Every day, Americans of all races encounter the problem of walking into a store and hearing people of other ethnicities speaking other languages. It is frustrating to have to interrelate with other individuals and not be able to connect fully with them because of a linguistic barrier. In the articles, The F Word by Dumas, Mother Tongue by Tan and Aria by Rodriguez, the difficulties of being an immigrant are stated. Many immigrants have problems adapting to a new society and sometimes society does not understand. Every day, they endure many problems such as not being understood, having to learn a new language, and discrimination. Many immigrants have overcome the obstacles of not being understood. Amy Tan, an Asian immigrant, had to interpret for her mother at times. Her mother spoke English, but not clearly. She would at times feel uncomfortable because she spoke better English than her mother did. Amy Tan’s mother knew she was difficult to understand. Amy Tan explains, “My mother has longed realized her limitations of her English”, so she would have her daughter talk to others who needed help understanding her. Any immigrant knows that moving to another place will be challenging. However, Dumas’ case she did not think that it would be so difficult just because of her name. Dumas article, is an account of how Dumas and her family moved to America and faced their challenges. At a young age Dumas decided to change her name to Julie. After doing this, she felt like she connected with the people more. During college Dumas changed her name back. She could not get a job interview for anything. But, then she added Julie to her name again and the phone calls came in. If someone has a different name they will not even look through the applicants’ application even if they are the only that is qualified for the job. Having so many linguistically challenged people has caused the Americans to adapt to their needs.
While knowing your first language may be comfortable, learning a new language can be hard and frustrating. It can be extremely difficult especially if there is not enough help to teach or learn. Learning a new language is considered a necessity if you want to be understood. Rude actions or statements could occur due to misunderstandings. These article states that Americans were not open to accept your culture and difference, and instead of accepting it, they teased and offended what they were unsure of. In author of Aria, Rodriguez’s, case he decided to give in to society and push his culture away. Rodriguez wanted to fit in and feel accepted by others due to the cruel teasing of people whom did not speak English. An example in Tan’s case would be, when the receptionist at the Dr.’s office mispronounced Dumas’ name. I questioned whether or not this thoughtless and cruel action was intentional or a true mistake. I then agreed with the idea that it was impolite and unconscious on the receptionist’s behalf. One who deals with numerous patients should be capable to pronounce a name or perhaps spell out the name if unsure how to pronounce. Your name even effected the job opportunities which I found awful and truly disgusting. Discrimination is an ugly trait but is present in both articles.
Discrimination is present in both of these articles in many subtle ways that may not seem so subtle. Tan and Dumas can relate more than Rodriguez, due to the way they were mistreated at the doctor’s office. Tan and her mother were offended more than Dumas but both actions were uncalled for. Today most of society accepts each other’s differences and embraces them, wanting to learn about other cultures. In my opinion, Tan and Dumas should have raised some noise together about the incidents that occurred. Another way discrimination was displayed in these two articles, is when Dumas changed her name to Julie. I would have never thought that having an Americanized name would be a qualification for a career. For example, when Dumas applied for the jobs in her real name, “Firoozeh”, Dumas did not receive calls back even though all real qualifications were met. But, once the name was changed to Julie the calls began to pour in and companies wanted this Julie. Likewise, this also made me wonder if this was a coincidence or ignorance. I believe the company looked at the name and offhand believed you did not speak English. Companies receive complaints from nasty customers explaining they could not understand their service representative. Deep thought and emotion were put into these articles I believe. Immigrants overall suffer numerous complications such as not being understood, having to learn a new language, and discrimination. Tan, Dumas, and Rodriguez all bring up specific points of their own on assimilation. Tan sticks to her culture and by her mother’s side, not caring what the rest of society thinks about her clothes, language, etc. Dumas on the other hand, has a change of heart. Dumas changes her name now and again to Julie but sticks to her roots somewhat. Last, Rodriguez all together pushes away his culture and becomes Americanized. One thing the authors do have in common is that they are all immigrants from different backgrounds, some like it some do not.