A recent Facebook post by a family member inspired this post. The post (I come from a Mexican family) said that even though they are Mexican, they think that all Mexican immigrants should know or learn English. That's definitely the way I felt before I moved to Korea.
Before moving to Korea I worked for a communications company doing billing. If a Spanish-speaking person called in, I just transferred them to the Spanish line. I feel like that's the way most big companies are moving towards. There is such an influx population of individuals who cannot communicate in English so companies are making changes to accommodate them.
Once again, before moving to Korea, I would probably be outraged if a job requirement that I was qualified for demanded that I be fluent in Spanish. I would think, "They came to our country. They should know English. Period." But Korea changed me.
I don't know Korean. Period. Yet in Korea, I can always find someone who can communicate minimally with me. Even if it's a Konglish conversation with ridiculous hand gestures and picture-drawing, we communicate. My bank's website is in Korean and English. McDonald's menu is in Korean and English (as are a lot of restaurant menus).
I used to believe that if someone is here (America) to live, they should know the language or at least be making a serious attempt to learn it. I live in Korea. I'm not making any attempt other than what I pick up along the way to learn the language.
My view here is that I'm not here for good. I'm just here temporarily to make money and basically have a good time until I return to America. Well, who's to say that's what Mexicans aren't doing. Maybe they're here temporarily to make money so their children in Mexico can eat. And soon they hope to be financially stable enough to return to Mexico.
Korea really opened my eyes to how close-minded Americans are. Right now I can only ask for a beer and tell you that I'm drunk in Spanish but I'm inspired to be able to communicate to a growing population in my home land.
I can also count to twenty and I've mastered greetings in Spanish. Boo-ya!
Hola. Como estas?
Muy Bien. Y tu?
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