Code Switching Log

Day 1: After my last class of the day, I headed to K-town because I was hungry and craving Korean soup. I put in my AirPods, blasted music, and walked to the restaurant while avoiding conversations and people. When I arrived at the restaurant, I smiled and greeted the waiter. I found myself smiling every time the waiter talked to me and thanking them whenever they refilled my water. After finishing my food and leaving the restaurant, I got a call from my friend. When I talked with my friend, I spoke in an informal language.

Day 2: I woke up with many text messages wishing me a happy birthday. When responding to these texts I noticed that my responses varied depending on the closeness of my relationship with a specific individual. Later that day, I went to Starbucks and ordered a drink with many alterations, leaving the barista a little confused. When she asked me a question regarding my drink, I tried to seem as flexible with the drink as possible. During dinner, I noticed that the way I spoke to my mother and sister was very different than the way I spoke to the waiters.

Day 3: I chatted with a friend through Facetime. I noticed that the vocabulary I used with my siblings and friends compared to the vocabulary I used with my parents was different. When talking to my friends and siblings, I used words and phrases that my parents did not understand.

Day 4: I talked with my grandmother over the phone. When I am talking to my grandmother I speak in Cantonese. However, I spent the rest of the day speaking in English or Chinglish. I typically only use Cantonese when I am with my grandparents and use Chinglish when I am talking to my parents.

Day 5: I saw one of my friend’s mother and talked to her. I made sure to be really polite and address her properly — calling her Auntie instead of using her first name which is considered rude in Chinese culture.

Day 6: I woke up much earlier than usual to drive my siblings to school. Alongside the lack of sleep, it was raining heavily outside which caused me to be in a bad mood. I then proceeded to miss my train and had to wait an hour for the next train. From a third-person perspective, I looked very grumpy and unapproachable. However, when I eventually got to class, I made sure to smile and not have facial expressions that showed my unhappiness.

Day 7: I went out to dinner with a high school friend. I noticed that I act very differently around different friends and people. I was able to talk comfortably to my friend; however, when I saw an acquaintance from high school, it was more awkward.

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