Just so you know, it’s straight-up rude when you laugh or shame people for how they speak in English. We’ve seen so many incidents wherein minorities are discriminated against because they are unable to speak “proper” English—this is especially prevalent in the US.
And believe it or not, even former 2NE1 singer Sandara Park once felt ashamed of her Filipino accent when speaking in English. In an MBC Every 1 interview, she said, “I was embarrassed by my accent at first. The Philippines’ English has a unique accent.”
Sandara lived in the Philippines for 11 years. She rose to fame when she joined Star Circle Quest in 2004 and became an actress. (Remember those movies with Hero Angeles?) She later left for South Korea and pursued a music career with girl group 2NE1. Since the group’s disbandment in 2016, she’s been focusing on her career as an actress, TV personality, singer, and even a fashion icon in between.
Despite feeling embarrassed by her Filipino accent, Sandara changed her mind after an overseas tour with 2NE1. “Many people told me it was cool and matches me well. I became more confident thanks to them,” she said. She added that she now sees her accent as “merely a trait of Filipino English.”
It’s sad to think that we live in a world where people are ashamed of how they speak. This could be seen as a result of the widespread consumption of American media worldwide, hence, creating the assumption that this is the “right way” to speak English. But really, there’s nothing wrong with having an accent or even having grammatical errors while talking, especially if it’s not their first language.
If you’re having the same struggle, you can follow Sandara’s lead and just accept that it’s part of your identity as a Filipino. (Or in her case, as a Korean who practically grew up in the Philippines.) Just do what’s comfortable for you and ignore those who mock you.[The Korea Times]
Photo courtesy of Sandara Park’s Instagram account
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