In a post on Reddit a woman asked what to do about a 'know-it-all' sister-in-law who keeps correcting her dad's English. Is this a justified reaction, or was her heart in the right place, but she handled it poorly? Here's her story...
For some context, both of my parents are Mexican and although they both speak English very well, my dad sounds a bit like Gloria from Modern Family (Editor's note: Sofía Vegara is Colombian), so when we're with him, my siblings (26M, 22F and 15M) and I only speak Spanish.
My elder brother got married to his wife (28F) two years ago. None of my siblings or I really like her because she believes she's the smartest girl in the whole world and is always, always correcting us on some sh*t. Mrs Smarty Pants only knows one language, so when she's dinning with us my parents speak English.
Yesterday my mom made a bomb a** dinner and invited my brother, his wife and my sister to come and eat with us. My brother and I were talking about Pangea and as soon as she came through the door she ''corrected us'' on the pronunciation (even though we said it in Spanish and not English).
We just rolled our eyes and said nothing because we didn't want to spoil dinner, my parents said hi, she said some more b*tchy comments and we all sat to eat.
We're not a quiet family, we can all talk together or we can do it in groups, since my SIL was there, we were all doing it in English and my younger brother and I were talking to my dad about a movie where the guy escaped on a boat and my dad was saying boat as ''bought.''
My bro and I didn't care because it was pretty obvious given the context, but she said 'it's not bought, it's boat.' My innocent dad tried to say 'boat,' but again, he did it with the bought sound and she said 'No, boat, not bought, boat.'
My dad was obviously embarrassed, but he tried it again, she just sighed and said 'BOAT, it's,' but I cut her off and said 'You're being a bitch. He can't say it, so what? He's not talking to you anyway.'
Both my brother and my mom looked at me, but my SIL said 'I was just helping,' but I said 'No, you're being rude, how many languages do you speak to be correcting someone?'
My dad took my hand and smiled, but things got awkward and they left. My brother is demanding I apologize because I was an AH. My dad doesn't think I should do it, and my mom is not sure, so idk AITA?
Here's what people said in the comments:
Piggybacking off the top comment. OP said their dad sounds like Gloria from modern family, but Gloria has 1 scene which I feel speaks to this a lot.
'You know how frustrating it is to have to translate everything I want to say in my head? To have people laugh at me because I'm struggling to find the words? You should try talking in my shoes for one minute. I know what I meant to mean. Do you even know how smart I am in Spanish? Of course you don't'
It really shows how we look down on people who speak English as their second language, and view them as dumber than native speakers. All when the native speakers speak only 1 language.
As someone who’s fumbling along and trying to learn another language, if someone did that to me I would be absolutely crushed. You already feel so vulnerable trying to speak a language you’re not entirely comfortable with. The over correction is not at all helpful.
And personally, I think English with a little accent is adorable. I had a friend who couldn’t say the Y sound and I found it so endearing. Nothing was yellow, it was always jello.
Yes! Monolingual people correcting arbitrary words, especially in a vaguely infantilizing way deserve to be called out. Once was to be helpful, twice was to be condescending. NTA
She owes your dad an apology. NTA
This. She’s “helping” by embarrassing her FIL in his own home? GTFO with that. No me gusta. NTA.
SHE'S NOT HELPING. There has never been a sliver of intention to help. She's doing it out of a psychopathic, narcissistic craving to fuel her megalomania, and to create a situation where someone's in the wrong and she's in the right.
OP's brother needs to recognize that she's not just looking down on his family, she's looking down on his culture as a whole. That girl genuinely believes she's better than everyone in that family by the virtue that they're Mexicans and she's not. She might not be outright saying racist things, but the way she acts tells you all you need to know.