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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How rude are they?

    Try to imagine the following situation: You are with a group of people who speak different languages. They all do speak English to different degrees, but you do not speak or comprehend their languages. If two of them get involved in a conversation amongst themselves then you will be left out in the cold and you would not be able to understand anything at all. Is it rude or impolite for them to converse so in their own language meaning or is it perfectly understandable for them to want to talk quickly and easily in their own first language?

    After thinking about it, I guess it would really depend on the situation, since no two situations are really alike all the time. Under some situations I think I would find it slightly rude.
    For example, if a group of people want to talk in their first language which is much easier for them to speak and understand, but if they are in the company of someone who does not speak their language... not to mention in a country that does not speak their language, yet they continue talking in their own language and totally ignore you completely. If this happens, then I think they are being rude. I think they should either speak English or go off away from the group to speak by themselves.

    Also, I think it's a little rude and it's definitely exclusionary, especially in a social or work situation. They would be telling me that they obviously don't want me talking or associating with them by not speaking a language I can understand. Sometimes, I am surrounded by people speaking a lot of different languages, I have grown used to it now. If they're just some strangers talking, I don't care, but if it's at work or a social function, then I would consider it very rude

    Put yourself in another country where you don't speak the language as well as you'd like, and you were with mostly people that spoke your language, and not the language of that country. Wouldn’t they feel the same? I think there are many places all over the world, where people will speak the local language above all others and refuse to speak English (or another language) when they could have easily spoken it.

    To sum up, If you are all together as a group and it seems like you are deliberately being left out then yes, I think it would definitely be rude. It is rude to have an extended conversation in a different language while you are standing there completely confused. But again, it would depend on the situation. It would, however, be a good time to ask them to teach you a few words and phrases. You would learn something new and they would be more conscious of their breach of etiquette.

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