Living with Broken English

As of June 6, 2017. It officially marks my 10th year living in Louisville, Kentucky; I was only 12 years old when I moved to America with my mother. There had been a lot of struggles we had to face within these ten years but without a doubt, language was the hardest struggle out of it all…

It’s hard to explain my very first year in the states now after how much I have accomplished over the years. But do you know that feeling of wanting to be part of a group, yet you just can’t seem to be accepted since nobody in the group has enough patience to translate for you…

Since I was young, I learn and catch up faster onto English than my mother, who only stayed home with her English book along with once a week English class. With that being said, there are some pros and cons when your parents speak broken English.

Pros

  • Parents do not have a firm understanding of what’s being said between you and your friend. So, it’s allowed to talk about what happened that one Friday night in front of them.
  • Consistently being used as their translator, I see it as practices for both my Chinese and English. It will also make me encourage myself in learning new ways to explain or translate without causing any confusion to them.

Cons

  • Whenever I’m trying to clarify something important to them in English since it won’t make any sense if you translate it in Chinese.
  • Seeing them have struggles on the phone with Insurance companies, cellular phone companies and health care companies due to their accent.
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