I get it. I look foreign. I speak with foreign accent. I have foreign name.
If you are curious about me, I won’t mind as I am also curious whenever I meet someone with non western name or look ‘different’ than most of the crowds.
It is a fact that I am a foreign born US Citizen. English is not my native language.
So yes, it is true that the way I speak for some reasons somehow still get misinterpret by others – mostly the English speaking crowds.
Which let’s be honest, even though I have lived in States for 12 years and been learning English for 20 years, every time I have to speak in English, my brain many times still jumbling all these words together trying to figure out which word comes first and what will be the next order and so on. Not to mention the culture thingy.
Even though I may get all the words right, all the grammar correct, cultural influence may still make my whole sentences sound funny.
So my point is, I get it that you see me as an ‘alien’. You don’t see my kind everyday (unless you live in big cities in California/Florida or New York or Chicago), my being somehow sparks your curiosity which trigger you to ask questions.
I feel the same way, every time I meet someone who look as ‘foreign’ as me, I am curious about them. Every time I meet someone with a foreign name, I get excited – My Mom taught me about the origin of name and it’s been stuck in my mind ever since and I have always wanted to know more about people’s name.
Fair enough, right?!
So yeah. Ask away!I’d rather you ask than making assumptions about me.
But. Do me a favor please.
Ask a proper question.
Not only it is polite it is also helps me to understand your culture better.
My look is different (than yours). Of course!
Instead of saying ‘Which part of Philippines are you from?!’
(which if I was not in the mood, I might just stare at you until you figure out that your guess is wrong)
instead of start talking to me in whatever foreign language
(which my reaction will be ‘Speak English please’ – imagine how odd it is coming from a foreign looking person );
Please ask :
“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s is your heritage/nationality/ethnicity?”
My name is ‘weird’? Sure.
Instead of saying it out loud, which 99% you would only hurt my hearing doing so,
and yes it may sound as complicated as it is,so please ask :
“How do you pronounce your name?”
and oh Dude, when you read my name tag and ask me “What kind of name is that?”
THAT sounds really rude.
But if you have to ask….then :
-It is My Kind of Name-