Hate Assumption....

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Generic's picture
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I know there is nothing that I can do about it, but... I just hate when people assume that because I speak English as a first language, that I can't be from here. It drives me crazy.

The worst are those that assume that I can't even be from this country... because apparently no one in Canada speaks English well. UGH!

Okay, starting to feel better....

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sonatainn's picture
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Eric...sounds like you're in Moncton, NB eh? Howdy Neighbour!

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Generic's picture
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One more province over, to the west. Big bilingual city, though Smiling

gillumhouse's picture
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Quebec is the only place I would be surprised to find English as a first language. I once had neighbors for a short time who were from Quebec. She and I communicated rather well in writing (I read French better than understand it spoken as I expect it is for most who do not "speak" English) with the help of my high school French/English dictionary.

I do not sound West Virginia - not southern WV any way. Having a Chicago Mother, I am a combo of the 2 regions with a little Pittsburgh thrown in.

Generic's picture
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In this province, it may be true, but in this city about 20% of us are native English speakers and only 70% are native French speakers.

I was born here, I grew up here, I went to school here and I speak English as a native language. About 2/3rd of us are fully bilingual, sometimes to the point of where you can't tell, even with the accent. But still, we have a local accent in English that most people couldn't tell from the rest of the country (unless you knew the local jargon.)

In the US, don't you have a large population that is Spanish speaking? Does everyone assume that everyone who speaks Spanish is from Mexico? 

Proud Texan's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

In the US, don't you have a large population that is Spanish speaking? Does everyone assume that everyone who speaks Spanish is from Mexico? 

Yes,  actually they do.   It's called racism.

Generic's picture
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Yup.... that's why I hate when people assume I'm not local.

gillumhouse's picture
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Yes,  actually they do.   It's called racism.

Here in my current area in WV it was Italians years ago, in Boston it was the Irish... In the 40s it was the Japanese. In the 1700s it was the whites.........

If history repeats itself, it will end up with the "minority" taking over. In Hawaii, the Asian population is the largest. The Irish pretty much took over Boston, the Italians took over here, and we have not seen a lot of native Americans around for a long time except on the reservations. I think the Hispanic population is making great strides in many areas - however we are both incorrect re Mexico and the Spanish speaking. In Florida they are assumed to be Cuban.

Proud Texan's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

... In Florida they are assumed to be Cuban.

Actually,  the Cubans are from Mexico too. wink

I can joke about Mexicans because I are one....well at least part.   My paternal grandmother was born in Mexico.  Her father was from the Netherlands and her mother from Mexico City.   Her husband, my grandfather, was a 7th generation Texan,  his family having arrived in the early 1700's from Spain and the Canary Islands.

Even the Hispanics here in Texas have gentrification.   We were always told by my father that we were "Spanish" and not "Mexican", the latter being considered inferior.  I've done my family tree...we're Mexican.  This goes back hundreds of years and had more to do with class distinction rather than your racial makeup.   

gillumhouse's picture
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I knew your history which is why I pointed out about the Gringos. It is not just race or ethnicity though. I have been an alien all my life in WV. My grandparents moved across the Ohio River from Ohio in 1925 and my Daddy was brought up on the farm. They were "not from here". THEN Daddy married a woman from Chicago!!! (gasp!) and because we had been to the Museum of Science & Industry (plus being told by Mom) knew that babies did not come from the Cabbage Patch so I was not someone kids were so supposed to associate with. Here, although I have been as accepted as much as an alien will be (no one knows my family 3 or 4 generations back BUT, I AM from WV). It is this way in small towns everywhere I think. Big cities have so much transition no one knows anyone anyway.

My youngest son & his wife are moving to Finland in 2 years or less (as long as he does npt get laid off to mess up the schedule). Her Mother's family  has lived in Finland for over 400 years, but make no mistake - they are SWEDISH!!

gillumhouse's picture
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In the US, don't you have a large population that is Spanish speaking? Does everyone assume that everyone who speaks Spanish is from Mexico?

Of course! Many people also figure they are great swimmers and suffer from swimmer's ear. Many make no attempt to learn English - this is an irritant to those whose families came in and, although cultural traditions were kept, assimilated and learned English.

We also know that many were here before the Gringo's arrived but they are speaking English.
 

My late Father-in-law was born here in 1903 but his parents went back to Poland in about 1910, just in time for WWI. He saved up enough money to return in 1929 but was what DH calls a "broken English special" which helped DH at his first employment as many were refugees after WWII - at least one who could never go back because he had a price on his head from Tito's government. I had one aunt who learned to speak English in first grade in Chicago - and when she died, could no longer speak German because she had forgotten it.

 

Madeleine's picture
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Although it is not quite THAT bad, many guests try to figure out from where I hail. They can almost guess, if they are familiar with the area, that I am not from here. When I tell them, tho, the stunned looks are kinda funny. The past month has brought more than a couple of comments of, 'That can't be true, you're too nice!' or, 'You have really set my preconception on its ear.'

It's really why people SHOULD travel. Knock some of those prejudices out and get some perspective on other people and their culture.

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Agreed!  There are a lot of folks that have misconceptions or make generalizations about what someone might be like just because of where they are from. 

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Joey Camb's picture
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We have people from all over the world here for all sorts - the biggest mix is for Teaching English as a foreign language for which we have people from all over. The one I always remember is a lady from the Ukraine who stayed with us for 4 days and i was asking what she wanted for breakfast and she was looking around at everyones and I could tell she just wanted what she was used to at home - Said would you like ham, cheese and bread? (this is not what we usually do but I had them for DH's sandwiches) you would have thought I had said would you like 3 christmases all together? 

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Joey Camb's picture
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sorry but as a British person I would think you would speak English as a first language with possibly French as a second unless you were from Quebec when I would assume you would be the other way round (ie French then English) - am I being thick but I thought English was the first language of Canada?

If it helps any people think i'm eastern European all the time - no idea why my mum is Irish and my dad's family are welsh but have no accent.

Generic's picture
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It is basically true, but about 20% of this city is native English speakers. And there are native French speakers in many different parts of Canada. You can get educated in either language in many provinces with parallel systems in place.

Joey Camb's picture
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sorry but as a British person I would think you would speak English as a first language with possibly French as a second unless you were from Quebec when I would assume you would be the other way round (ie French then English) - am I being thick but I thought English was the first language of Canada?

If it helps any people think i'm eastern European all the time - no idea why my mum is Irish and my dad's family are welsh but have no accent.

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