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Tien Phan

Written Task 1
Part 1: Language in Cultural Context
For this written task, I decided to write a blog about the struggle of a person
being an American-born Vietnamese. The blogger would talk about how her
grandparents come to visit and make her speak Vietnamese all day and all night. Also,
I wanted to let the readers feel her frustration and irritation of having to speak
Vietnamese constantly, and her responsibility of keeping the Vietnamese blood
running through generations and such. I got my idea for the blog from the lessons we
did in class for the unit of Language in Cultural Context: Race, Gender, and Culture.
We read through different texts like Viva Spanglish and American-born Chinese;
the two texts discuss the stereotypes society cast on individuals and expect them to
speak perfect Spanish or do things that a typical Chinese would do. Also, we watched
videos of Margaret Cho talking about how she feels when people expect her to speak
perfect Korean. I was inspired by the idea of being the first generation of Americans
when parents moved and such so I wanted to explore on this notion of feeling the
pressure the first generation would get from the old generations to keep the ancestral
roots and heritage going from this generation to another. Therefore, I decided to write
my blog with a voice of a teenage girl because teenagers are annoyed constantly and
are stubborn all the time. They just want to have fun so they dont want to be tied
down to any responsibility. My audience is fellow teenagers who are first generation
Americans born of immigrant parents. The purpose of this task would be for the
blogger to express her feelings about the pressure her family puts on her with regard
to language and culture, as well as keeping up with the cultural norms.
Word Count: 300
Tien Phan
Written Task 1
Part 1: Language in Cultural Context
Written Task 1
September 4, 2014: D DAY-30 MINUTES!!
If youve been following my blog, youd have known that today is the date my
grandparents fly from Vietnam to visit me. Just thinking of it gives me the chills and
anxiety. If anyone of you were American-born Vietnamese, youd understand me
when I say my grandparents are the most traditional and strictest Vietnamese people
out there. They make me speak Vietnamese all day and all night, talk to them in
perfect Vietnamese everyday so that I wont lose my culture and ancestral roots,
blah blah blah. Our conversation would be like this:
Chao Ong Ba, con moi di hoc ve! (Hi grands, I just got home!)
Chau moi ve day a, vao day ke chuyen Ong ba nghe nao, grannyd say. (You just
got home! Come here and tell me hows your day!)
Uhmchau di hoc binh thuongh-hom nay chao hoc toan, tieng Anh va cac mon
khac (*stuttering* my day was fine. Today I studied Math, English and other stuff)
And so on with the normal conversation a grandchild would have with her
Guys, you have to know this. I, literally, translated straight from English to
Vietnamese. Sometimes, I think I have a language-translating machine in my head.
No joke, guys! Not to be arrogant or seem off to be a smarty-pants, but I can use this
machine 24/7/365. It often comes to help but sometimes, when Im in an awkward
situation, like the speakers talking in Vietnamese way too fast, my machine would go
haywire and my face is like a blank placard. Then, I would look like a puppet that
cant give any emotions and just look dumb. I seriously wanted to bury myself down
a hole to hide from all the shame. I wish you guys would be there to take a picture of
me. Its freaking hilarious! I know my friends would be rolling on the floor, laughing
their a**es off whenever they see me talking to an adult in Vietnamese. I know you
guys would because yallre my friends, of course ;)
Oh, I think I hear my parents calling me to get in the car so we can go the airport.
Dun, dun, dun! Farewell guys, Im off to pick up my grandparents Hope they
would be at least pleasant of my decent Vietnamese accent. Fingers crossed!
See you guys later xoxo
September 11, 2014:
Hi guys,
Im so so sorry for my absence this week. Like, honestly, I wish I could have talked to
you guys sooner and tell you guys about my endeavor in TRYING to speak
Vietnamese to my grands. Notice the word trying is capitalized. You see, I do put
my utmost efforts into it. But, you guys, you know what? Not everyone was pleased
with my attempt INCLUDING MY GRANDPARENTS. To be honest, I feel like
Im the only who ever gave a damn about speaking Vietnamese and keeping to my
ancestral roots. My other cousins would mix English into their sentence, they would
act like they are true Americans, and no adults would say anything about it. But,
whenever I talk, all eyes are on me. LITERALLY, NO JOKES! All tens of hundreds
pair of eyes in the room are on me. Its like Im giving a speech whenever I open my
mouth. Its so irritating, honestly! After the get-together, I asked my mom why theyd
do that and I said that I felt victimized by the pressure everyone put on me as the
oldest kid in the room. My mom would give me a general saying, like every other
time, that because Im the oldest kid, I have to keep traditional customs and the
cultural norms of the family. I mean, just because Im the oldest kid, it doesnt mean
that I have to be the perfect kid. Arghhh!!! So frustrating honestly.
In addition to that, you obviously would know those kinds of looks that make you feel
pity of yourself and youve let down everyones expectations. Exactly, those kinds! I
think if for every look Ive got I would get $1 in return, I can buy myself a machine
that would kill them off for every time they look at me like that. But then again, that
would only happen in fantasy world so dreams would still be dream of course.
Hahahahahaha I probably sound like a mad scientist right now I need to let off
some steam, guys! I promise Ill be back very soon :D
September 18, 2014
Hellooooo my loveliest readers,
Today would be the last day my grands are staying here because tomorrow, they will
leave to fly back to VN. Yassss!!!! I should not be happy like this, and I actually do
feel guilty a bit but you know what, I dont. If you were living with me, you would
feel the awkward atmosphere between my grands and I. Youd have probably cut it
with a knife haha. Honestly, I feel like my Vietnamese could have improved by now
but sometimes, I cant help it to slip back into my American side. I do apologize for
not being able to keep up with my Vietnamese side but Ive been living in America
for my entire life and I do try to speak in Vietnamese with my parents every day.
Honestly though, its very frustrating sometimes that I cant express to my grands
what I actually want to say in English, since I have to speak to them in Vietnamese. If
I even said anything in English, Id have to do house chore for that day. Like, one
time, I translated the phrase get it out of the way into cho ra khoi duong
(meaning: get out of the house, LOL) while talking to my mom. So, she thought I was
being rude and youd probably know what happened next. HELP!!
Now, I have to go do chores

Word Count: 953

Tien Phan
Written Task 1
Part 1: Language in Cultural Context
Works cited
Gonzalez, Lilly. "Viva Spanglish!" Texas Monthly. N.p., Oct. 2001. Web. 29 Apr.
2014. <>.
Yang, Gene L. "American Born Chinese : Gene Luen Yang." Gene Luen Yang
Humble Comics. First Second Books, 2006. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.