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Old 06-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #31
Allison
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightlessDuck View Post
If you are the citizen of a country and chose not to speak the dominant language of that country out in public, people are going to assume you are talking about them and/or trying to hide something.

Is that fair? No. But that's the perception.
Hmmm...no, I don't assume that. My kids have friends who speak to their parents in Mandarin and Spanish on the phone. I don't assume they are talking about me or hiding something.

I also don't assume the random person on the street is talking about me.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:43 PM   #32
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In a typical day on the NYC subway I am likely to hear half a dozen languages other than English, some from immigrants and their families, some from tourists.

I know a lot of people want to kick the UN out of NYC, but it's got nothing to do with the languages spoken there.

I find it ironic that countries like Canada, Belgium, Cyprus, etc. embrace their multi-linguistic culture and officially recognize more than one "official" language, but in this country, where we have no "official' language, there are people who get bent out of shape if someone dares to speak a language other than English.

The OP and her family were speaking Arabic among themselves. The other woman was rude to be eavesdropping on their conversation and even more rude to confront them about something that was none of her business.

I do think it's rude to speak a foreign language in a group setting if not all of the members of the group understand that language.

I agree that it behooves an immigrant population to learn the dominant language of our country, but I don't have a problem accommodating those who don't speak English, or don't speak it well.

And I have a real problem with those who complain about Spanish. Why? well, among other reasons, because Puerto Rico, whose people are born American citizens, is bilingual, recognizing both English and Spanish as "official" languages. Imagine that, a territory of the United States is officially bilingual! Friend of mine got a lot of grief when he applied for a passport at a post office in New Jersey when he presented his birth certificate, issued in Puerto Rico, because the document was in Spanish.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joviroxx View Post
When Im out and about with you might catch me speaking Spanish. Heck, when I get mad, spanish seems to be more appropriate LOL.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by FireDancer View Post
I don't see the issue at all with the situation you described. I don't care what language people speak to each other.

I also personally don't think switching to another language when in a group to say something privately is rude either. Just know that someone might speak the other language that you think might not so be careful.

Generally people are way too caught up on the "speak English" garbage and I say that as someone who only knows English and some Italian swear words.
This is so true. My parents are Dutch immigrants, so we grew up bilingual. Around here, it is very rare to run into another Dutch person.

That said, you can never tell. I was at a party one time and there was a new ex-pat couple from the Netherlands. I knew they were Dutch, but did not have a chance to exchange pleasantries.

The couple was standing in the kitchen, speaking Dutch, making fun of all the people at the party. They were commenting on their looks, their weight, 'dumb Americans', the list goes on.

I just very casually walked up to them and said in Dutch "I can understand every word you are saying." They left soon after.

As to the OP's question, I think it is fine as long as certain normal etiquette rules are followed. For instance, don't stare at somebody, start laughing and point while speaking to your fellow person in your other language

I disagree with Fire Dancer that it is not rude to start speaking in another language while in a group when part of that group does not speak the language. It is very rude. As children, we are taught not to tell secrets in front of others and speaking in a language that other's in your group cannot understand is akin to telling secrets. It is just plain common courtesy for a group to be inclusive of one another. Now if one is asking somebody else to translate, fine.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joviroxx View Post
...

Are people that narcissistic that they walk around people are talking about them when they are clearly not? Interesting.. Living in Florida, among tourist and immigrants, that would be one paranoid existence!

...
Sums it up just right!

Sometimes people do think that they are the center of the universe.

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Old 06-19-2013, 12:59 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by FireDancer View Post
Eh, I don't find that rude either. Sometimes you have something you want to say privately to someone and doing it quickly and quietly via a whisper instead of both leaving, saying what you need to say, and returning is just easier. The later is just as obvious anyway and sometimes you either can't or don't want to wait until later to say whatever it is.

I really don't know why people care so much about that kind of thing. I couldn't possibly care less if someone whispered something to someone in front of me or broke off into some other language.
It is simple manners. You do not whisper or exclude people in a group.

If one doesn't find that rude, they most likely ignored the manners lessons growing up.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:12 PM   #37
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It's rude when people do not mind their own business and that woman who gave you flack was the epitome of rudeness! Of course it is perfectly acceptable to speak in languages other than English. The only exception is when you are at a social gathering and some of your companions speak only English. Then it is polite to use the language most understood by everyone at the gathering so as not to exclude anyone from the conversation.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpig70 View Post
I don't think its rude for you to speak Arabic in public.

Now if you want to talk about press ocho for Spanish or signs, pamphlets or announcements in another language that's another topic.
Agree
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:31 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by joviroxx View Post
That's one of the oddest things Ive ever heard. Are people that narcissistic that they walk around people are talking about them when they are clearly not?
Narcissism and paranoia aren't the same thing.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #40
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I was at WDW once with a family member and a couple of Japanese girls were talking to each other in a restaurant, in Japanese of course. The family member says, "That's so rude-they should speak English when they're in America." I said, "If you went to Japan on vacation would you speak Japanese?" "Oh. I never thought about it that way."

I live in a predominately Spanish area, so most of our local phone messages etc are bilingual, as is signage in our stores and businesses, "Se Habla Espanol" and so forth. I'm not Spanish and don't speak too much of the language, but it doesn't bother me at all. I don't see why it would bother anybody, really. We are a multi-cultural country, it's a fact. So what if I have to "press two for English?" I just press the button and get on with it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:40 PM   #41
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Hmm, OK, some clarity. Things I have actually seen in life in the past year:

A. Someone is talking in a foreign language in a store or restaurant. Rude? No.

B. A man with obvious mental issues (no, not me :P) gets on a bus and starts talking to a woman oddly. Woman, who was speaking English earlier, is taken aback, gets annoyed, gets into a bit of a confrontation with said guy. Woman turns to friend and speaks in Spanish. Likelyhood they are talking about the poor deranged guy while he sits there: 100%.

To sum up: speak in whatever language you want to. The woman who confronted you: Nutty.

Speak in a different language in order to hide the fact that you are talking about someone standing right there: Rude.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #42
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I can't imagine why anyone would care what language someone else was speaking.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #43
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be careful on what you say in another language. Someone ppl can understand it without you knowing...

I had a family talking in Chinese once, trying to rip me off. I understand every word they said...

I was a bit disappointed with my own race that day... haha
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:54 PM   #44
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Just don't speak Arabic in an airport or on an airplane.

http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/219...-logan-airport
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:59 PM   #45
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The only person I know that is bothered to hear a foreign language is my wacko MIL. She claims it's because her parents were Italian immigrants that would not allow their children to speak Italian outside the home. The reason they said it showed disrespect for America and when you came to this country you should speak and behave as Americans.
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