Dinner yesterday at Season 52 with one of my friends. We went early, 4:30PM. The place was half empty. Our conversation veered towards Hmart and Lotte, two competing Korean grocery chains, both located in Edison, one on Route 27 and one on Route 1. I told her that in Hmart I met at least two people who comes from Jilin Province of China, who are Korean Chinese, who must speak a different accented Korean. If she ever talks with them, she would find out. She’s a Korean American from South Korea. She asked me if I talked with them in Chinese and I said yes. They speak a different accented Chinese, I said. Then the conversation veered towards Southeast Asia. Once I met a person who speak four languages, Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, but he’s considered a native speaker to none. Then I said people in Malaysia speak their own English called Manglish and people in Singapore speak their Singlish. We laughed at their accent.
However I felt deeply unhappy with our conversation. I am especially unhappy with myself who couldn’t standup for people with accent–I am one of them myself. I despise myself. I am such a coward. I know she doesn’t know much about these things and I guess her opinion is most likely against accents or creole English of any form. So I cater my own opinion to her wishes, just to make it look like we are on the same side. I am so contemptible.
Although I don’t know much about creole English, I am fascinated about it. I bet there are more people speaking various kinds of creoles than the standard English in this world. I bet there are linguists who do research on these things.
Should I write her an email to denounce our conversation? She would think I am crazy. That will be overdoing it. Next time, when we talk about the same issue, voice my real opinion–I love accent and creole, and I don’t care for standard English. She probably will think I am fickle. Also I can’t claim that I love creole English since I know nothing about them. I have been chasing standard English, probably unsuccessfully, all these years.