On Chinese Kids Who Don’t Speak Chinese

“I don’t agree with those parents avoid talking Spanish to their kids because they think English is a superior language,” Laura, a cheerful Mexican-American secretary used to say that in my old office.

It never dawned on me until today.

For the second time in mere months of my stay, I heard yet another Chinese American/British/Canadian who can’t speak Chinese was trying to make Chinese speaking English to them.

I’m sorry, but something amiss is here.  You are Chinese and you are in China?

The most bothersome were those second-generation Chinese-overseaers – who wouldn’t even try! how in the world did you not learn any basics from you parents’ language?  It only speak one of three things: either your parents were ignorant, you were ignorant, or both of you were ignorant.

For those Chinese couples raising kids in English-speaking countries, don’t they understand that their kids are exposed to better English outside of their houses?  Why would those put their poorer English into their offsprings’ heads while those kids could gain an huge advantage by learning another language that’s spoken by nearly one-third of the world – right from their mothers?  WHAT, were they thinking?

Arrogance, contempt, ignorance….

I guess the reason I never really met those people in person is because I tend to disassociate myself with those kind of people, the people who ignore their heritage from the very start.  To me, heritage is something very important, I care where I’m from. And who would not?

Not to mention now they have ripped millions of opportunities from their kids right from the start.

It doesn’t matter if you speak bad Chinese, if you speak it, then you at least paid a little bit of respect to your heritage.  So please don’t come to me and ask me to speak English, if you are a second generation Chinese in China.  I expect you speak BOTH English and Chinese.