Friday, August 10, 2007

Sometimes you forget what speaking English really means

Sometimes you forget what speaking English really means; for example. I am always so amazed how sharp and specific are the criteria when you are trying to get information about things in English. It’s not just whether you speak the language, you also have to learn how to ask a question. For example, today I asked the woman in the T.T.C. booth for information about which bus goes to the Exhibition and she replied that there are no buses going there, that’s it. No buses. Not a single opportunity to reconsider. Once again I said to her that I know that there is ‘something’ that goes to the Exhibition in summer time, and she said, ah! of course the street cars… but she didn’t immediately make the connection, no way! It’s English. But in Spanish we have a kind of fun where we can fit so many things at the same time; we can make the connection without hesitation. We understand that anything with wheels that carries passengers fits into the same category. But that’s the joy of learning English, you put your brain just on one side of the road and that’s it! Or could it be that I speak with an accent, and the woman was racist?

3 comments:

TonNet said...

kinda same experince here in tri-state zone. If you don't pronounce porperly, do not make a good entonation, americans tend to hold and reply: "what..." That is something personally I hate. Why not to say, Excuse me, can you repeat? I don't think so is about racism, though.

Baakanit said...

She probably was dumb. :)

For us it's so easy to help out and fill in the blanks, if we kind of guess what the person is trying to guess, but like tonnet said, some people if you don't give them the correct pronunciation they might not help you.

take care

Silvia Porras said...

Tonnet and Baakanit,
Thank you for your comments.

I think that if people like that woman live in a multicultural environment they have to flow with the diversity, and give people the respect that they deserve, and if they cannot understand something so simple, they have to face the consequences that the law regulates against this kind of behavior!

Aqui hay un link que explica como el lenguaje es usado para discriminar, leanlo por favor:
http://www.crr.ca/Load.do?section=26&subSection=38&id=322&type=2