Throughout history, white people have a pretty poor record when it comes to promises (see Americans, Native for examples). Thankfully, modern white people are trying to erase the shame of the past by making promises to themselves that they will never keep.
Writing a novel, going vegan, or sending their future kid to public school are just a few of these great breakable promises. But by far the most common self improvement promise is to learn a new language.
This plan is first formulated when white people realize that two years of college Italian does not confer fluency. For the most part, these classes will only teach a white person how to order food in a restaurant, ask for a train schedule, and over pronounce words when they are mixed into English. Amazingly this small amount of proficiency is more than enough to warrant inclusion on a resume under “spoken languages.”
For many white people the lack of a second language is their greatest secret shame. It fills them with so much shame that they will literally spend the rest of their lives promising to learn a new language, but not so much shame that they will actually do it.
When it comes to learning a new language, white people can follow a few paths, the most common of which is to try to learn a language that is popular in their current city.
For example, white people in places like Los Angeles or Austin, TX will often promise to learn Spanish in hopes of being able to ask local taco stands about whether or not their carne asada is grass fed (”¿Ha leído usted Michael Pollan?”).
In order to reach this level of fluency and obnoxiousness, white people believe they must put themselves into a local immersion. This means a promise to watch only Spanish language TV, listen only to Spanish language radio, read Marquez in his native tongue, and watch foreign films with the subtitles turned off. There are some instances of white people doing this for almost a week!
When this technique is unavailable or fails, white people will immediately turn to books and computer software as a last ditch effort to make good on their promise. After about a week, most white people will give up and blame someone for their failure (”this software is terrible,” “there aren’t enough people in Portland who speak Farsi!”). But rather than discarding the books and software packaging, white people will simply put them in the most visible part of their book shelf. This allows white people to believe that they have not failed since they can resume their studies at any time until their death.
Since learning a new language is something that most white people fail at, it should be approached with extreme caution. When you hear a white person say that they speak your native language, you will probably think it’s a good idea to start talking to them in said language. WRONG! Instead you should say something like “you speak (insert language)?” to which they will reply “a little” in your native tongue. If you just leave it here, the white person will feel fantastic for the rest of the day. If you push it any further and speak quickly, the white person will just look at you with a blank stare. Within a minute you will notice that blank stare has shifted from confusion to contempt. You have shamed them and your chance for friendship is ruined forever.
Finally, though they won’t admit it, white people do not believe that learning English is difficult. This is because if it were true, then that would mean that their housekeeper, gardener, mother-in-law (if they are an elite white person) are smarter than them. Needless to say, this realization would destroy their entire universe.
The best technique is to just tell white people what they really want to hear: “You should move to (insert country) so you can really learn the language.” They will agree instantly and lament their employer’s lack of an office there. Share this lament and you can enjoy a gigantic increase in trust and friendship from that white person.