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to think when Brits complain about immigrants not integrating

(130 Posts)
redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 13:10:45

or learning English, it's a bit of a pot, kettle, black scenario.

I just heard someone moaning about immigrants not integrating or learning English when I happen to know their parents actually live in Majorca in an ex pat community and don't speak Spanish.

I think the there are loads of Brits living abroad in countries that don't speak English who don't integrate, learn the language or mix much with locals.

AIBU to think that we are probably one of the worst nations for integrating when we emigrate and learning languages but the first to moan about people not integrating in the UK.

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:07:09

I am stunned that you have an increasing number of bus drivers who speak little English.
Do you ind saying where about you are in the UK?

theywillgrowup Sun 20-Oct-13 14:07:37

IMO if you make another country your home then yes you should be prepared to learn the language and respect the culture,while being able to retain your own country of origins culture (as long as it's not illegal etc)

but that's a perfect world

i do feel that some dont integrate as much as they could in the uk,and feel that a big divide is being created,but yes the english can be quilty of this abroad to

so i guess YANBU

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 20-Oct-13 14:08:35

Good post EBearHug

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:11:42

"British population of Spain in 2006 was estimated to be about 761,000 (more than twenty-five times the population of Gibraltar).[1][2] Of these, according to the BBC and contrary to popular belief, only about 21.5% are over the age of 65"

"Academic research has shown that a section of the British population in Spain is poorly integrated into Spanish society.[8][9][10] [11] [12] A survey of 340 British migrants in the Province of Málaga, for example, found that one third rarely or never met Spanish people, apart from in shops and restaurants, and that 60 per cent did not speak Spanish well.[1"

theywillgrowup Sun 20-Oct-13 14:16:31

on the other side though English is accepted as a world wide language

so we have been spoilt in some ways,maybe somebody could explain why it is known as a worldwide language.Is it because we used to have a large presence in other country's years ago,(being polite on that one) hmm

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-13 14:17:03


I understand exactly what Trills said btw and I agree with every word.

I think there are far too many immigrants here in London who make very little effort to learn English or to integrate.

That doesn't make me 'Pot, kettle, Black' in my line of thinking because the Brits who do the same abroad, are not me.

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:17:53

Interesting article

I just think that we do have integration problems in the UK but I think sometimes many people here take a superior attitude and forget that many Brits are doing just the same thing abroad.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-13 14:19:44

I just think that we do have integration problems in the UK but I think sometimes many people here take a superior attitude and forget that many Brits are doing just the same thing abroad.

Right but how would 'remembering' the Brits abroad, change the situation here?

It doesn't.

nicename Sun 20-Oct-13 14:19:55

I'd guess that the majority of people emigrating to the Costa del Whatzit would be retirees. Possible different from someone much younger upping sticks and moving abroad - work, education, housing eyc - where they really would need to integrate to some degree.

And the bus drivers here - they can speak english (especially ye olde anglo saxon) but choose to do the 'death stare'. I think they teach them that at TFL school.

When I go abroad I usually go native anyway. That's why I go abroad - to experience life there.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-13 14:22:28

Most of the bus drivers here speak English quite well

Minicab drivers not so much, but usually enough to get by.

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:23:49

According to the stats only 21% living on the costa del Whatzit grin (love that) are OAP's.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:24:24

I've recently moved from a big city where we had a lot of Eastern European drivers - they all spoke English perfectly well.

My SIL and her sister are Lithuanian - both speak fantastic English, as well as German and French.

My personal favourites are the English drivers who grunt at you and the one we had for awhile (on a school bus route) who thought that swearing at other drivers was perfectly acceptable in front of all the children.

But hey, at least he wasn't a nasty immigrant, eh?

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:27:46


I have never encountered a bus driver who doesn't speak English either.

PacificDogwood Sun 20-Oct-13 14:27:50

Well, I kinda see what you are getting at, redpipe, and agree that English speaking people (of any nationality) as a gross generalisation are not as good as member of other smaller nations to learn another language, even of the country they live in.
But then, English IS understood and spoken in many, many parts of the world, so the incentive is just not the same I suppose.

I am saying that as one of the 'deserving' hmm immigrants to Britain. I am caucasian, speak good English, am highly trained and am a total net gain to the country (I was trained in my home country where I never worked/paid taxes and have paid tax here for 20 years now).
I have totally gone native grin which was the whole point of leaving home.

However I can see how excruciatingly difficult it must be if you come from a culture far more different from Britain than my own is. If you live in an enclave of your own culture and rarely venture out. If you find this strange new world you live in quite threatening and strange. Etc etc.

What bugs me more is holiday makers or even longerterm expats behaving as if they owned the place, wherever they are, and have the gall to be fecking critical about the otherness of their place in the sun hmm.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-13 14:29:03

I'm not really sure what that has to do with anything Heartbroken, surely that's taking the thread off topic a tad?

English drivers aren't the only ones who 'grunt' at passengers and swear at other drivers.

But that's a whole different topic and no-one (apart from you) has mentioned the words 'nasty immigrant'.

BrokenSunglasses Sun 20-Oct-13 14:30:36

Worra has it spot on, and I think you are focussing on Spain too much. I'd imagine that many of the Brits that are working there are catering for the huge number of Brits that go there on holiday so don't spend the majority of their working time needing to converse with people who are Spanish. I don't think you can rely on Spain to make an accurate judgement on how well Brits integrate there. It would be better to look at a British integration in a country that has a more average level of British tourism.

nicename Sun 20-Oct-13 14:32:47

As said by the english bus driver at 7.30am last week to another roasd user
"c**t, C*****NT!! CUUUUUUUUUUUU*****TTTTT!!!!!!!"


redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:35:05


I agree it must be very difficult for some people who have come from such different backgrounds.

WorraLiberty Sun 20-Oct-13 14:36:24


Have you never heard an Indian or Pakistani driver swear?

See this is what I mean. These threads tend to go right off topic and just turn into a 'Bash the British' fest.

Nancy66 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:36:30

I think people feel more at ease with what they know.

If I was moving to a country where I knew nobody and didn't speak a word of the language and somebody said to me: 'There's this little community full of English people there and they'll welcome you and show you around.' then, yeah, I probably would head there.

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:38:02

But what about the children in Spanish schools not integrating as well as other European nationals?
You are right though about focusing too much on Spain although I believe it's our top destination so hard not to.

PacificDogwood Sun 20-Oct-13 14:48:08

I don't think that thread like this are about bashing the Brits at all.
Sterotypes wrt to nationalities exist for a reason: there's usually a tiny seed of truth to them although they obviously don't apply to all individuals.

I've never had any serious problems living here but have had comments implying I did not behave 'like the rest of you' - What? All other women? Mothers? Piano players? Brown haired/blue eye people?? No, not like ALL the other of my compatriots apparently grin. And some of the prejudices go back a few hundred years...

BrokenSunglasses Sun 20-Oct-13 14:53:48

I don't know about those children, but I have a friend who has recently moved her family including three children to Spain to live. I know they are doing their best to learn Spanish and are trying hard to get to fully know the Spanish culture, but obviously it won't happen overnight. Until they have fully integrated, it seems only natural that they will spend time with other Brits.

I think if you're going to consider Brits in Spain in comparison to the communities in the UK that have not integrated, then you have to also consider the fact that the vast majority of Brits in Spain will be there because they really want to be. For many it will have been a choice that they feel very lucky and happy to have. But there are people living in parts of the UK who are only there because they have no other reasonable option, and given the choice they would be in the country they came from and free from the problems that caused them to leave.

You aren't comparing comparable communities. People's reasons for not integrating will be very different.

Thistledew Sun 20-Oct-13 14:58:58

I do think you have a point OP. The people complaining are usually of the mindset that it is "those people" who don't bother to learn the language or integrate, without stopping to consider that it seems to be a common human behaviour across all nationalities and ethnic groups to behave in that way.

Some people who emigrate integrate. Many people who emigrate don't. I don't actually see why the latter is something to make a fuss about. You just live by your own standards as does everyone else and it all evens out at the end.

redpipe Sun 20-Oct-13 14:59:26

I was referring to this link in brokensunglasses.
I take your point about different reasons for emigrating but actually that just makes it worse that many Brits don't integrate more doesn't it?

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