, but can’t speak another language.

Sometimes it’s frustrating because when people find out I only speak English, they give me a face and ask “why”. I don’t know, my parents barely speak another language, and there wasn’t any point since English is what is spoken where I live. Spanish speakers in particular eye me up and down, and make me feel so ashamed, even though I’m not of any Latino relation.

Being racially ambiguous sometimes can be a pain. I once had a man argue with me that I was lying about speak Spanish. Are you kidding? I wish I could speak another language, because that would be extremely cool. But, right now, I just don’t have too much free time to put in all that studying into something that’s not related to my college work.

But one day, definitely. I did take three years of Spanish (and passed), but it’s really hard for me to wrap my head around all the different tenses and changes. I’m hoping to one day learn Farsi. I think that would be really cool, love Persians.

via Daily Prompt: Translate

Hope you guys enjoyed my first daily post prompt! Thanks for reading!


3 thoughts on ““Translate for Me” – Racially Ambigous Problems

Add yours

  1. Seriously. I’ve never heard that in my life, people cursing you off not speaking their language, people looking you you translate… Girl that well cool enuh? #exoticpeopleproblems #icantrelate

    People assuming that your Jamaican tho… Yea. How? I know that our motto is out of many, one people but you must a been acting real Caribbean for that to happen. People never know if your Jamaican unless your acting the most

    — Blessings


    1. I know! I was like, why is this stranger arguing with me over whether or not I speak a language..ridiculous. And I know, the Jamaican one threw me off, but maybe she met Indian Jamaicans..I mean it’s possible. Technically Guyanese, but looks Indian, so who knows haha thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Its Rob the Tea Guy. My mom is Japanese and when I was a kid, we lived in Japan and I speak Japanese. In Japan, I look American so I had the exact opposite problem. People would talk about me in front of me like I didn’t understand a word they were saying. It really sucks. I heard a lot of weird comments.
    In the US, people think I’m Asian or Hispanic. But no one has expected me to speak Asian or Spanish. LOL Its exactly the opposite of your problem.


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