Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Moderators: Tempo Gain, TheGingerMan

Forum rules
We hope that the Living in Taiwan forum will be of value to you and others. To ensure this, please note:

It is best to capitalize topics and to avoid vague titles. “Hi, I’m new” and “Help please” are examples of bad titles.

Before posting, please check the FAQ thread, and – more importantly – use the search function to ensure that your topic has not been discussed before and that there is not an existing thread you could update with your contribution.

While Living in Taiwan is a busy, wide-ranging forum, there are other specific forums for relationships, teaching, business, legal issues, animals, food, events, travel, restaurants, and so on. Check the Forumosa menu to find the most appropriate place for your post.

While it is preferable to post questions dealing with dissimilar topics in separate threads (“How Much for an Apartment in Tianmu?”, “Are There Many Foreigners in Tianmu?”), if you are a new arrival, it is possible to present numerous questions in one post, but realize that your thread will then, after two weeks, be merged into the New to Taiwan: Some Questions thread.

Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby chupachups » 07 May 2012, 23:17

Hello.

I am European psychologist currently based at Taipei. I am doing research about social exclusion through language at Taiwan – that kind when people speak to you in English if you doesn’t look as Taiwanese for them even if they know you can speak Mandarin or Taiwanese. I don’t mean that kind of behavior, when people speak to you in English when they don’t know you (and they possibly turn into Mandarin/Taiwanese when they recognize you can speak them). I mean that behavior, when people continue to speak to you in English even if they know they could not and you are trying to continue in Mandarin/Taiwanese (and simultaneously they speak in Mandarin/Taiwanese to others but not to you).

I want to learn more about this behavior from people, who live at Taiwan longer than me and make some interviews with them.

If you live at Taiwan several years, you are visually distinguishable from Taiwan majority population, your Mandarin or Taiwanese speaking ability is enough to make a normal conversation (so you may have experience of that kind), you feel, that you have large experience with the behavior as described above, and you want to share your experience with me (maybe one hour interview in English, Mandarin or Korean), please contact me at:

chupachups567 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Thank you!
chupachups
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 9
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 19:00



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby ironlady » 07 May 2012, 23:23

chupachups wrote:Hello.

...I mean that behavior, when your appearance is “objectified” that way, that you are expected or demanded to be an English speaking person and people continue to speak to you in English even if they know they could not and you are trying to continue in Mandarin/Taiwanese (and simultaneously they speak in Mandarin/Taiwanese to others but not to you) and they exclude you from the community this way.


This is a rather large assumption, don't you think? I'm a sociolinguist and my belief is that this phenomenon has more to do with group identity and visual channel cues than a conscious effort to exclude. I think it would also be useful to look at the norms for language use in group situations among Chinese speakers with particular reference to the dialect situation. I've been in many situations where people would use their local dialect in front of other Mandarin speakers who didn't speak it, and no one thought anything of it (and we did ask).

I have had people insist on speaking English, even if I was answering them in Mandarin (or Taiwanese, but I could hardly blame them considering the sad state of my Taiwanese :D ) but I don't think I've ever felt it was an effort to exclude. After all, if it's obvious I understand Mandarin, what's the point? I still know what's going on, and I'm still using Mandarin as the code to communicate with the rest of the group.

Just not quite sure what you're getting at.
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
Squid for Brains Learning Games -- not your nainai's flash cards!
...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
Forumosan avatar
ironlady
Goddess of Fornication & Prostitutes (tōngjiān hé jìnǚ de nǚshén)
 
Posts: 8366
Joined: 13 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: A place where people can't sleep or teach English in McDonald's
87 Recommends(s)
321 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 0- 0-1987



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby chupachups » 07 May 2012, 23:35

ironlady wrote:
chupachups wrote:Hello.

...I mean that behavior, when your appearance is “objectified” that way, that you are expected or demanded to be an English speaking person and people continue to speak to you in English even if they know they could not and you are trying to continue in Mandarin/Taiwanese (and simultaneously they speak in Mandarin/Taiwanese to others but not to you) and they exclude you from the community this way.


This is a rather large assumption, don't you think? I'm a sociolinguist and my belief is that this phenomenon has more to do with group identity and visual channel cues than a conscious effort to exclude. I think it would also be useful to look at the norms for language use in group situations among Chinese speakers with particular reference to the dialect situation. I've been in many situations where people would use their local dialect in front of other Mandarin speakers who didn't speak it, and no one thought anything of it (and we did ask).



I didn't mean, that it should be conscious effort. It just happens as a consequence of this behavior. So I want to learn from more experienced people, where are roots of this behavior. Thank you for the suggestion!
chupachups
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 9
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 19:00



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby chupachups » 08 May 2012, 00:43

ironlady wrote:
chupachups wrote:Hello.


I have had people insist on speaking English, even if I was answering them in Mandarin (or Taiwanese, but I could hardly blame them considering the sad state of my Taiwanese :D ) but I don't think I've ever felt it was an effort to exclude.

Just not quite sure what you're getting at.



The perception of this situation depends on where you are used to live also. I have spent about one week in English speaking countries. In countries, where I haved lived, saying "Hello" to someone being different from majority population is understandable, because he or she could probably be a foreigner and English is the most common language known by foreigners. But continuing in English when he or she replies in the language normally used by the community to which the listener belongs is probably not perceived as being OK everywhere.
chupachups
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 9
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 19:00



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby Teddoman » 08 May 2012, 01:09

Have you read this thread? I posted on this very topic there just recently
Teddoman
Shoe-wielding Legislator (huīwǔ xiézi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
Shoe-wielding Legislator (huīwǔ xiézi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
 
Posts: 261
Joined: 03 Jan 2005, 00:31
12 Recommends(s)
10 Recognized(s)



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby jimipresley » 08 May 2012, 01:29

chupachups wrote:
If you live at Taiwan several years, you are visually distinguishable from Taiwan majority population, your Mandarin or Taiwanese speaking ability is enough to make a normal conversation (so you may have experience of that kind), you feel, that you have large experience with language social exclusion behavior as described above, and you want to share your experience with me (maybe one hour interview), please contact me at:

What language do you intend to conduct this interview in?
You can live here and have a great life and not be the least bit into living the local life. Clowns will try to diss you for it saying you gotta get down with the program, but fuck em, treat this place like a buffet and yous be on a diet. Take what you want and nothing extra, slam those oysters, but leave the bread sticks and dinner rolls behind. - Deuce Dropper

I'm much more of a nasty rotter in real life, especially with vapid or vacuous verbiage from the ill read & intellectually challenged. - TheGingerMan

Don't be a cheap cunt. - Deuce Dropper
Forumosan avatar
jimipresley
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 10633
Joined: 06 Dec 2004, 18:23
Location: The Abyss. Awaiting YOUR company.
1020 Recommends(s)
385 Recognized(s)



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby chupachups » 08 May 2012, 12:15

jimipresley wrote:
chupachups wrote:
If you live at Taiwan several years, you are visually distinguishable from Taiwan majority population, your Mandarin or Taiwanese speaking ability is enough to make a normal conversation (so you may have experience of that kind), you feel, that you have large experience with language social exclusion behavior as described above, and you want to share your experience with me (maybe one hour interview), please contact me at:

What language do you intend to conduct this interview in?


English or Mandarin. Thanks for the question, I forgot to fill this above.
chupachups
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 9
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 19:00



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby chupachups » 08 May 2012, 12:36

Teddoman wrote:Have you read this thread? I posted on this very topic there just recently


Teddoman, thanks for the link! It definitely contains information useful for me. However I want to speak with some people having good understanding of this phenomenon and some opinion about it, since I want to get deeper understanding of their opinion than is possible through the online discussion forum.
chupachups
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
 
Posts: 9
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 19:00



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby ironlady » 08 May 2012, 20:36

I still strongly recommend you read existing literature concerning sociolinguistics, language choice, and group identity before coming up with this sort of hypothesis for testing. I think you are making assumptions about a multicultural phenomenon using monocultural assumptions.
Terry Waltz, Ph.D
Click here to Finally Learn Mandarin!
Squid for Brains Learning Games -- not your nainai's flash cards!
...although his father beat him every day, wishing him to learn the speech of Ts'e, it will be impossible for him [at least using current methods]...-Mencius
Forumosan avatar
ironlady
Goddess of Fornication & Prostitutes (tōngjiān hé jìnǚ de nǚshén)
 
Posts: 8366
Joined: 13 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: A place where people can't sleep or teach English in McDonald's
87 Recommends(s)
321 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 0- 0-1987



Re: Taiwanese continuing speaking to you in English even if they know you speak good Mandarin/Taiwanese

Postby urodacus » 08 May 2012, 21:57

Much as you hate to admit it, Ironlady, some people just are rude ignorant hicks.
The prizes are a bottle of f*!@#$% SCOTCH and a box of cheap f!@#$#$ CIGARS!

Too many people! Almost all of the world's problems are due to overpopulation. The rest are due to religion.

50% of the world's wild animals have disappeared in the last 50 years. Did you eat them, or eat their house?
Forumosan avatar
urodacus
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 11412
Joined: 04 Nov 2004, 23:20
Location: picking flowers
208 Recommends(s)
266 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
Next




Proceed to Living in Taiwan



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: alexk, Icon, Xeno and 5 visitors

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you -- ANNIE DILLARD