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Asianism In American Language

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In addition, many people don’t expect Asians to be able to understand English at all; simply because they are Asian, they are viewed as foreigners who don’t understand the language. When an Asian worker met a customer he conversed with over the phone, the customer will exclaim, “‘I didn't realize you were Asian.’... and on the other side when I met them what I really want to say was, ‘Oh, I couldn't tell you were black over the phone either’” (Tuan 113). Many people in America wrongfully make assumptions about people just by the way they speak. However, why shouldn’t an Asian American who has lived in America his entire life not speak English well. In one of Tuan’s interviews, a woman describes a conversation two white women were having…show more content…
B adopted American culture much more seamlessly than first generation immigrants due to the simple fact that she was born in America. She was able to grow up in American culture and was able to relate to her peers on multiple instances. For example, she grew up watching most of the same television programs as her non-Asian peers, such as Sesame Street, so Ms. B found that she could better relate to her classmates. Actual immigrants do not have the same luxury. When they first arrive to America, they are foreigners to American culture; they spent their lives growing up a certain way with a certain emphasize on values that American culture does not stress as much. Therefore, assimilation for immigrants is much harder; they must explore on their own American culture and choose which aspects to adopt into their own…show more content…
Ms. B recently took a trip back to Korea to visit family, and it was very evident that the native Koreans viewed Ms. B and her family as American tourists rather than someone with whom they share a common identity; the native Korean people created an uncomfortable atmosphere for Ms. B’s Korean-American family. While in Korea, even her own family held stereotypical views of them as they were American. Multiple times people would bring up the fact that Americans are typically overweight, lazy, and violent; someone even asked if it were true that every American walks around with a gun at their waist. Asian Americans are subjected to both Asian stereotypes when they are in America, but also American stereotypes when they are in Asia. In addition, Ms. B recalled an encounter when her brother went to the store to ask for a plastic bag, but he used the Korean word for a pursue instead of plastic bag, and the shop owners ridiculed him for his mistake. The same oppressive and insensitive sentiments that Asian Americans deal with in America are also apparent in Asian cultures. Because of this debacle of not being viewed as American or Asian, Asian Americans’ identities
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