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Linguaholic

Ever found people angry that you do not speak their language?


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I've recently traveled through some very French parts of my country, and while I'd heard various times that they would refuse to speak English to me, not once did I experience that. Moreover, if they did not speak any English, they seemed to almost be embarrassed at THEIR inability - which I thought was quite unnecessary, given that I was the foreigner!

What about you? Have you run into any situations abroad that have had you running to the nearest language-dictionary store

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My friends have told me stories about their travels to Quebec. The consensus was that they'd rather they speak English to you than you speak French to them. They really value their language, they seem indignant when it's spoken to them by a non-Quebecer.

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Oh yes!! I remember one time I had a customer whom I think he spoke Russian, but I had no idea what he was saying. He got mad really fast because I couldn't understand one word he was saying. I couldn't see the anger on his face like he was going to kill someone or something. That was a madness right there!

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Oh yes!! I remember one time I had a customer whom I think he spoke Russian, but I had no idea what he was saying. He got mad really fast because I couldn't understand one word he was saying. I couldn't see the anger on his face like he was going to kill someone or something. That was a madness right there!

That was probably due more to his own frustration at not being able to comunicate than you not speaking his language.

I also had the impression the French would be most unwilling to bear with my poor grasp of their language, but was also very pleasently surprised with their friendliness and willingness to waste time trying to communicate with me in terms we both agreed.

Funny enough, the most I've felt in a situation where clearly the other person was annoyed that I didn't speak his language was close to home: Spanish tourists in Portugal apparently assume we all understand them perfectly and are fluent in their language, so when they ask a question and we reply in Portuguese (which, honour be made to them, they generally understand), they clearly display some annoyance, and quickly dispose of us in search of someone more willing to communicate in their language. This is probably a generalization, but it reflects the experiences I've had.

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Oh yes. I work in transport so I meet a lot of people from different countries.

Sometimes I get to talk to lorry drivers and they are often not very friendly. I once had a German guy who didn't even speak a word in English and he was mad at me cause I didn't know what he wanted. I learned German at school and tried to work the situation out but I don't know transport/machine/truck related words. In the end I had to send him to security because I don't need to deal with rude shouting people.

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I have had people get upset when I didn't know their language.  It wasn't an angry kind of upset, it was closer to a frustration.  Understandable that they would feel that way, I've been there myself.  Its fascinating to meet people from other parts of the world only to find that we can't communicate as much as we would like.

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HAHAHAHA!!!! Hell yeah!!!  I did, when I was in France!  I was stuck in their airport and I had a really bad time because most of the employees over there seemed so mad I couldn't speak french... only english.  One of them (the cleaning guy) even assaulted me verbally like I just did something horrible... totally insane.  The other employees were super rude too, most of them answered in french and pretended they didn't speak english.  Yes, even the employees working for continental airlines (I always liked that airline) pretended they spoke no english.

I was so desperate, I ended up in that airport because I missed my flight (weather issues) and I had no idea what gate I was supposed to get to in order to catch my flight.  I had been awake for 2 days, I was tired... and scared, and instead of offering me a helping hand most of them ignored me... and even insulted me.

I found only one nice person who helped me to find my gate, and no it wasn't an employee it was just an old french man who was kind enough to help me out! I hope G-d bless than man wherever he is!

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I have not yet encountered people get angry of me because I do not speak their language. Here in the country where I am now living and its been 6 months already so far when I am in the mall or supermarket I can speak some of their basic Hangeul language but If i want to ask something that I cannot translate I tell them if they know how to speak English and its good I find some people here who knows how to speak English even just a few words and we understand each other. And if others does not know English I just say my nationality and then they say its okay if they don't understand me. :)

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This happens a lot in Spain. Spanish people are extremely proud of their country and their own language. When I was in a Spanish restaurant in Madrid once (I'm Portuguese) and I started talking Portuguese and, although I knew they had understood, they would always answer back in Spanish... always. Even if you don't understand it. They are that proud of their culture.

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I went to my dads home village a few years back and the cities we lived in spoke other languages and so i was not able to learn my dads native language. Unfortunately the people where my dad is from did not understand this and pretty much looked down on me and made me feel as though i was a traitor. it was a pretty awkward experience for me

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I really wish people from other cultures would be more accepting of foreigners, especially if they are trying to speak your language. We should all try and embrace each other and our differences. When I worked in a shop (I'm from the UK) I would regularly have to deal with customers who spoke barely any english. You just have to make it a positive situation. However, I once had someone be very rude and throw money at me and storm out because I couldn't understand them. But they were just shouting Russian right from the start. I also had a lot of rude customers from places like Pakistan and found some of them to be extremely rude and arrogant. But I did meet some lovely people from there too :)

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