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When native speakers are not cooperative


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If there was a country where all people was kind to each other and fair, it would be probably really popular. But this is not happening and in all countries, there's people just being not so nice to you, they just don't care about you and even go as far as doing mockery (which is disrespectful, needless to say).

The problem is how to handle the understanding with this person. For example, this person might not cooperate when you ask what an expression means, even if the person is not acting badly outside of that. It happened to me once and I asked the meaning to two persons, I was unable to find. I then trusted my thought and gave up to finding explanation.

So, how to handle that? How to handle conflicts in a language you're not comfortable with? And what about passively not cooperating people?

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I can't say I've really had this issue with native speakers. The only problems I really encounter is when I ask someone a question on French or German and they reply to me in English! I know people are just trying to be helpful but I want to practise my languages whenever I can. Maybe they just want the chance to speak some English themselves, who knows?

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I think people in most countries cut you some slack if you cannot really speak their language or if you are just starting out and trying to communicate with what sentences you know. You should ignore those people that make fun of you because you are a foreigner, those people are in a minority.

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That's horrible, and is likely to put some people off continuing with their learning! Luckily for me, I've never had it happen to me. I'm not even sure what I'd do if it did happen, I'd probably be so appalled I would just walk away. Not everyone will be like that, though.

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Then come to my country the Philippines. Almost all the signs you read are written in English and most people can speak it. We Filipinos are also known to be one of the most hospitable. We treat our guests, foreign people included with utmost warmth and friendliness.

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I've never really met anyone who made fun of me for my knowledge of their language. I'll say it though - it is sometimes funny when foreigners try to speak in my language. But most of the times we do that we're not mocking you, we just thought that it was a bit funny and at the same time we were also impressed by you for your attempts to speak my language. We actually admire foreigners who try to learn our language - we're one of those countries that hold our culture pretty high so when a foreigner tries to learn our language we take it as a major compliment.

But that's just me - there are probably super rude people who actually mock you, but I haven't met any of those people yet.

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I find that if I don't get the meaning or interpretation of an expression now, I will end up getting it later. So I don't allow these loonies to drive me to a point of frustration. It's amazing to see though how the Internet can be more reliable than people.

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Well that is rude and not should be the case. If a country and its people's native speakers do not help the would be learner then they should move on and try to ask for help from other native speakers because I do not think all of them in a country would be rude and disrespectful.

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That's really very rude of them to mock you when you're just trying to know more about their language. I guess there's really no magic recipe to handling those kinds of people/situations. Well, I think you have just got to find a decent person whom you can really trust with your learning, or probably you may just want to do your own research.

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I was in Vietnam a few days ago and naturally I would want to learn some bits of their language. Unfortunately, the moment I speak (in English) it seems that the people are turned off. The only ones who cooperated were the staff in the hotel where we stayed. But outside, the Vietnamese seem to abhor the English language.

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This is just sad if this happens to me and this is the reason why I do not want to go to a place wherein the people  cannot speak a little English because definitely there will be problems encountered. It is then very important to bring a dictionary if this happens.

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I agree with those who say it's just plain rude, but luckily I've never come across that sort of behaviour. Even though I know for a fact I butcher both French and Italian, nobody has ever mocked or laughed at me. They've instead been very impressed and complimentary. I think just the fact that I've shown an interest in learning their language makes them happy.

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I can't say I've really had this issue with native speakers. The only problems I really encounter is when I ask someone a question on French or German and they reply to me in English! I know people are just trying to be helpful but I want to practise my languages whenever I can. Maybe they just want the chance to speak some English themselves, who knows?

I guess more they are doing the wrong thing but they intend to do right. I think in their mind, English is the main world communication language and maybe they don't know how to say this sentence either in French or German. After all, when you don't know any of these languages, how could you answer?

That's horrible, and is likely to put some people off continuing with their learning! Luckily for me, I've never had it happen to me. I'm not even sure what I'd do if it did happen, I'd probably be so appalled I would just walk away. Not everyone will be like that, though.

I think it is a main problem for any new learner, especially at the school. I already heard about stories where people felt shy for learning language on school because their pronunciation wasn't correct and others found out that absurd.

That's really very rude of them to mock you when you're just trying to know more about their language. I guess there's really no magic recipe to handling those kinds of people/situations. Well, I think you have just got to find a decent person whom you can really trust with your learning, or probably you may just want to do your own research.

The thing is, it may be a cultural problem, as @CorieHens brought it up. And when it is a cultural problem to not know the main language of a country, it's where it's hardest. It is not that much when you know many will be cooperative, but when you don't find one, you feel out of luck, even if there's some ready to cooperate out there.

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Well, so far I haven't had a really bad experience... the only bad experience I can recall was Paris, people there were incredibly rude. Not all of them, of course, but most of them were incredibly mean and rude.  Amazingly enough this happened at the airport.  I can't imagine what it would be like in the street... odds are I'd have ended up getting all beaten up, lol. 

I have heard a lot things about dutch people,  a girl told me they often talk very fast to her and something they pronounce things oddly on purpose. When she says something some of them say something like: wat zegt ie?  Oh yes, this is going to be so fun.

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Well, so far I haven't had a really bad experience... the only bad experience I can recall was Paris, people there were incredibly rude. Not all of them, of course, but most of them were incredibly mean and rude.  Amazingly enough this happened at the airport.  I can't imagine what it would be like in the street... odds are I'd have ended up getting all beaten up, lol. 

 

I have heard a lot things about dutch people,  a girl told me they often talk very fast to her and something they pronounce things oddly on purpose. When she says something some of them say something like: wat zegt ie?  Oh yes, this is going to be so fun.

Honestly, I think it's not that worst outside of airports rather than inside, I would even say sometimes it could be better outside, even if in the end, you will only collect mockery or people not doing any efforts at all with you. That's basically what happens with many of them, because they are not really open minded in general, instead why would you care about the fact someone is talking another language you understand or talks your language but with another accent? I mean, people in the language are the first to want it spread out, but they are the first to reject the learning speakers as well. Where's the logic here?

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Oh wow, I really empathise with you guys who've been mocked by native speakers in the past. I can hand on heart say I have never in my life come across that sort of rude behaviour. Whether it was in France or Italy, even with my broke French and Italian, people have always been very supportive and helpful. Never once has anyone been horrible towards me, let alone mocked me because I was butchering their language. That would be should destroying!

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@lushlala In my case was because I dare to speak English to them, they were the meanest because of that, because they assume everyone touching french soil should know at least a bit french. Funny thing is I didn't have the intention to ever touch french soil, sadly I missed a flight back in Houston, so I had no choice but take the flight to ugly Paris.  So I could make it to Oslo! Needless to say I will never go there again, I'd rather spend the night at the airport than end up there again :P 

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Honestly, I think it's not that worst outside of airports rather than inside, I would even say sometimes it could be better outside, even if in the end, you will only collect mockery or people not doing any efforts at all with you. That's basically what happens with many of them, because they are not really open minded in general, instead why would you care about the fact someone is talking another language you understand or talks your language but with another accent? I mean, people in the language are the first to want it spread out, but they are the first to reject the learning speakers as well. Where's the logic here?

I think the dutch are a really special bunch ;)   As for the french... they don't like it when you speak English to them, even if you don't know a word of french and you didn't even mean to end up stuck in their airport, somehow they expect you to speak french.  If you ask me they are very arrogant people, specially in the city.  As for the Dutch... well, I've been told already a lot dutch will try to speak English to me when they hear my accent :P But it's ok, I will answer in dutch.  I'll tell them politely to talk to me in dutch, since I am trying to integrate.  Sometimes you have to be very assertive ;) 

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Well, most Korean people I have met here are extremely nice to me when I ask about a certain word or phrase. They even go beyond their efforts and try to speak the best English they can. I guess for rude native speakers, you really cannot do anything about them. You just have to find another native speaker that is nicer and more willing to work with you. I don't really generalise as I know that there are different kinds of people in a country or place. One may be mean, but there will be plenty more who are nicer. Just try to look around more and you will find a better person to communicate with regarding a foreign language.

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