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Are You Offended...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Ricky Ricardo, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Ricky Ricardo

    Ricky Ricardo

    Apr 4, 2013
    If, in your presence, two (or more) people are speaking to each other in another language that you don’t understand, are you offended or insulted?

    For example, in my department, we have two people from China. At times, when they are engaged in a non-work related conversation, they speak to each in Chinese. We also have a couple of people from Israel, same thing, sometimes they converse in Hebrew.

    I have an administrative assistant who is offended when someone converses in something other than English. I don’t understand why. I asked her what the problem is and she was a little evasive.
  2. 6StringGeek

    6StringGeek full-time n00b

    Apr 5, 2011
    No. Don't care.

  3. BamaBud

    BamaBud NRA Life Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Heart of Dixie
    I don't care, but it is very rude.
  4. RagnarDanneskjold

    RagnarDanneskjold Senior Pirate

    Jul 8, 2013
    Behind the Tofu Curtain
    She's paranoid that they're talking about her, and specifically excluding her from the discussion because they don't like her. On the second point, she's probably right. She's also probably insecure about speaking (probably badly) only one language, and she hates foreigners, but doesn't want to say so.

    All of that is a wild-assed guess, based on nearly nothing, as I don't know the lady. It doesn't bother me, so if someone isn't willing to articulate why it bothers them, I don't see why their being bothered should bother me, either.
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Why should I be offended? Or insulted?

    This is America and not France where the frogs have some sort of insecurity complex.

    Maybe your secretary was a frenchie?

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  6. RagnarDanneskjold

    RagnarDanneskjold Senior Pirate

    Jul 8, 2013
    Behind the Tofu Curtain
    Dunno, about this. If you and I were posted in Japan, getting by on memorized Japanese, or even if we were fairly fluent, we wouldn't enjoy the opportunity to relax, stop struggling and exchange English at the water cooler? Bear in mind, there are bound to be things that simply don't translate. Ideas not adequately expressible in another language. Try fitting one English word to adequately encapsulate "Jihad" or "mañana".
  7. czsmithGT


    Jan 8, 2004
    If I am engaging them and they talk to each other in a language I do not understand I would consider them to be rude. If I just happen to be near them while they have a private discussion between themselves, no.
  8. Ricky Ricardo

    Ricky Ricardo

    Apr 4, 2013
    I think this may be what the problem is.

    I'm not offended or insulted either, that's why I thought her reaction is a little...odd. And no, I don't think she's a frenchie.
  9. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

    Jul 3, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Unless I have something I have a reason to feel guilty about, no.

    After all, if someone is speaking to someone else in Navajo, it's probably better I don't know what they are saying...:supergrin:
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  10. Ricky Ricardo

    Ricky Ricardo

    Apr 4, 2013
    I agree completely.
  11. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I find it rude when I am at Subway and the employees keep talking to each other in another language. If I'm not speaking to them, I don't care. I wouldn't call it offended though. Just like if someone I'm talking to is also talking on the phone.
  12. Kevinr20


    Dec 13, 2005
    At my last job, this fat waste of human flesh woman complained about two Hispanic women speaking Spanish in the break room. It was jealousy because these women were beautiful. She told them to speak english or go back to Mexico. She filed a formal complaint and I was a witness in the other womens counter complaint that she was being racist and insulting them.

    I don't give a damn what language you speak if I'm not involved in the convo.
  13. MikeNH


    Jul 18, 2009
    Couldn't care less. I visit universities for work and students come from all over the world so its nothing new to me. My employer is headquartered in Germany so when company officers come over they're always talking amongst themselves in German and I never worry.
  14. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

    May 27, 1999
    Oh, USA
    At least she has the decency to be evasive about her bigotry. That's progress.

    First shame that people know you are doing something wrong.

    Then guilt because you know.

    Finally, STOP DOING IT!

    Sometimes I wish I knew Gaelic so I could speak my ancestral language.
  15. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator
    A few years ago I was working on a project with a German automation engineering firm for an extended period..

    One of the guys once said to me "I know, it is often uncomfortable for you when we discuss in German... you think we're talking about you".

    My reply was "what difference does it really make? If we all spoke the same language and you wanted to discuss me, you would do so when I am not present."

    In reality, I was lying to him for the sake of work relations.
    I was the only non German-speaking person in a group of 8 or so.
    We worked closely together for more than a year on a stress-filled, difficult project.
    They all spoke English, but for them it was just easier to speak German, especially when dealing with technical issues, for which they prefer their German-language tech-speak.

    Often it was very uncomfortable though... And sometimes I knew they were in fact discussing me. I learned just a few German words that enabled me a few clues to the discussion when it was of a personal nature. They had a particular term they used to refer to me rather than use my name, which someone not in our group who was fluent in German told me at one point.

    I just had to deal with it... the money was good.

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  16. Ricky Ricardo

    Ricky Ricardo

    Apr 4, 2013
    I agree, it's not something I've ever worried about.
  17. Mrs.Cicero

    Mrs.Cicero Wayward Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    far from home
    If you want to talk to me, talk to me in one of the languages I speak. Otherwise, i don't care what you are saying.

    Your co-worker is lacking in empathy for people for whom English is NOT their first language. When I am in a country where English is not the primary language, I am generally happy to be able to relax into a conversation where I don't have to expend so much energy to think of the correct grammatical structure, or the right idiom.
  18. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    I really don't care when people choose to exclude me from their conversation because when they do most likely I care nothing for them or what they have to say. And if I am not in a conversation with them whatever they are saying is not my business anyway.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  19. Flying-Dutchman


    Oct 10, 2007
    Here is a little tip for ESL people – It is rude in our culture. I know you do not give a flying ****, but it is rude.

    When I was a kid, we moved around a lot for my Dad’s career and we never spoke English in public to each other in a foreign country. We tried to be polite and fit in.

    We were wimpy people I guess. Polite =weak.

    I was showing a house I owned to a Chinese couple who while fluent in English started conversing in Mandarin.
    So I went around the corner to make a phone call, unnoticed I thought, and soon the man came looking for me enraged I would not let him waste my time.

    At a settlement, the lawyer and buyer switched over to Arabic. I immediately just stood up and left. The lawyer was angry too.

    Sorry, it’s a pet peeve. Just ask first.

    I really want to be a nice guy, but people suck.
  20. Slug71


    Mar 7, 2010
    Oregon - U.S.A