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Foreign? or English?


I was born and raised in England, however, my parents are not English in origin. I find that when foreigners come to the UK or specifically England, and see those that don't appear "typically English", they don't believe that we are British. Some users on italki may also not be convinced that I am a native speaker!

What I mean is that they often assume that we are not natives, or that we don't speak English as well as someone with fair white skin, even though English is our first language, and we see ourselves as British, just like anyone else who was brought up here.

Of course, I don't immediately take offence, as perhaps others would. People don't always perceive the vast multiculturalism that is present here in England, so it's only natural that they would be surprised, or even curious. 

Are there others who don't look "typical" of their native country? Does anyone else encounter such stereotypes because of their appearance?



Some people think that I am italian. Strange though.

I never doubt your English. As far as I know, there is lots of countries use English as a native language. You don't need to prove anything, just speak and they will understand. 





Hahaha thanks for your comment Michael, It really did make me smile. I'm not looking for signs of discrimination because I have no reason to here on italki. I'm actually aware that I'm using a language website so I'm posting an interesting discussion topic for non-English speakers to read and practice. Not everyone is as cultured and well-travelled as you are I suppose! If I was looking to get into a heated debate I think I would post this on a political forum, but I'm not so there's no need to throw a fit :) It seems like you have a lot to complain about though, so maybe you should consider venting your strong opinions on a website where the users actually care what you have to say. Have a good day.



@Sadia O: You are doing great. Definitely, posting an interesting discussion help us to practise our reading. I don't know how could we bear this site if people just speak about IS, ARE, SHOULD , PAST PARTICIPLE and the other grammetical boring stuff. 

Since when using the F word and other impolite words like Sh!$t are polite language? Are you stoned? Besides, please focus on learning languages as you wrote unless you're liying. :-)


Michael I apologise, I think you read into my post too much. For me this is a light topic of discussion. Perhaps you are sensitive and feel overburdened by my post. In which case I can assure you, nobody is feeling discriminated :) I really don't have the time to put others down here or express my upset with other people's opinions, I use italki to teach English, not to write diary entries. 

If you want to know what overreacting sounds like perhaps keep an eye out for more negative language, over use of punctuation such as question marks (??), exclamation marks (!!) and even capital letters, although these aren't always a sign.


Hope that helps



Well said Sadia O.  I think stereotypes will always be around; however, educating people like you're doing with this post will surely help some folks realize their presumptions are usually wrong. 


Unfortunately, there are others who's opinions are steeped in hatred so deeply they will never learn.


Ahmed, some trolls just can't be tamed.  I think this one might be rabid. ;)

Sadai :


I think the topic is very interesting to be approached for most people who have experience in travelling overseas or working abroad . I am a Taiwanese of Chinese descent . Some people regard me as a china's citizen and take it as granted my nationality is China although my appearance and language is a typical Chinese . To judge a man by his appearance is not only your disturbance , but also for those people have ever thought more deeply . 


I ever dreamed to work and live in foreign country  and I think local residents  (not Alien) can treat me in a similar way to the locals  . I believed to be treated fairly is taken as granted ,however, most of my family did not possess the same idea as me . Most of them regard I would be disdained or discriminated in foreign countries , more specifically , English speaking countries  , therefore , they are not inclined to encourage me to live and work in Australia because of my skin color and non-native English . Perhaps I got to confront this issue seriously . Most people are apt to  stereotyping their mind by other's appearance including their language , skin color, outlooking or some bearing and so on.




hello nice to be your new friend Sadia....!!!? you have a nice name hahahah ....I'm mustepha from Algeria it situated in the north of africa ....and I'm ingineer in electronics and i'm 30 years old ...single to ....and I want to be with you as a friendship....!!!? mybe you can help me caus I'm not good in english and my languge is Arabic....pleas accept me in your life friend ...see you Sadia....!!?


I think in many countries around the world race is part of their identity and if someone from a different race was born and brought up there they still wouldn't consider them as one of their own - I'm not saying this is right just the way I've observed it to be. So in those cases they are projecting their own idea of race onto the countries they visit. 


There are many misconceptions about the UK from outside Europe, which is further perpetrated by the tv series and films that the UK exports about lords, ladys, castles etc. I remember watching a documentary about these women in foreign counties who wanted to marry English men as they thought they lived in castles and had this fairy tale life.



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