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  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1468

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #120 on: February 09, 2019, 07:56:58 pm »
Not sure who you met, but that isn't my experience at all. I'm a 2nd generation Korean-Canadian, and all my 2nd generation Asian-Canadian friends speak English as their primary language. Not sure who you met, but perhaps they were 1.5 (born overseas, but immigrated before they were 18), who may say their 2nd generation, but aren't. I know many like to claim they were born in country, but you can often tell by their accents (depends at what age they arrived) it obviously isn't true. Some who came before 12-ish years old often sound native though, but probably still more comfortable in their 1st languages.

Our ancestral language skills vary widely, some pretty fluent, and some barely can speak a word of their parent's languages. If among ourselves we'll use english, unless we are with one of our immigrant cousins.
     Oh, many of them were definitely 1st generation (or 1.5ers, like you say), but if you go to places like Richmond or Surrey in the Vancouver metropolitan area there are schools where the majority of students belong to immigrant families. Of these kids, a fair number were born and raised in the neighbourhood but still require extensive English remedial classes. Many schools there hire ELL specialists to help those children. It's not really surprising when you have over half a million people of Chinese descent living in an area to find that a fair number of them don't feel the need to speak anything other than Mandarin, regardless of how long they've lived there.

     Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to say that all Chinese immigrants and their locally-born kids can't speak English. I'm just pointing out that it does occasionally come up, and that when it does, it demonstrates how some enclaves can fulfill all the needs of those that live in them to the point where the city outside the enclave is pretty superfluous to its residents. In Canada, the ethnicities most likely to form such strong enclaves tend to be from China, Korea, India, etc, etc.  In Korea, the ethnicities most likely to form strong enclaves would probably be different.

   Anyway, I'm sure you're right in that YMMV.  :undecided:
   I mean, outside of Van and Toronto, these kinds of issues tend to pop up much less frequently.
Interesting. I have yet to encounter anyone born in Canada/US, who grew up, and schooled, in Canada, to have difficulty speaking English. Sure in school many maybe be put in those remedial stream English classes, along with a good chunk of your white Canadians, because English Language Arts does suck imo... Just say, I ahem... cough.. cough... absolutely hated reading books, and writing essays in school, and doing critiques of what I did over the Christmas break, and was always down in that 60%-70% when it came to my grades in English, and French.

As for your Canadian born students not being able to speak fluent English, maybe the went back to their parent's country for a period of time?... Anyways, I wish I knew more details of your encounters to see if something can explain it aside from the 'enclave' factor.


Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #121 on: February 10, 2019, 01:04:01 am »
Have you met anyone from rural Quebec?   Lot's of people there don't speak much English at all.
How about some older generation first nations peoples?   There are plenty of older folk who speak
only marginal English.

I know this is not exactly what you were talking about, but it does prove a point.   (to some degree)

Just growing up in a Country where English is the main language does not guarantee fluency or even
moderate proficiency.   There are loads of cultural, socio-economic and other issues that come into play.

With regard to my Chinese-Canadian friend; I think if he would have gone on to university, his English would
have improved greatly.   Doing what he's doing, he has no opportunity to improve and no real incentive.
His parents run the local Chinese cafe and speak mostly Cantonese to each other.  The bit of broken English
they speak certainly does nothing to help him.   I suppose television and the internet are now his only
links to the outside world, but I am not sure he can improve much without some kind of intensive grammar
course so he can deal with all his fossilized errors.  At work he only has limited conversational opportunities as
he works in an equipment wash bay and doesn't use language much for his job.

There are lots of Filipinos living and working in this area with similar issues as well as
plenty of Pakistanis and other South East Asians.  (and more coming all the time)



  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 4916

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #122 on: February 10, 2019, 10:21:04 am »
Have you met anyone from rural Quebec?   Lot's of people there don't speak much English at all.
How about some older generation first nations peoples?   There are plenty of older folk who speak
only marginal English.

I'm not certain if this is the best analogy, as French is the first and only official language in Quebec. Students there learn English as a second language and there's pressure --both social and political -- for kids to postpone its acquisition until later in life.
   It's like being from any other province and not being fluent in French -- a bit strange (if that), but no biggy.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1468

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #123 on: February 10, 2019, 04:22:13 pm »
There are lots of Filipinos living and working in this area with similar issues as well as
plenty of Pakistanis and other South East Asians.  (and more coming all the time)
And again, most, of not all, were probably born overseas.

As I mentioned before, the 1st generation is a write-off. It's the 2nd generation you have to watch. I'm willing to bet a few choco-pies that of the ones born, and spent all of their schooling in Canada, that 99.99% of them will speak English as their primary language.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 04:32:09 pm by pkjh »


Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #124 on: February 11, 2019, 08:47:13 am »
As someone who grew up in a city with a large Asian and Korean population, I never met a 2nd gen Korean who DIDN'T speak fluent English or use English as their primary mode of communication. Same with other 2nd gens I've met, whether they're form Cali or NY or 'other' or Canada.

There is such a gap between 1st and 2nd gen. We had KISA (1st and international students) and KSA (2nd Gen). 1.5s who came during H.S. generally went KISA while those that came in middle school or earlier almost always went to KSA. The two organizations really struggled to get along, despite some attempts. There were even a few brawls and beefs as I recall. Heck, there was even a difference in which Korean restaurants people ate at on and off campus. Families might attend the same church, but the 2nd gens would all attend English service while the 1st and maybe 1.5s would all go to Korean service. In some cases, 2nd gens would attend the big church on campus which was about 90% 2nd gen Asian/Non-Asian international Student.

It was weird, even though I'm not in either group, being adopted, I got along with 1.5s the most of all. Like too many 2nd gens were all in that Cali wannabe gangster vibe and were filled with anger. The 1st gens, well it was clear that speaking English was a chore for them. 1.5s had a diverse enough group of friends that English and different stuff was comfortable, but none of the stupidity of 2nd gens. 


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 4916

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #125 on: February 11, 2019, 08:59:16 am »
1.5s had a diverse enough group of friends that English and different stuff was comfortable, but none of the stupidity of 2nd gens.
    As a 1/1.5 myself, I can assure you that many of us have managed to achieve all the stupidity of 2nd geners, while still managing to retain most of the stupidity of the old country as well.  :smiley:


Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #126 on: February 11, 2019, 09:04:34 am »
1.5s had a diverse enough group of friends that English and different stuff was comfortable, but none of the stupidity of 2nd gens.
    As a 1/1.5 myself, I can assure you that many of us have managed to achieve all the stupidity of 2nd geners, while still managing to retain most of the stupidity of the old country as well.  :smiley:
Yeah, but at least it wasn't that wannabe gangsta crap. Plenty of other dumb stuff, but I didn't really care for the number of Cali kyopos who thought about everything in 'gang' terms. Eff that. NY kyopos may have been stuck up and cold, but at least they weren't dropping N-bombs every 5th word and trying to brawl the Vietnamese at Asian night at Club Nectarine.

I was also luck in having a bunch of different groups I could chill with, so Koreadom acted as my break from other scenes and other scenes were my break from Koreadom.


Re: Other Foreigners that look guilty af when they walk by you
« Reply #127 on: February 11, 2019, 08:45:20 pm »
There are lots of Filipinos living and working in this area with similar issues as well as
plenty of Pakistanis and other South East Asians.  (and more coming all the time)
And again, most, of not all, were probably born overseas.

As I mentioned before, the 1st generation is a write-off. It's the 2nd generation you have to watch. I'm willing to bet a few choco-pies that of the ones born, and spent all of their schooling in Canada, that 99.99% of them will speak English as their primary language.


Sorry for my rambing posts.  I guess my point was, it depends;

If the 2nd gen goes to university and uses English in their job, yes they are fully fluent.

Those who work in trades or other kinds of jobs where language of any kind is not used much,
(cleaning staff, and other such jobs) then they may not end up with great language skills.