U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-21-2012, 08:35 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
Reputation: 11862

Advertisements

Sometimes when I travel in Asia - and I've been to 5 countries in SE Asia and China now, and I tell people I'm from Australia, many seem either unable to understand or accept this. Well maybe not A LOT, but a sizable minority. Even if my accent isn't obvious enough, some of them have said 'I don't believe you, I think you're from [insert random Asian country]' as if the only Australians are white people.

They probably don't understand that Australian is a nation of immigrants and not homogeneous unlike most Asian nations, but it's annoying that they can't seem to wrap their head around this. I wonder what they think when you tell them that you only speak English, lol.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-21-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
6,620 posts, read 11,666,509 times
Reputation: 6603
Can't say that I've ever encountered this Trimac. The only thing remotely close that I can think of is how my Father's family (native Korean) can't wrap their heads around why he married a white woman from NY.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:46 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Sometimes when I travel in Asia - and I've been to 5 countries in SE Asia and China now, and I tell people I'm from Australia, many seem either unable to understand or accept this. Well maybe not A LOT, but a sizable minority. Even if my accent isn't obvious enough, some of them have said 'I don't believe you, I think you're from [insert random Asian country]' as if the only Australians are white people.

They probably don't understand that Australian is a nation of immigrants and not homogeneous unlike most Asian nations, but it's annoying that they can't seem to wrap their head around this. I wonder what they think when you tell them that you only speak English, lol.
I spent many years in South Korea, and noticed that all the time. If they see a Korean-looking person, it's just bizarre that they can't speak Korean.

In both Korea and Japan, I've been with my Asian wife who is neither Japanese or Korean. She doesn't look like either either, as she's southeast Asian. However, routinely when we go to restaurants, they always ignore me assuming I don't know anything, and look at her, assuming she must know everything as she's Asian.

It's actually the opposite though as I've spent a lot more time in Korea and Japan than my wife. Nontheless, it is what it is.

I've also spent a lot of time with Korean-Americans in Korea, and they get a ton of grief for not speaking perfect Korean.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I spent many years in South Korea, and noticed that all the time. If they see a Korean-looking person, it's just bizarre that they can't speak Korean.

In both Korea and Japan, I've been with my Asian wife who is neither Japanese or Korean. She doesn't look like either either, as she's southeast Asian. However, routinely when we go to restaurants, they always ignore me assuming I don't know anything, and look at her, assuming she must know everything as she's Asian.

It's actually the opposite though as I've spent a lot more time in Korea and Japan than my wife. Nontheless, it is what it is.

I've also spent a lot of time with Korean-Americans in Korea, and they get a ton of grief for not speaking perfect Korean.
Oh I know, it must be annoying for you. I think, though, generally people will know I'm a tourist by how I'm dressed, but occasionally I've had people try to talk to me in the language of the country I'm visiting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,795 posts, read 11,765,661 times
Reputation: 5149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
They probably don't understand that Australian is a nation of immigrants and not homogeneous unlike most Asian nations, but it's annoying that they can't seem to wrap their head around this. I wonder what they think when you tell them that you only speak English, lol.
From my experience, seems in China, you have to speak the local dialect to be accepted as one of them.. even speaking Mandarin isn't anything special since many Westerners are learning it in droves.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 09:11 AM
 
Location: TX
740 posts, read 1,841,724 times
Reputation: 295
As far as traveling went, I've personally have not encountered it (yet). They don't mention it to me. But on Facebook, that's a different story. I hear a lot of criticisms - many that bordered on prejudices - by Asian-based Chinese. Even a number of Western-based Chinese do it too. All of them were men (women tend to be less uptight about it). Has a lot to do with the way they were raised and the attitudes they fostered at home. Or maybe it's just the more uptight, anal, self-loathing ones that are most vocal in cyberspace, probably for lack of social life (or girlfriends). I now realize why I don't like to hang out with those guys. Because they keep reminding me of how ugly home was. Tired of seeing the glass half-empty.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 04:15 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 2,343,533 times
Reputation: 416
When I go back to my country, I get a lot of positive looks from people, mostly because I speak fluent English and I look and dress different. I don't speak my language fluently but I can get by with it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 05:44 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,458,887 times
Reputation: 4442
Ive been to China, Japan, Hong kong, Macau, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Never encountered this. People just hear me speak English and see how i dress and they know i only look asian...but im American. Id be asked if i was from the US, Canada or Oz. The only place ive encountered this was in the US from Americans who assumed I should speak Chinese and know karate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: North Hollywood
331 posts, read 617,116 times
Reputation: 220
I get this in Los Angeles when I come across people from China or Korea. I was born and raised in Britain and have a British accent. My parents were from India, so I look Indian.

They never believe me when I say I'm from UK, and even after I've explained it to them, they still don't accept me as British. They consider me Indian and sometimes I catch them saying something like "When you go back to India.."...I've never lived in India! Having to explain my background gets really tiresome after a while.

I never have this problem with white, black or Hispanic people - they accept me as being British.

Funnily enough in Hong Kong everybody would try to speak to me in Cantonese - I guess they thought I was a local...I know that there's a long established Hong Kong Indian community.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2012, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
2,702 posts, read 2,107,318 times
Reputation: 1456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Sometimes when I travel in Asia - and I've been to 5 countries in SE Asia and China now, and I tell people I'm from Australia, many seem either unable to understand or accept this. Well maybe not A LOT, but a sizable minority. Even if my accent isn't obvious enough, some of them have said 'I don't believe you, I think you're from [insert random Asian country]' as if the only Australians are white people.

They probably don't understand that Australian is a nation of immigrants and not homogeneous unlike most Asian nations, but it's annoying that they can't seem to wrap their head around this. I wonder what they think when you tell them that you only speak English, lol.
People of European descent make up 90% of Australia's population, so many people are probably unaware of the Asian minority in your country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top