'What, you don't speak English?!' // some thoughts and a realization

'What, you can't speak English?!' I'm writing about this topic today, because I have a friend, who is actually really smart and whose Vietnamese vocabulary probably expands that of an average Vietnamese person. From the way he texts me I can tell that he is really eloquent, and from what I know about him is that he is not uneducated at all. I think this topic I'm trying to talk about is linked to globalization and with English being the most international language. Everyone who goes to school and gets higher level education should speak a decent amount of English. At least that's what I thought. I'm writing about this, because I learned from my mistake and I want to share it. So basically when I first met this friend,  I had prejudices. Why ? Because he can't speak English. I don't speak for everyone but from what I know out of my experience. The better your English is, the more will people respect you. They will think that you finished higher education and therefore are more educated than non-English-speaking people, or you are from a wealthier family and had the opportunity to go to international school and hence the better English. Most of the people I hang out here speak English. Except for my family I know very few who don't speak English at all. Soooo, I looked down on my friend a little. I told him to study English. Why ? Just because ! Because who can't speak English nowadays, right ??? But actually, if he doesn't need it in his daily life, how do I have the right to look down on him because of a reason that doesn't even affect his life in the least ? I really felt ashamed of myself when I came to this realization. After having hung out with him so long, I realized that just because he doesn't speak English, that doesn't make him a worse or lower person. It doesn't mean he is less smart or less knowledgable or less cultivated. He does know everything that I know, but in Vietnamese instead of in English or German, and that is absolutely no reason to be disrespected for. I had to think of a sentence my mom's boyfriend said once: 'Just because I don't speak your German it doesn't mean that I'm less smart than you.' And that's true. Because we don't really scale languages. Who says that being fluent in English makes you smarter than someone being fluent in Vietnamese ? You get what I mean, right ? So anyway, I really put down this prejudice that you have to be fluent in English to be someone. Please read my intention behind this post and not just 'oh she's such a bitch, she had prejudices because there are people who don't speak English'. That's bullshit, that's not the intention of this post. And if you don't get it, stop reading my blog. The thing is not that I purposely thought that everyone should be able to speak English, I didn't think about it at all. It was just natural to be to feel and act that way, until I realized that I should not. The realization that I should not think that everyone should know how to speak English made me realize how wrong all the thoughts were, which I had before. Anyway, I wrote this blog entry dedicated to my friend who doesn't speak English, but is just equally as smart as everyone that I hang out with. Just because your English is not that good, it doesn't make you less an amazing person !!!