Language Broker Duties

Growing up in an immigrant family comes with its own struggles. There is usually a generation gap, a gap between the home country’s culture and the new country’s culture, and a language barrier. For me, I am fortunate enough to be able to speak both English and my family’s language. However, my English-speaking abilities have required that I act as the family’s language broker. As an only child, I have translated documents for my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles – you name it. My parents have joked that people would travel from far just to see the young English guru for her services but this was pretty much what happened.

Though I am grateful that I was able to assist my family members in their adjustment to a new foreign country, I also have developed feelings of contempt and stress from serving multiple roles. I am a student at school but once I get home, I can’t start my homework right away and instead have to translate the mail that came that morning or a new memo my mom got at work.

It got to the point where I’d wake up in the middle of the night in college, suddenly remembering something that I forgot to do before I went to bed. I’d text my mom back in a panic in the middle of the night in order to get her the information she needed the next work day. Those situations have since become something that can be laughed about but I do believe that my organizational skills have evolved as a result of the multiple tasks I had to juggle as a child until now. I created this meme in memory of those moments.