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Am I being unreasonable

(58 Posts)
janesright Wed 10-Jun-09 09:48:47

When 2 people in my office are talking in a foreign language when I question them to ask to talk English they look at me as if I am talking urdu ??

Jackstini Wed 10-Jun-09 09:50:14

Depends if it was something personal they were discussing or if you needed to hear it for work reasons. What was the context?

poopscoop Wed 10-Jun-09 09:50:32

YANBU - it is very rude to speak another language in front of you. It is as bad as sitting there whispering. Actually they are probably slagging you off! grin

Portofino Wed 10-Jun-09 09:52:41

Well your English isn't that great, so maybe they misunderstood....

janesright Wed 10-Jun-09 09:53:53

Doesn't really matter what the context was they can speak English so speak it I say and if its something personal take it outside !

kittywise Wed 10-Jun-09 09:54:41

very rude of them I agree

EccentricaGallumbits Wed 10-Jun-09 09:57:31

depends what country you're in.

onagar Wed 10-Jun-09 10:07:50

Always been in two minds about this. I hate it, but from their point of view speaking in their own language is so natural they probably don't think twice.

It is rude to do it knowingly though. Especially if there is just one person who won't understand since it feels like it's singling them out.

Rindercella Wed 10-Jun-09 10:10:42

I wouldn't take it personally if I were you. I am sure the conversation wasn't really all about you <<snigger>>

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:10:51

I wouldn't want to overhear a private conversation, so would prefer it if they spoke another language. But then I do work in an environment where a great many languages are spoken.

What worries me more is that we seem to have an awful lot of threads at the moment (as in, the last week or so) about foreigners causing trouble, making the natives feel uncomfortable etc etc. Some, like this one, do the softly-softly approach, others are more full on. But the tendency is the same.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 10-Jun-09 10:12:54

Unless they were having a conversation about work that you needed to know about then I think YABU. And rather rude yourself, by telling them to speak English.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Jun-09 10:15:49

if they were talking privatly to theirselves then i dont see the problem

why should they speak english to each other just so YOU can understand what they are saying

i know a finish ap very well, and if she is talking to a friend i would never tell her to speak english rather than sweedish to them

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:17:10

correction: as from last night

and funnily enough, they are all new posters

onagar Wed 10-Jun-09 10:17:20

Oh sorry Cory.

In that case what I meant to say was that it's the OPs fault for not knowing the language since there can never be anything even faintly wrong with anything someone does if they are not white british.

Forgot myself for a moment there

Stigaloid Wed 10-Jun-09 10:20:55

YANBU - it is discriminatory and can be the basis of a harrasment case if taken to the extreme as they are purposefully excluding you from conversations and making you feel ommitted within your working environment. If you started talking with other co-workers in whispered or hushed voices around them when they were in the office they could take it offensively and view it as harrasment.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 10-Jun-09 10:21:40

I don't think that is really the point Onagar. Does it matter if the people concerned were speaking French, German or Urdu? Or Welsh for that matter. If they were having a private conversation and it was easier to speak in their first language why should the OP expect them to change to English? So she could hear all the details of their MIL's gall bladder op or their sister's messy divorce?

NewTeacher Wed 10-Jun-09 10:22:46

well i speak another language and if I was speaking to a friend at work about something personal I would not speak in english.

just because they are speaking inanother language does not mean its about you.

i dont see the big deal tbh

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:25:06

onagar, do we know these people are not white?

it is perfectly possible, you know, to be both white and foreign

I have managed it myself for the last 16 years

otoh it is of course equally possible to be black and not foreign

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:26:13

Would you feel any less excluded if one person took the other outside for the conversation? Surely that could equally be construed as rudeness and harrassment?

onagar Wed 10-Jun-09 10:28:32

LadyGlencoraPalliser, if you see my first post I thought it must seem perfectly natural to speak their own language so I didn't think they were intending to be rude.

The OP didn't even say what color they were so they might have been French. Cory seems to think that this is some kind of BNP propaganda and I'm tired of this whole "It concerns foreigners? then you must be wrong" thing.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 10-Jun-09 10:31:35

I take your point Onagar, but there seem to be a lot of these posts around today and all started by new posters so I can see where Cory is coming from.

cory Wed 10-Jun-09 10:35:07

Well my point is that these threads are all posted by new posters who seem have joined since the BNP victory- and this is the first thing they do on MN.

They start threads that are not obviously OTT, in fact many people could probably agree, but they have the same tendency of people feeling threatened by the presence of foreign languages etc. Precisely the sort of thing that might make people feel positive towards the BNP. Coincidence? Maybe.

I have never claimed that foreigners can never be wrong. But if they are wrong, it would need to be for something other than just being foreign iyswim. And if we can't cope with people speaking foreign languages here, then clearly the only Brits to be allowed to go abroad should be the ones fluent in the other language.

A lot of the immigrants to this country are refugees; they will hardly have been in a position to stop mid-flight and brush up their English.

RumourOfAHurricane Wed 10-Jun-09 10:50:14

Message withdrawn

SouthMum Wed 10-Jun-09 10:59:07

Agreed, the recent fuckwittery on here is getting tedious, but on the other hand it makes me feel good knowing there are others out there with problems worse than mine......

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 10-Jun-09 12:17:02

Blondes - why would a Finnish au pair speak Swedish to her friends? [confused]

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