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Old 10-09-2012, 02:45 AM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,799,368 times
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I'm curious, what percent of Asian Americans who are at least 'first generation', as in citizens by naturalisation or born here can speak another Asian language in addition to their own, most likely the language of their country of origin/ancestry? Any stats broken down by 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation etc, nationality (Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese).etc. I wonder what percentage speak it at home.

It's hard to find similar stats even for here. There are stats reflecting languages spoken at home, but that seems to apply more to recent immigrants. I'm more interested in those who are culturally American.

I don't speak any other languages (other than a few words/phrases of Mandarin and Japanese), although I was born in Singapore and came to Australia at a young age. English is commonly spoken in Singapore though so my parents spoke English at home, although they can both speak other languages.

I know some Asian Australians who exclusively speak another language with their parents. I can't really imagine that, lol.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:46 AM
Location: Texas
44,269 posts, read 55,563,271 times
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I'm an asian american who speaks other languages (Spanish, Russian) besides Hindi, but those aren't asian, per se.
Though I was fluent in Bahasa when we lived in Indoesia for 9 years - nearly 20 years later, I have lost almost everything.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:53 AM
Location: Atlanta & NYC
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I'm Asian American and I speak English and Spanish.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:16 AM
Location: Shaw.
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I know a couple Chinese Americans who speak Cantonese and also studied Mandarin and Japanese. They're certainly not fluent, though.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:09 AM
Location: Atlanta & NYC
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I can say like two words in Korean and then it's over lol.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:47 PM
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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I'm part Asian American and i can speak English and Spanish Just about every single Hmong American i know can speak Hmong and English.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:48 AM
148 posts, read 205,225 times
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Default 1st gen naturalized

1st gen fil-am chicagoan. both parents from phillipines. Mom is from central luzon and dad is from northern illocos. So in my own family my dad speaks 3 dialects of phillipine language, illocano, tagalog and visayan. I only speak one of those, tagalog, although i can only read write speak english, i learned spanish in high school. I guess i can carry a decent conversation or even go shopping at the local latino flea market. Real talk, to me, seeing late 20-30 somethings like me easily speaking spanish even if they're not is becoming rather common. I believe those in disbelief about a latino explosion or increasing latino influence are seriously behind the times. I can find a way to live within my means and stay on budget by getting better deals shopping where i go... Now, i cannot write or barely read spanish, but at least i can buy what i need or order something authentic at a real mexican place and not taco hell... english meh what can i say its not a remarkable or beautiful language. I find it hilarious that my friends always ask me if my folks are arguing or mad. lol i say nope. Guess thats just how my parents talk - idk super fast. When i speak tagalog, its usually in the house, or when when im with my family. I find that language changes from culture to culture but the idea or thought behind a sentence is the same. That i found helped me most when learning spanish. Trying to translate makes learning another language harder. so to answer the og question: i speak tagalog but i know both english y espanol. and just cuz u know every word to gangnam style dont count. sorry. My first gen cousins mostly are the same as me, speak tagalog at home, speak english outside home. I would assume this is the case for majority 1st gen born Americans whose folks were foreign born. This is certainly the case with my latino and polish and indian friends. In fact this is the case most everywhere i go. If i go to subway, i see the indians running it. If i go to the laundry or cleaners its the latino lavanderia or the korean drycleaners. If i go get gas, its the egyptians at mobil. Even when my lady goes to get her mani, its the viet guys doin her nail job. My point? I'd bet none of those buisness owners speak english when they get home.

Last edited by jpchi60630; 10-15-2012 at 01:48 AM..
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:34 AM
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^ Interesting. But one correction, Tagalog, Ilocano, and Visayan are not dialects, they're separate languages. Filipinos call them dialects, but dialect implies that they're just variations of the same language. They're separate languages because someone speaking Tagalog cannot have a conversation with someone speaking Visayan or Ilocano. If they were truly dialects, then people speaking them could understand and communicate with each other using their own dialects. There are at least 120 different language in the Philippines, the number of dialects could be 300+

Anyways, back on topic. I find that first generation Filipinos overwhelmingly can speak the language, but the younger ones usually choose not to speak it often. Some 2nd generation Filipinos speak it, but I think most don't. 3rd generation, forget about it
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:42 AM
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
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I speak English, Tagalog, Spanish (slang mostly, ask my job how my formal Spanish is lol), German (really not that hard of a language to pick up, trust me), some French (I'm still surprised how much I can remember), and can read Arabic but not speak it (thanks for a useless skill Qu'ranic school).

I'm of Filipino ancestry, but I'm 100% American. I stick out like a sore thumb in Pinas because I dress, walk, talk, and think like an Amurrican.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:35 PM
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,805 posts, read 8,983,510 times
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English, Hindi, some Spanish & French.

Full SxSE Asian here. Not born in the United States either.
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