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Miracle Creek


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The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

Created: 04/16/20

Replies: 9

Posted Apr. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

The author writes that Pak was a different person in English than in Korean, and speculates immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true? Why or why not?


Posted Apr. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 496

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

There is definitely much truth to this. Few Americans experience this since the majority travel to locations where the people speak enough English to get by. When I have been in remote locations of so-called "developing countries," I have been frustrated with myself for not learning more of the destination country's language. Suddenly the travel phrases are useless: I would like coffee...What time is it...I want to go to the airport. I am always glad that I have learned the phrase to say I am sorry that I do not speak [their language], and it has been embarrassing to have to hold out a handful of the local currency and let the shop owner select what I owe. I am so appreciative of their patience. Absolutely it takes away some of one's competence.


Posted Apr. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolc

Join Date: 02/03/20

Posts: 13

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I agree with Rebecca that as a visitor to a foreign country and not speaking much of the language limits and somewhat belittles you. I also noticed that when I was teaching and my students had to attend the parent/teacher conferences to translate for their parents. Everyone felt uncomfortable, and I knew these parents were bright and educated, but hadn't yet mastered english. Their confidence grew the longer they were in America, however, and I'm glad they chose to continue celebrating their own particular culture in their homes.


Posted Apr. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 39

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I am not an immigrant nor have never traveled abroad and I haven't read many books related to the immigrant process so I don't know that I have much to say on this other than that what the author speculates could be true. I can't imagine going to another country to try to assimilate and become a citizen of that country. I can see where the author took that stand in describing Pak in both his home country and America.


Posted Apr. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 59

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I believe there is much truth to this. I have a few immigrant friends and have seen this play out in their lives too.


Posted Apr. 28, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
audrey1

Join Date: 09/02/13

Posts: 43

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I would not put it that way. I have known many people who have come to the US as adults and it is a terrible task to try to figure out the rules when you cannot even understand the words, much less the subtext of life.
In most families the kids become assimilated earlier and easier because they go to school and so they are totally focused on becoming a part of their peers and that means being able to communicate with them but also take on the trappings of their peers in terms of language, behavior, clothes, culture. So they of course think their parents are old fashioned and dismiss their wisdom. And the parents hold on to the past because that is all they have ever known.


Posted Apr. 28, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
audrey1

Join Date: 09/02/13

Posts: 43

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

The other responses reminds me that my husband and I had to live in Costa Rica for 5 weeks to facilitate the adoption of our daughters. I was very conscious that I was the outsider. So I always acted self depreciating with people we related to. We did not stay in a hotel in the capital but in the mountains of Costa RIca so we got around on buses and taxis and only rented a car after we had been there for a couple weeks. The first thing I remembered was to see myself as a Norte Americana, sola and apologized for speaking not wonderful Spanish. And I always said gracias when anyone helped me or waited on me in supermarkets or taxis or buses or wherever. All the foreigners congregated in the one main bank where it was possible to change American money or whatever for Costa Rican money. I can still remember how thankful I was to just speak English and not have to go through the mental gymanstics of comprehending Spanish in my mind, figuring out how to answer and then speak Spanish so that I could b e understoo d. The funny thing was that All the foreigners wanted to eat in "typico" restaurants but at lunch time it was the American fast food restaurants that were packed. My kids thought they had gone to heaven at the thought of being able to go to McDonalds. It was not a part of their everyday life.


Posted Apr. 30, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 86

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I have to agree with that statement. Having traveled quite a bit, I have been in countries where I do not speak the language and not necessarily familiar with the cultural nuances, I have similar thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and incompetence. Being in a country where you cannot speak the language or are not sure of particular customs does make one feel uncomfortable, inadequate, insecure and yes even incompetent. I have to think that moving to a country exaggerates all these feelings as there is more permanence. How the "foreigner" is perceived by the local community will contribute to these feelings if they are "eyed" suspiciously, not trusted, not accepted. The path of the immigrant is not a smooth one and I have a great deal of respect and empathy for those who choose this path.


Posted May. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wendyf

Join Date: 05/11/11

Posts: 50

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

Often immigrants are forced to take employment that is well under their skills in their home countries. I've heard stories of people who were healthcare professionals that come to the US and have to take jobs as shopkeepers etc. I think this speaks to becoming child versions of themselves. It changes who they are and who they believe themselves to be. It can be a very sad thing.


Posted May. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poniesnpearls

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 71

RE: The author speculates that immigrants "become child versions of themselves, stripped of their verbal fluency and, with it, a layer of their competence and maturity." Do you believe this is true?

I think being looked at as 'foreign' and not speaking the native language when traveling can make it difficult to feel competent when trying to communicate. I can only imagine the longer term impact of moving somewhere where the native language is not your own. Finding housing, a job, different foods, different styles, trying to learn, etc., is probably intimidating. However, I also want to mention that even traveling between countries that speak the same language often have differences that, while smaller in comparison, also impact communications.


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