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