11 Things You'll Only Understand If Your Dad Is From Another Country
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11 Things You'll Only Understand If Your Dad Is From Another Country

Life becomes a lot more fun when English is your dad's second language.

11 Things You'll Only Understand If Your Dad Is From Another Country
Bridget Chagollan

Above is a picture of my biological father and myself. I have lived my entire life up to this point in the United States, but my dad was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico. This also means that his first language was Spanish, not English. These circumstances made my life as a child interesting, to say the very least.

Growing up in that environment as well as having friends who had similar experiences, I noticed that there were a few things that we could relate all relate to...

1. People are constantly asking how to pronounce your last name.

I've developed a serious talent for coming up with a good phonetic spelling for my name— and somehow it still doesn't help (It's pronounced cha-go-yawn for anyone reading this who is still unclear).

2. And when they can't figure it out, they decide to change your last name to something they think is easier to say.

Over the years, my name has been changed to some pretty far-fetched things such as Chocolate, Cowgalore, and my personal favorite: ChagoChooChoo.

3. You've been getting, "What ethnicity is that?" since you started school.

Whether it be French, and sometimes even Chinese, people will guess pretty much everything else before I tell them that my last name is Mexican.

4. You spend half your life trying to figure out what he's trying to say to you.

When in doubt, just smile and laugh and pray that whatever he said was meant to be funny (which it usually is).

5. He's full of stories about his life in his home country.

It's very interesting to see how he grew up versus how you grew up. There are significant differences not only between the time period of your childhoods but also the environment.

6. You can't help but make fun of him when he pronounces things wrong.

My dad made the common mistake of pronouncing "Arkansas" like "Are-Kansas" when I was younger and I've never let him live it down.

7. Dad jokes are 10x better when they're delivered in a language other than English.

There's something about a dad joke that's partially in another language that makes it way funnier than if it had been told completely in English.

8. You've been called nicknames that you're not even 100% sure of what they mean.

I have vivid memories from my childhood of my dad spitting out strings of words in Spanish when I did something he thought was funny. I could recite them to you almost seamlessly, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what they mean in English.

9. When he gets angry or excited, he starts to blend English and his first language.

Every extreme emotion is marked by Spanglish which is equally as terrifying as it is hilarious. It gets even better when you have to help him find the English word that he's looking for.

10. You start to notice that not everybody experiences life the same way you do.

There comes a point when you realize that having somebody from another country in your home creates a lot of differences between how you are raised and how you see your friends being raised. Your meals, traditions, and even language are often completely different than that of your peers.

11. But life is a lot more interesting and you couldn't imagine it any other way.

Having a dad from Mexico made my life so exciting and special growing up. Even though I often make fun of him, I still love him all the same because it's really something special to be raised by a dad who learned English as his second language. I have learned to accept and embrace my culture as a huge part of my identity, and how to be extremely proud of where I am descended from.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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