10 Things Not to Say to an Asian

  1. -Do your parents speak English? No, they kind of wave their arms around and point at things while grunting.
  2. So do you like eat rice every day? So do you like eat fat every day?
  3. When did you come to this country? How do you know I wasn’t born here?
  4. Do you eat Asian food? While assuming we eat every type of Asian food you can think of IS annoying… also asking us obvious questions such as this one is pretty lame as well.
  5. Is that your dad? (points at random Asian man) No, is that your dad? (points at the first person he sees… man or woman.)
  6. Do you celebrate Chinese New Year’s? Do I look Chinese? Wait… don’t answer that. I SAID DON’T ANSWER THAT!
  7. Could you suggest a good Asian restaurant to go to? Sure, try The Drunken Chinese Chopstick Eating Dragon Wonton. I hear it is excellent!
  8. Go back to your country! If I did that who would do your math homework?
  9. What is the easiest Asian language to take for college credit… I just want to pass! Chinese is so easy and takes little effort. Go and be a star!
  10. Can you show me real quick how to use these chopsticks? How about I show you how to use a fork instead… deal?

-OM

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499 thoughts on “10 Things Not to Say to an Asian

  1. Ahh, this post is not only hilarious but I can relate on so many levels being in the skin that I’m in. You’ve inspired me to write something like this in the future with the stupid micro agressions I’ve been responded to! 👍😊

    Liked by 3 people

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  3. Pingback: 10 Things Not to Say to an Asian | momentarylapseofsanity

  4. I love learning about other cultures, nationalities, and the like…I love trying “foreign food”…then I get around other people and think of all the stereotypes and…I become speechless…my desire to not seem like i’m sterotyping or to be offensive…I just shut down and remind stupid…so in some ways lists like this one are helpful but I just add more bricks to my defenses…I like you and don’t wanna hurt your feelings…so I just listen and move on

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was involved with an Asian man for a while. He picked me up by asking if I had any Asian in me, then – after I answered, “no” – asked if I wanted any. I slapped him. He smiled at that, so I kneed him in the crotch. Turns out Asian guys find aggressive white women a turn on, so we ended up dating for like 4 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this as well. However, you should add not trying to impress someone by attempting to speak a random language as well. I’ve watched Korean friends go ballistic when someone approached and started speaking Japanese. (For the record, I speak Japanese so my friends usually assume the conversation is meant for me and I tend to answer first.)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I once had someone (white north american) walk up behind my Korean friend in the university cafeteria and start singing a song in a very obvious Asian language. He actually put his hands on her shoulders as he was singing. We all had a baffled look on our faces. When he was done he said to her “A beautiful Cantonese song, doesn’t it remind you of home?” Born and raised in Canada she replied “I don’t understand a f#$%’n word of Cantonese, not to mention my parents are Korean!” Holy crap that was ignorant of him. She was so angry!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m afraid nobody knows how to ask me anything. The one person who did (she asked me to drop the mask and just be the real Deon) I told to fuck off. And believe it or not she’s still a friend. If I had an Asian friend I’d have questions, but they’d start with “Hi, what’s your name?” just like anyone else. Maybe “where do you live?” “What’s your favorite food?” would be another one, because I just like all kinds of food, except shellfish and brussels sprouts and lima beans (ick), and then, “do you know how to cook it?” Because I like recipes.

    Like

  9. This morning sucked before I read this. Now excuse me while I print this out and ask my asian friend these.😄 I love your posts!

    Like

  10. Hahah!! I love this list! My Korean sisters were probably asked all kinds of questions when they were in school. Being Indian, I’m technically Asian, too, but nobody ever thinks about that haha!! Your list reminds me of this:

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The list floored me. Hilarious. But luckily enough I haven’t been asked those questions by the foreigners I encounter (I’m a Filipino but I’ve got Dutch friends). In fact, it seemed like I was the one asking them funny questions. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yeah, we all get these (“I’m Italian, therefore I’m a pizza” as a talented translator pointed out :)). Funny responses, wish I had the guts sometimes.

    Like

  13. I’m just a Southern white girl, but I’ve had people look at my olive complexion/dark hair/brown eyes and wonder if I’m Jewish. LOL I’ve actually seen people look at me like they’re trying to figure out what I am and then sometimes look relieved when I say I’m a Christian…I don’t know why they would do that or why they would care, unless they’re worried about whether or not they can serve me pork chops or a bacon cheeseburger at a cookout. I think it’s funny, anyway.

    Have you all ever had someone hear your accent, try to guess where you’re from and get it completely wrong? I’ve actually had people think I got my (non-Southern) accent from Guam because I was born there (Navy brat), but the fact is that my family left when I was a baby and my accent is the way it is because I had speech therapy to correct a lisp. I get that “speech therapy” isn’t something most people would think of but I still think it’s weird.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. LOL. OMG! I totally can relate. I got the same questions when I was studying in Australia. Two of my least favourite is…

    1) Is Singapore in China? Hold on while I hunt down an extra large world map so you can see where my small but not in China country is located.
    2) Wow! Your English is really good, how long did you learn English for? Since I could talk. English is the first language in my country. But if you HAD to have a number, how bout 2 or maybe 3.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I am Asian too! This is funny and by the way I don’t really mind if anyone says that to me but if they do, I know how to answer! You, sir, are a sass master! (But Gerard Way is The Queen of Sass – I’m sorry, you can’t have that title.)😉

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Pingback: 10 Things Not to Say to an Asian | Lights, camera, action!

  17. Pingback: Southeast Asian Flash, pt. 2 | Crumpled Paper Cranes

  18. OMG! This is hilarious! Old but gold. I’m sooo late. Where was I when this was first posted? Anyway, here’s one for you.😀 What Asians shouldn’t ask a Korean man: Do you like K-pop? SNSD? Super Junior? 2ne1? Big Bang? Psy, at least? No? Gangnam Style? Still no? Okay… (I learned this the hard way).

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: Southeast Asian Flash, pt. 1 | Crumpled Paper Cranes

  20. As a Latina, I get a similar set of queries. All.the.time. Especially if I’m mad about something, people will say, “Hola! There’s the Latina fire!” and I’ll be “Fuck you, sir. Fuck you.”

    Like

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  22. They ask stupid crap to anyone who is not Anglo, not just Asians. It doesn’t matter what color you are. Even if you look totally Anglo, if you have an accent, they always ask ‘Where are you from?’ and unless you name somewhere in Western Europe, a flood of stupid questions follow. I stopped giving an honest answer to the ‘Where are you from?” question years ago. If anyone asks that I just name a random African country or a random galaxy code if I’m in a nerdy mood.

    Like

  23. I think evesrything wrote made a ton of sense. But, what about this?

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  24. I’m not even Asian, but my husband is and I get asked many of these things on a weekly basis on his behalf. People also like to ask me how I got my last name (insert obviously Vietnamese name here) and why I don’t look Asian. This posts makes me laugh🙂 ah, the ridiculousness of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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  32. On the other hand it could be that people take an sincere interest. It does not happen here much to Asians, people automatically assume everybody is Dutch whatever colour you are. My Asian American friend was surprised they all started to talk Dutch to her.

    Like

  33. Had a great laugh but seriously most common questions would be to ask for recommendation at an Asian restaurant here by the White Aussies. I’m like, ‘ bitch I’m here for the first time too’. Or get asked where are you from (from my parents’?).
    But most of the time i feigned ignorance and totally ignore them. (just like how Australia TV would feign ignorance that other races only should exists on a Special Broadcast Station (govt sanctioned) and not on a mainstream terrestrial channels.

    Like

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  35. Generally I am only interested if I hear a distinct accent…having lost some of my hearing powers I don’t do this anymore. If I don’t hear an accent I assume the person was born here…no matter what they look like…I might assume someone is from ‘Wis-COHN-sin’ or maybe ‘New Yawk’…or perhaps (if they sound like it) ‘Tay-ax-is’. That is also not a very good idea as I was born down south heah…but I shore doan soun’ lahk it! What is really annoying is, “Are you from Europe? I can’t place your accent….”

    “No I am American. My mother was raised in British Columbia and South America. She gave birth to Texans and Okies and then got us beat up on the playground because she would not ever let us say, “Daaaaid”….

    It happens to non-Asians too OM😛

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  39. LOL I love this! I sent a link to it to my grandaughter–the one whose Dad is from Laos. She will appreciate the humor in it since she gets asked similarly dumb questions! lol

    Like

  40. Hah!! This is funny.
    okay I’ll throw a curve ball at you. I’m an old white dude who is serving as a youth and children’s pastor at a Chinese church. Been there less than a year. One of my first emails to families included the incredibly lame question: “Are you able to read these emails?”
    The surprising thing is they didn’t run me out of town that week.
    I had done some research before starting. I had come to the conclusion that Chinese would generally look similar…another dumb old white dude thought.
    After one night of meeting about 40 of the youth I remarked to a couple in private. “I’m amazed at how different they all look.” dumb white dude!!
    They still didn’t fire me.
    the kids and students are great. What a great experience for me and I trust for them. Old white dudes are a unique culture all to themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What you’ve described is neither unique nor a culture and has long been universally rejected for public expression:
      DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE LEVEL OF RACISM YOU EXPRESS IS OF THE CRUDEST AND MOST OFFENSIVE KIND? What the hell kind of youth pastor thinks one fifth of the world’s population looks exactly alike – and then tells them so?

      That’s not lame. It’s not dumb. There’s nothing funny about it. It’s a profoundly offensive insult of the crudest kind. Therefore, the Chinese-American parents you shared it with were profoundly offended. I know I am.

      Think twice before you post this kind of racism again.

      Like

      • I think this was him confessing that he *was* racist and learned a thing or two by getting to know a large group of Asian people. To someone who hasn’t had much experience interacting with people of different ethnicities, it can be very easy to make assumptions based on scant information. That’s not racism – it’s how the brain works to categorise and understand information. He’d probably never thought much about it before, and was pleasantly surprised to see all his assumptions challenged – and relieved by the grace shown by these people, which clearly you’re in short supply of today. True racism would have been for him to say he didn’t want to lead that youth group because they’re Asian.

        Liked by 1 person

  41. So my grandmother is from Japan and didn’t know English when she came here 60 years ago. A few weeks ago my daughter brought over her friend who is Japanese but was born in the states. My grandmother looks over at my daughter and asks if he can speak English (obviously thinking he couldn’t. Lol) He told her he could but couldn’t speak Japanese. Lol

    Like

  42. I’m Asian, though, I’m not sure I should be offended by numbers 1,2 and 4….

    Anyhoo, the Chinese language is certainly not easy (although I do get you were just being sarcastic in your answer). I’m supposed to learn these certain set of words and names and up to now, I haven’t memorized them all and can’t pronounce them right at all!

    Like

  43. Don’t forget about the “Are you good at math?” I hear that one a lot. Not towards me, personally. But I was in the military, so I had the pleasure of meeting several different people from different countries. And I heard the math and rice questions ALL the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Reblogged this on Life Anime and Kpop and commented:
    Another thing that people always talk about when it comes to asians is grades, our eyes(offensive), and how smart asians are. Like if anyone says this stuff to me I say, fuck off bish ^.^ or punch them in the balls( I actually did in P.E. once to this steezer who wouldn’t stfu)

    Like

  45. OMG!!! I am dying with laughter at work. This just made my entire day. Although I have never asked this question because I do have Asian aunts and cousins, I’ve heard people ask these questions. I think it’s the rudest thing ever. That’s like when people ask is that my real hair, because I’m black and apparently black women don’t have hair. Or do I eat fried chicken, watermelon and drink koolaid. Um, I’m vegan, yes I eat watermelon and no I don’t drink diabetes (koolaid).

    Liked by 1 person

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  50. Yes. As an Asian person myself (also adopted from South Korea), I have a lot to add to this list🙂 In Fact, I was planning on writing a compilation of stupid shit that people have said to me about being Asian for my next post!

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  52. I’m half-Asian. For #1, I have gotten the opposite scenario. When I was little, my biological mother (who is white) took me to a doctor’s appointment. The doctor asked her, “Does your daughter speak English?”
    …whenever my dad wasn’t with us, strangers would ask my mom if we were adopted.
    These days, I mostly get a lot of well-meaning people who are enthusiastic about Asian culture. “Are you Asian? I LOVE tofu! And manga is great, too!”

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Since I’m Asian myself, here are a few other things to add to this list:

    1. “Are you Chinese?” – like they assume EVERY Asian is Chinese
    2. “Do you speak Chinese?” – same reason as #1
    3. “Were you good at math?” – the stereotype for Asians to be good at math. It was actually my worst subject – English was my forte.

    …and many other reasons lying in my subconscious. I know there’s more, I just can’t think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. #8 cracks me up.

    Pretty much unless you are American Indian, then we all could “go back to our country.” I had a guy (trying to get me to agree with him) said, “If you don’t speak American you should go back to your country.” To which I replied, “So you speak Seminole?!”

    Dumbass didn’t get it….

    Liked by 1 person

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  77. 😄 LOL This is the best…
    But you know the worst part about being Korean is never the ignorant questions any other race asks me….. It’s old Korean men and women who start talking to me in Korean, and when I wave my hands and say, “Hangul malo” they just shake their heads and look at me like I’ve killed their firstborn.

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  78. Pingback: The Daily Opinion – Top Posts? | HarsH ReaLiTy

  79. #1, 3, 4, 9. These are good comebacks! I can imagine how annoying it could be to have people immediately make 15 different assumptions about you at first sight.😦

    People often think I’m Russian on sight, when I’m actually Ukrainian. With all the monstrosities going on in Ukraine because of Russia (Maidan, the separatists, our half-island of Crimea being annexed by Russian troops, etc.), it makes me really mad, even though technically anyone could make a mistake in interpreting one’s looks into race. Could you suggest some smart-ass reply to “Are you Russian?” Please?

    Liked by 1 person

  80. Point no. 6 modified – My Japanese friend was told he looked like Bruce Lee. ???
    Point no. 1 modified – I get this when I travel to Australia & England. “You speak good English”. Erm thanks but are you implying Asians cannot speak English fluently? Or do you think Asians consist of only Chinese and Indians?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Caution: This is from Reddit

    Why do Asian have such squinty eyes?
    Atomic bombs are pretty bright.

    (Yes, I know that would only technically apply to the Japanese.)

    Like

  82. We have a huge Asian community in Leith, outside Edinburgh, Scotland. I was in a grocer’s once when a guy asked the Asian owner the best Indian restaurant in the area. He replied, in broader Scots than I could manage, “I wouldnae ken pal. I canna stand thon curry stuff. Gie me a steak pie any day.”

    Liked by 2 people

  83. Pingback: ReaLiTy | theowlladyblog

  84. Haha wow, what a funny post! It can be annoying when people come with dumb stereotype comments, but I love how you made a post where you put your statement in a humoristic way.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. I’ve given this some thought and question #1 is a valid question. For those that do not know that you are adopted, they may think that you are first generation American. I see all the time where older Asian people do not speak English but their children or grandchildren do. It also applies to Spanish speaking individuals. Though how you could live here and not pick up some of the language baffles my mind. Just saying…

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  86. Reblogged this on Serenity Heartsease Ataraxis and commented:
    As an Asian myself, I find this quite relatable. It’s funny how people always assume that I’m chinese even though I’m clearly tanned. And when they speak chinese to me, I’ll just nod. They may be saying ‘you’re ugly’ and I’ll keep on nodding -.-

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      • You know what is funny… Having grown up in a environment where there is so little minorities – now more, but really, in my childhood I haven’t seen any black or Asian person live, ever! So…the majority like 99.99% was white. And what did we do? We (and by that I don’t mean me) developed hatered in details, hate towards different nationalities close to us, because that was the thing dividing us. And vice versa, they developed disliking of us. It was still us and them even though we look exactly the same in skin color and race specific… I think that is human nature, to find a way (of course, people who want to) to seperate people and divide things into us/them. Stupid.

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  87. Ah don’t get upset, people of the same race ask each other dumb questions too:) I am living in a foreign country and I don’t care at all. Most of people are just people, no brilliance expected. Fun reading anyway, and fun answers to the stupid questions, thanks!:)

    Like

  88. No one ever asked the length of your dick? I’m surprised – Ive got an Asian friend (like 5 generations ago Asian) and a lots of black friends who tell me its one of the first! The black guy says esp in Germany and even often by husbands! It seems to be a thing with guys… cos my husband is 6’5″ I’m often asked if tall men have…

    Liked by 1 person

  89. I find these remarks to be very rude and, uncalled for but, that’s some people for you. You need to kick those people in teeth. This is why I find it hard to show my true self to people because majority of human society is not worth any form of kindness. I am sorry that you have to go through that I really am. I thought I had it bad due to the fact that I am mixed race. Seriously that was really uncalled for.

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  90. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

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  91. Oh gosh… This is too funny. It’s like during college time when i got asked if Malaysians stayed on houses built on trees, and i was like, no dude, we live in brick homes just like you and we drive a car to the grocer, not by sampan!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yep! I’ve experienced that more than a couple of times here in England. I was once asked by a midwife (as I was recovering from giving birth to my daughter) why my English was so good. I had to bite my tongue from replying “Because I’m Asian and have a degree in Literature and have travelled all over” But didn’t of course. She did apologise though. My husband says it’s more of a compliment than an insult, it’s just ignorance really. Oh well.

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  92. Pingback: 10 Things Asians should not say to Foreigners | Eyagee's Blog

  93. I know just how you feel… I’ve come across similar presumptions about my whiteness/Canadianity when I visit my wife’s family in Korea, like the first time I went there they took me out for hamburgers, think that I’m going to get lost, are amazed that I can eat spicy food and tell dirty jokes, etc. That being said, I live up to their whitey stereotype in that I avoid latrine toilets like the plaque and can’t sit too long crosslegged on the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  94. I am from another country…but I was only born there I wasn’t raised there I was raised in the military…

    But when I tell people I’m from Turkey…the first words out of their mouths is “Oh you speak English so well!” Well no shit I’m an American!

    Please don’t even get me started about my Filipino husband and the little boy we made…who looks 110% Filipino. I’ve been called the babysitter or nanny a number of times…..

    Liked by 1 person

  95. LOL!

    here are few more i can think of / come across with:
    “Ni Hao! (“Hello” in Mandarin.)” – Hello! u can speak English that’s easier for me! (seriously, not every Chinese speaks Mandarin, especially those not living / born in the Mainland!)

    “o… u can speak English!” – yes, i started learning it in kindergarten n been using it since then, I can write in it too!

    ” how can u Scorpio / pig liver or any guts or bugs?” – i can’t! what makes u think i can?! i just don’t mind if anyone eats them.

    sometime i do feel offended, still learning how to correct the other nicely!

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Assumptions…I liked the comment that said you are not right.😀 They may be onto something…(I’m sorry but I’m in a picky mood tonight)
    Thanks for the laugh..the one I like the most…has to be number 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. Reblogged this on My Life Is Dandy and commented:
    Oh gosh I must admit that as I was reading this article, I was thinking of the first time I met many of my best friends (because I have a serious Asian obsession and many of my friends are Asian) and I must admit I certainly am guilty of many of these questions, myself! :$
    It is true that the questions in the article might be irritating to Asians. Personally, I, myself, have experienced certain silly questions which I shall certainly write a post about (since I am Egyptian and there are MAANNNY stereotypes that correspond with that).
    Yet another great chuckle thanks to this amazing blogger!🙂

    Like

  98. Number 1 is close to the stupid thing I get asked on a weekly basis, when I tell people my son is Deaf – “Oh… do you know sign language?”
    No. I just flail around until he figures out what I’m trying to say. Bed time is complete hell – especially the story part. *rolls eyes*
    Humans, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

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