posted on Dec, 25 2015 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: IAMTAT
Specifically, IS A Christmas Story racist in it's portrayal of the Chinese-American waiter's vocalizing of traditional Christmas songs...and
should Ted Turner be labeled a 'racist' for promoting it so much?
It is not racist.
As with all language-learning, there is a window of opportunity for certain soundbytes in each baby's brain. It's been proven that if the brain
doesn't hear the sound from others around them, they eventually won't be able to. Since there is no sound "L" in Chinese, they can't do it easily;
and I can't do the "!" sound in whatever African tribe's language. Very young we become unable to "hear" certain sounds. Some of us learn, like I
learned to roll my "rr" in Spanish - but there's nothing racist about a charming scene showing the staff's effort to sing-to-culture. It's absolutely
Perhaps I relate to it more than those who speak only one language. I am bilingual in Spanish - started training/learning at age 8. Kept with it.
Pronunciation is a matter of embouchure - how one holds the lips, tongue, cheeks, etc. In fact, when I've been not using Spanish for a while and then
go back into it (effortlessly), sometimes I notice afterward that those muscles "hurt."
Any wind instrument person can attest to having to "learn" how to hold one's mouth as well. I play flute.
And lastly, because I used to teach Spanish as a second language to adults (public workers, educators, hospital staff, etc)...they are generally
"afraid" to even try, because they feel like they'll be embarrassed and mocked. I always told them, "No. If your listeners chuckle, it's because they
are charmed by your effort. Just like when we hear someone use an odd turn of phrase (for example, "i did it by my own" - as my Norwegian friend
said), we chuckle. We don't laugh AT them - we are bonding, sort of."
And subtly thanking them for trying.
edit on 12/25/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)