Culture a Misunderstanding

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Culture a Misunderstanding

“Not only the entire ability to think rests on language... but language is also the crux of the misunderstanding of reason with itself.” This quote by Johann G. Hamann talks about language and how it can be misunderstood. What he means is if you don’t understand someone because you don’t speak that language how things are going to work out. Everything will just be you listening to someone but you can’t comprehend what the person is saying. Just like in the two short stories “Wrong Channel” by Roberto Fernandez and “The True Story of Mr. and Mrs. Wong” by Marilyn Chin. In the two stories both main characters are in disbelief of what is going on in the culture around them. In the short story “Wrong Channel” by Roberto Fernandez, the main character Barbarita is a Cuban immigrant in the United States. This story portrays a miscommunication between cultures. In the beginning Barbarita was waiting nervously in her home. We know that she was nervous because the first line in the story says “Barbarita waited impatiently for her ride as beads of sweat dripped from her eyebrows into her third cup of cold syrupy espresso”. Barbarita’s friend Mima had pulled up and told Barbarita to make sure she looks healthy for the doctor. Here we find out that Barbarita is living in Miami and going to the doctors to get her green card. At the doctor’s office Barbarita was more nervous than ever she knocked over the reader’s digest and bibles off the table in the office. Before entering the exam room we friend out that not only is Mima a friend but also an interrupter for Barbarita. When the doctor entered the room he wanted to know if Barbarita had ever had TB (Tuberculosis), but because of the accent in America, Mima had misunderstood the doctor causing Barbarita to be confused. Mima thought the doctor asked if she had a TV which is funny because no matter the language it is easy to misunderstand because they sound the same. Barbarita...
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