1. “Oh. Your last name is _____. (starts speaking in language).”
You had me at that first sentence. Let’s go back to that.
2. “Wait! You mean you never learned the language?”
Did you ever learn calculus, how to play an instrument, how to walk on stilts, how to sew, or how to do any other random thing? No. What makes me obligated to know a certain language?
3. “So how did you talk to your family?”
Do I need to remind you that I grew up learning how to speak English? I may see other family members who speak fluently but we find ways to work around it.
4. “Do you at least know how to cook ____ food?”
I might. I might not. The important thing is that I eat. You know what my favorite thing to eat is? Food.
5. “Why don’t you just take lessons?”
If I wanted to learn or if I had time to learn the language, I would!
6. “So was it your mom or your dad who was (ethinicity)?”
Why does it matter?
7. “That means you’re not a real (ethnicity)!”
YOU”RE NOT REAL!
8. “So what country are you from?”
I’m from America, dammit!
9. From your friend who speaks the language: “Oh I wish you spoke the language so I could talk to you!”
Are our conversations in English not good enough?