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  • - A bunch of kids were like making fun of me, like,

  • why does your mom say say your name weird?

  • And I was offended a little bit.

  • I was acting and singing in my first musical play.

  • I noticed that my mom was sitting right

  • in the restricted front row area.

  • She wasn't allowed to do that, ha.

  • But, I mean, I love it.

  • - I remember my teacher said that I was doing

  • really bad in history.

  • And it was just very embarrassing, too,

  • because I had to translate that to my mom.

  • - There was this time that the dryer broke.

  • And then my dad likes to fix everything.

  • But he goes to the store, comes home and he tells me,

  • I need a thum-o-stat.

  • I'm like, dad, I don't know, there's no thum-o-stat.

  • And he talks to the guy again and then I'm like,

  • you wanted a thermostat this whole time.

  • He was like, sometimes you just have to try

  • to understand what I'm saying.

  • - The telemarketer, they'd come, and she'd say,

  • hey, come talk to them, and I would stand on the phone.

  • I'd find out that they were trying to convince me,

  • like a, you know, seven to eight year old,

  • trying to sell me insurance and I don't know how

  • to respond to that.

  • - Every afternoon my mom would walk my brother and I

  • down to the park in our community.

  • This little girl started kicking sand in my direction.

  • My mom, without touching her,

  • she puts her hand over her legs, and she just said, stop.

  • She ran off.

  • There were four or five big women pushing each other

  • out of the way, grabbing each other by the shoulders saying,

  • let me get a piece of her, let me get a piece of her.

  • My mom just sort of stood there like why are you talking

  • to me, I don't know what's going on.

  • I stood in front of her, eight year old me,

  • and I just did this with my hands to protect my mom.

  • There were all these horrific things that were being said

  • to my mom and I had to translate all of that.

  • I lost it.

  • Now I was crying and, you know, standing behind her

  • holding onto her shirt.

  • Soon enough, boom.

  • Punch straight to the face.

  • - Because her priorities were always work, work, work

  • in order to survive she had no time and energy

  • to dedicate to learning English.

  • - When it comes to shame, I feel like not only do they

  • feel it but I get the first wave of that shame.

  • Having to hear things like why don't your parents

  • speak English?

  • You know, while your dad or your mom are here in

  • the background saying things like,

  • oh, that lady, she didn't treat us very well.

  • You know, she spoke like she was very mean.

  • - Since I was a young child trying to help translate

  • for my parents people always had this idea that I didn't

  • have the capabilities of understanding what the

  • conversation was about.

  • - And I know that when I was younger, I'd, oh God,

  • I'd get so frustrated asking my parents,

  • mom, can you help me write a sentence?

  • I'm sorry, mija, I don't know how to do that.

  • Go ask your dad.

  • Okay.

  • Dad, can you help me write a sentence?

  • I'm sorry, mija, I don't know how to do that.

  • - She came home from work and she was, like,

  • acting very frustrated and I was like, mom, what's up?

  • And she was like, you know Sara, you don't understand!

  • And I was like, what do you mean, mom?

  • And she was like, I'm stupid.

  • And she said, I'm slow.

  • I'm uneducated.

  • And that's how, like, I knew, like,

  • my biggest regret in my entire life is that

  • I didn't teach my mom more English when I was a kid.

  • - My dad was a veteran of Vietnam War.

  • My parents had to flee the country so every time

  • I have to translate for them I think about

  • why do I even have to do that and it's because

  • they sacrificed so much to be here for me.

  • - Now that I'm older I feel like they don't even

  • need to learn English.

  • Knowing more than I should know about my parents,

  • as a younger kid, makes me feel much more capable

  • to take care of them when they're older.

  • - I just want to tell my parents how much I'm grateful

  • for them regardless of sometimes this forced

  • responsibility of having to be there and translating

  • for them.

  • It's the least I can do to repay them for all

  • their sacrifices.

  • - Mommy!

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • It means I love you, mom.

  • Very much.

  • (light ethereal music)

- A bunch of kids were like making fun of me, like,

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A2 US BuzzFeed mom translate stat work work frustrated

When Your Parents Speak Broken English

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/24
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