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tambok posted a topic in Spoken Languages: English, Cebuano, Etc.I think that unless you are a missionary who works with the "grass root" population, it's desirable to just speak English. What do you think? In my 24 years of living in Asia ( Thailand, Philippines, the Middle East and Japan) I've noticed that most monolingual "Anglo-Saxons" ( I mean in the cultural sense, not ethnic sense) such as Brits, Americans, Aussies, etc. never ever make the effort to learn the local language. But unlike in their Anglo Saxon countries where the attitude is often "Speak English or Die!" most Asians do not expect you to speak the local language because they almost never see a white man who does. To them, it's like seeing a horse talk. They are shocked, then they almost invariably reply in English. I am pretty fluent in Tagalog, Thai, Japanese, Arabic and can speak conversational Cebuano Ok, but often I regret that I'd studied them. Particularly in the Philippines, I see all these dignified Americans stepping proud, speaking English and the local just melt and serve on them hand and foot. A beautiful wife/GF is by their side, crisp money in their pocket, and they seem to get all this respect and admiration. Not an iota of disadvantage is apparent because they don't speak the local language. Fast forward 15-20 years, and they still don't speak it and nothing changes. They are still high class, totally confident and living a life full of respect to them from the local population. They walk around proud as peacocks. And here I am, a linguist. So many hours spent, so much money. What are the reactions from the locals? 'Some' like it, and respond in Cebuano, most just answer in English, some make fun of my accent by mimicking it with a grimace, and laugh. Some just guffaw. Some are in shock... and reply in English. Ditto for Tagalog although not as much. I am white but my friend is Taiwanese. Now, people talk to him in Tagalog, but he does not understand a word, I do, but they speak back to me in English. It's annoying but it does not change. As in 'never'. In the mind of a ruthlessly colonized Filipino, a brown or a yellow man speaks a Philippine language, a white man speaks English. It's been like this for over 100 years. Learning Visaya and speaking it goes against history. You will be rubbing society against the grain. Recently, a very unpleasant incident happened to me-- I almost got into a fight, even. I was in front of the KFC on Osmena circle, and I asked the man standing by the side of the store if it was open. I asked in Visaya. He glared at me and went "Whaaaaaaat?" I asked him why he was not speaking in Visaya, he turned very angry and started yelling ( in English) "Why must I speak in Visaya to you? Are you a Filipino? " He then walked up to me very belligerently and told me that this was not my country and that people here spoke English. He angrily barked " I'm in my own country and I speak any language I want." He was almost drawing fists to attack me. I then quickly ran into KFC- yes it was open. Also, on a bus, I hear people discuss me and how long my nose is. Also, they talk shyt about my girlfriend saying that she is a woman for sale because she is with a "porinarh" Now, nothing like this would happen had I not been able to speak or understand the language, and when I spoke only English I really loved the people and they loved me. There was no mockery, no wild shock like them seeing a ghost speak, no idiotic reactions and no laughter and mocking mimickry. Also, if they were saying bad things, it would just sound like "tra-bra- tra-tatatata" and not affect me. Even in Manila or Pampanga, this happens although not as often. What does everybody think. Is it really worth the time/money? Or should I just do like all the other porinarhs do? Speak English and carry a big dollar. Even the girls want to meet a white guy to practice English with and go live in the States or stay in the Philippines and raise English-speaking kids with big noses. But when you do try to assimilate like this, you go against their porinarh dream. So, what do you guys think?