Key words: Chinese refugees, immigration, communication, the United States, minority groups
In the 80s of 20th century, the first Chinese immigrants to the United States can be divided into various types- brain gain, oversea students, refugees etc. In this essay, refugees from China will be focused on. Chinese immigrants as refugees in the United States first suffered racial discrimination; most of them were poorly educated or even uneducated. As refugees, they could only take up some simple jobs in America, such as cleaners, build laborers or waste pickers. Most of them did not have the opportunity to receive formal education. And one of the most important aspects was language. Because of the working and living environment, Chinese refugees seldom had the chance to communicate with the local Americans. This situation resulted in the forming of minority groups. They shared the same language and the similar lifestyle. As time went by, the realized a group power, which gave them confidence and supported them when came across hardships. Because of the lack of language practice and the esteem gained from a minority group, the Chinese refugees might form their own way of communicating with the local Americans. They tended to express themselves by reinforcing their own language, mainly Chinese instead of immersing themselves in the American language. The local language, English, was influenced by these refugees. In this essay, these changes in American language will be discussed.
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