Is English Even Your First Language?

Is English even your first language?

Someone asking me if English is my first language does not offend me. It doesn’t offend me because someone is just curious about my native language. I get that they’d ask me because I do represent my culture often, I definitely don’t look white, and I do look Hispanic/Latina to some people. The curiosity does not bother me. In fact, I love the curiosity.

However, I should clarify that the question will annoy me if the tone, facial expression, and the way that it is phrased suggests that the person is not curious about me but instead they doubt my ability to speak English. That’s when it becomes a microaggression. The question “Is English even your first language?” bothered me so much when someone asked me, because their facial expression was one of disgust, their tone was one that tried to be higher than me, and the way it’s phrased with the word “even” suggests that there’s something prior that they think I couldn’t do. So again, it did bother me, and yes, English was my first language. In addition, I could speak Spanish which some people could still not master or speak even if they’ve taken the class in school for years.


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