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Old 06-19-2013, 09:49 PM   #61
lizabu
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Originally Posted by Gumbo4x4

Oh, I've heard that many times (reminds me of a Seinfeld issue). I think it would seem more suspicious were the conversation to begin in English and then switch languages at some point.
Most of my family is bilingual. They switch languages mid sentence on a regular basis. I can whole heartedly assure you they are not speaking about you or trying to hide what they are saying from others. It's done because the word in the other language has been forgotten or the thing they are trying to express is more naturally expressed by using the words in the selected language.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:09 PM   #62
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I can't imagine why anyone would care what language someone else was speaking.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:03 AM   #63
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I don't really care what language people are speaking to each other in. It doesn't bother me because they are most likely not speaking to me. I do care that I have to press 1 for English. This is America and that is the language of America. The rude lady at the store was probably tired of pressing 1 too.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #64
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I don't find it rude at all, on public or in a group setting. I married into a family who speaks Czech at home, and they all switch back and forth between English and Czech all the time, so I only understand about half of what's being said. I have DH give me a synopsis later. Same thing at work sometimes, we have a lot of people that speak Spanish. I figure that being ignorant of those languages is my problem, not theirs.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:18 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
Most of my family is bilingual. They switch languages mid sentence on a regular basis. I can whole heartedly assure you they are not speaking about you or trying to hide what they are saying from others. It's done because the word in the other language has been forgotten or the thing they are trying to express is more naturally expressed by using the words in the selected language.
LOL! We do that too! In fact, I do that at times when Im talking to DH (who doesn't speak Spanish) and he just stares at me and then says.. Uh, DW, you do remember who you are speaking to, right?

Friends also laugh when they hear me on the phone with my parents, back and forth it goes...And I consider English my first language !
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:34 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by joviroxx View Post
LOL! We do that too! In fact, I do that at times when Im talking to DH (who doesn't speak Spanish) and he just stares at me and then says.. Uh, DW, you do remember who you are speaking to, right?

Friends also laugh when they hear me on the phone with my parents, back and forth it goes...And I consider English my first language !
Isn't this what they call "Spenglish" ???

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Old 06-20-2013, 08:38 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Shmily1 View Post
I don't really care what language people are speaking to each other in. It doesn't bother me because they are most likely not speaking to me. I do care that I have to press 1 for English. This is America and that is the language of America. The rude lady at the store was probably tired of pressing 1 too.
Would you rather press 2 for English?
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:48 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Shmily1 View Post
I don't really care what language people are speaking to each other in. It doesn't bother me because they are most likely not speaking to me. I do care that I have to press 1 for English. This is America and that is the language of America. The rude lady at the store was probably tired of pressing 1 too.
Honestly, though, I haven't heard that lately. I DO hear, press 1 for Spanish then it just keeps going in English. I think most phone services are that way now.

But heck, I live in South Florida where in some places, you'd be lucky to find English speaking people at a McDonalds. LOL
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:48 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
Most of my family is bilingual. They switch languages mid sentence on a regular basis. I can whole heartedly assure you they are not speaking about you or trying to hide what they are saying from others. It's done because the word in the other language has been forgotten or the thing they are trying to express is more naturally expressed by using the words in the selected language.

I get that. I used to travel to Mexico a lot on business and there were many folks down there who would need to switch to Spanish to explain things.

If you've seen the Seinfeld episode (well, i guess, even if you haven't) it's an entirely different deal though
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by scrapquitler

My Swedish Great grandparents refused to teach my Grandparents (on both sides of my Dad's family) to speak Swedish because they thought the children should speak only English since they were Americans. So it's not just your MIL's Italian Immigrants that held this belief.

My Hungarian grandparents felt the same way and never taught their children or us grandchildren Hungarian...althought I wish they had.

Growing up in an extremely diverse part of New Jersey I've experienced all different scenarios from those who do not know the English equivalent words or enough English to string together their thoughts, to those who I see and hear speaking perfectly fluent English from a distance and then watch them switch to their native language as they get closer.

I have taken foreign language classes, as they were called, for 7 years and wish I still could speak Spanish as well as I could in high school. I enjoy hearing different languages and truly wish I could speak some.

I agree that while not interacting with others and just speaking amongst yourselves, communicating in a language other than English is wonderful and great.

I can understand why people may take offence if a group of people blatently change into a different language so that others cannot understand them. I'll admit I have taken offence when people do make a side comment in another language in front of me...then realize that it's not something to get upset about.

I do enjoy other languages and wish I could speak more! My little brother tried to minor in Arabic in college...I hear it's quite the difficult language! This is America and you have the right to speak Arabic if you please! It's a shame you had that experience with that woman.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:05 AM   #71
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Okay, I'll admit it. It bothers me. I think we should have an official language -- English. I think if you are going to move to a country you should learn the language and use the language. I don't think everything should have to be published in 10 different languages to accommodate everyone. You want to live the dream, you want to be accepted, make some changes. I would never think to move to a spanish speaking country and not learn the language. I had a friend whose family member was here for 70+ years and didn't speak a word of English. Never bothered to learn. But she knew how to work the system. It was always the way that you came here you learned the language. You were proud to be an American and that included learning the language.

Flame away. And FWIW, I'm a very liberal person when it comes to most things. This just irks me.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #72
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Quote:
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Would you rather press 2 for English?
I don't want to press anything for English. This is America still.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:17 AM   #73
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Doesn't bother me one bit. It's America, you are free to speak whatever language you choose. I work with several people for whom Spanish is their native language. If they speak Spanish with each other, fine. If they switch to Spanish while part of a group, others may assume they are talking about them. However, it's often that one is explaining something in greater detail and its clearer for them in Spanish. As one says, "I think in Spanish and then have to translate it to English."
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:17 AM   #74
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It does not bother me to hear people speaking other languages as long as they are not being rude (doing it to exclude other people in the group, etc.)

The only people I know who really felt strongly against people using other languages in public was my high school/college best friend's family... and they were bilingual. They thought it was very bad manners.

In fact, I knew that the whole family was fluent in English and Spanish (they moved from Colombia when my friend was 6 years old). However, I never really heard them speak Spanish. One time, in college, my friend told someone else that her family spoke Spanish in their home. Later, I asked her about it because I spent a LOT of time over there and I *never* heard them speaking Spanish -- not even when her parents were in another room discussing who would pick up the dry-cleaning, or when her little sister came to ask their mom a question about homework (conversations that did not include me at all -- and for which I wasn't even in the same room). My friend said "Of course we speak English when you're there. It would be rude to speak Spanish in front of you." After I found that out, I always felt a little weird about it. I think it was nice, but after that I always felt like I was inconveniencing them (even though I never asked them to speak English).

ETA: I think I also became more tolerant after spending 6 weeks in Russia. I studied the language before we went, but I was by no means fluent. It's hard to be in a place where you don't know the main language very well. I'll admit that when I was younger, sometimes I would wonder if people were speaking another language because they didn't want the rest of us to know what they were saying. I don't assume that anymore.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:19 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessKsMom View Post
Okay, I'll admit it. It bothers me. I think we should have an official language -- English. I think if you are going to move to a country you should learn the language and use the language. I don't think everything should have to be published in 10 different languages to accommodate everyone. You want to live the dream, you want to be accepted, make some changes. I would never think to move to a spanish speaking country and not learn the language. I had a friend whose family member was here for 70+ years and didn't speak a word of English. Never bothered to learn. But she knew how to work the system. It was always the way that you came here you learned the language. You were proud to be an American and that included learning the language.

Flame away. And FWIW, I'm a very liberal person when it comes to most things. This just irks me.
Well the 70+ year story is an extreme example, but I just know that learning a new language as an adult is an incredibly difficult thing. I have a lot of admiration for anyone who manages to do it and a lot of sympathy for non-native speakers in our country. Kids learn easily, adults have to study and practice extensively.

And it's easy enough to learn some common, conversational words/phrases in a new language, but it's quite another thing to learn enough to understand detailed instructions at, for example, the DMV. And we DO want people to understand, THAT is the most important thing. What bothers you more, some signage in Spanish (that you can easily ignore) or a bunch of confused people in front of you in line?

I know it's just what "irks" you, that's ok - you're not alone. I just cannot for the life of me understand why people get so annoyed with pressing 1 (how hard is that?) or happening upon some translated text. But that's just me. I just love the sound of other languages, I very much wish I were bi-lingual, and I actually (no lie) USE the Spanish signage to work on my own, limited learning of Spanish (I do, I'm a nerd!)
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