Welcome to my world…
Since I have never left the US before, I never had to consider myself to be an immigrant. Whether you like it or not, in the US, the word “immigrant” has a negative connotation attached to it. So when I arrived at the airport trying to find the baggage claim I read many signs that said “Immigrants Go Left.” I walked past those signs saying to myself “I’m not a immigrant, where is the baggage claim?”; when in fact I WAS. Once I hit the end of the air port, I soon realized that in order to get to the baggage claim I had to go through immigration. Talk about culture shock.
Koreans consistently come up to me asking what my nationality is. Which is a weird question to answer because I am accustomed to telling people I am from Washington DC, instead I say “I am American”. As an American, I had to quickly check myself on feelings I didn’t even know I had. The whole world does not revolve around the USA and it does not have to bend over backwards to make us comfortable.
For some reason, when people speak to someone who does not speak English, they tend to raise their voice thinking that the louder they get the more they will comprehend what they are saying. Come to find out, that is a universal action. I was trying to order food at this small Korean spot called “Red Cups”. Unfortunately I do not speak a lick of Korean, this lady was raising her voice (but smiling at the same time), and I was left dumbfounded. Finally one of my classmates came to my rescue and told me that the Korean lady was saying that “the chicken was not spicy but tangy.” LOL I cant wait to start my Korean language course next week.
Have you ever raised your voice when trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language? Why do people do that?