Author Topic: Language and etiquette  (Read 3134 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9945
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2012, 07:58:40 PM »
I teach on a bilingual campus.

1. Teacher lounge/lunch if an English only staff member comes in the BIL teachers will switch from Spanish to English.

2. Halls - Spanish teachers speak both languages depending who they are talking to.

3. Meetings - Depends what is being discussed. In our team meetings (3 English Teacher 2 Spanish) it isn't unusual for the Spanish teachers to have brief exchanges in Spanish about things specific to their students usually vocabulary. We pretty much only have 1 type of English spoken on campus (Texan with me throwing in some Maritimes occasionally). We have off the top of my head  have 9 types dialects of Spanish spoken (NYC, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, Houston, Valley (Texas), California, Honduras and those are just the teachers I eat lunch with). They often have to decide exactly which vocabulary to use in lessons.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

GratefulMaria

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 479
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2012, 08:07:11 PM »
My mother speaks one language with me, MIL speaks another with DH, and we all have English in common.  I'll often slip into my non-English language with my mother, but only to briefly clarify something.  Sometimes my mother or MIL will revert to their non-English language as part of a mini-snark or exclusionary gesture, and DH or I cut that off immediately.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8341
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2012, 09:42:25 PM »
I used to work at a translation agency. Although most of our translators were freelance, we had native speakers of French, German and Spanish on staff. They all spoke to other native speakers of their language in their native tongue on occasion.

Yes, it can seem a bit off-putting. I think because it feels as if they are deliberately trying to hide what they are saying.

But in reality, often it is just a relief to not have to think about what they are saying in English, and just relax into their home language. Also, sometimes they have the vocabulary to say something in their native language and they don't in English, or they aren't sure of the precise English word that will best get across their meaning.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

AuntyEm

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 515
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 07:48:51 AM »
I lived in Denmark for 6 years and although I attended language school for 2 of those years, I was never fluent enough to be comfortable chatting in Danish and could not understand some of the finer details of a conversation.  It gave me an appreciation of how lovely it is to be able to speak in your own language and was the major factor in the decision to move back to the US.

Even if someone can speak English, it doesn't mean they are comfortable, can get their point across clearly, show their personality or make jokes.  Unless they are deliberately trying to exclude you from a conversation, give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not meaning to leave you out but are just trying to communicate in a way that is natural for them.

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1992
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 11:45:52 AM »
I think it depends on the situation. My parents have lived in the US for about 30 years, but they're still much more comfortable speaking Korean than English. Honestly, if any of my friends had had a problem with my parents speaking Korean to me while they were visiting, I'd have been tempted to tell my friends to get over it. It's a moot point though, because most of my friends are the children of immigrants as well, so they know how it goes.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12273
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 05:39:42 PM »
When I was younger, the Spanish speaking father of one of my classmates was talking to my mother.  He asked if she spoke Spanish - she had to say no.

Turns out that although his English was roughly "high school" level - he had a master's degree from a major university in Mexico.  He missed being able to "speak academic" to people because he just didn't have the English vocabulary and very few of the local Spanish speakers had college degrees (1960s, Texas Panhandle, very small town with 98% of the Hispanic population being transient farm workers - he worked for railroad, I don't remember in which capacity, as I was in sixth grade when we moved).  Trying to find a particular "Maria HispanicLastName" in Texas on a Google search is akin to finding a particular Mary Smith - when you don't know the middle name of EITHER.

But his kids came to the local Baptist church some of the time instead of the local Catholic church - apparently they got more English practice (he wanted them to speak better English at an early age).
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Raintree

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5854
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 03:27:12 AM »
I agree, I'm pretty confused by this.  Why would a library be English-only?  Are you talking about the patrons or the staff?  I'm a librarian and I can't see any way that it would be reasonable for me to enforce the language our patrons use among themselves.

Possibly because they are supposed to be there to learn English, if it's an international college. I read that to mean it's a college where students from all over the world come to learn English. (Maybe some clarification from the OP?).

 I have a friend who teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) at a private college with students from all over the world. They also have a similar policy in place, because while it's easier, more comfortable, and the natural thing to do for students to revert to their home language amongst themselves while at college, it's not conducive to actually learning English. You have to be fully immersed in the language to really learn it. Of course, there is no stopping them from conversing in whatever language they want off-campus, but the goal of the college is to fully immerse them in English.

I have never been immersed into another language and English is the only one I know, so I can only imagine how difficult and tiring it must be to have to speak a foreign language all day, but that really is the purpose of the college, at least the one where my friend teaches. (I am making assumptions about the kind of college the OP is talking about).

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1525
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 03:59:28 AM »
It's a college for international students studying business degrees. Accounting, management and finance.

Raintree

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5854
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 04:41:43 AM »
It's a college for international students studying business degrees. Accounting, management and finance.

Hmm. OK, so it's not for learning English specifically. In that case, I got nothing. Maybe it's to foster a learning environment where everybody's speaking the same language.

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12011
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 08:24:16 AM »
At my job the office manager and another employee speak Spanish fluently.  There used to be 2 or 3 other Spanish speakers.  They are/were all born & raised in the US and went to normal English-speaking schools.  Its very off putting that they chat in Spanish. I know enough Spanish (and body language) to say with confidence sometimes its personal chatter, sometimes its work stuff. They often save their complaints for Spanish, I guess forgetting that the "bad" words are some of the most commonly known among non-Spanish speakers, so really its not so much of a secret as to what they are saying.

I think work is a different story...if someone shows interest in their conversation they should do a quick translation.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9436
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 12:48:58 PM »
I have no idea why the library is English-only. It might be so all students have a shared language, but it's not enforced so its not an issue.

I lived in a boarding house with this rule in the dining room. It was to encourage the foreign students to learn English, which is part of what they were there for.

Quote
And I think I explained myself poorly in the opening post. I have problem with the students talking with each other in their own language, it's more when in the company of others or during a conversation with me that I have an issue with.

Hope that clears things up.

If I understand you, the issue is that they are standing in front of your desk, having asked you for help or whatever, and then talking to each other in their shared language, which you don't speak. Is that correct?
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1525
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 03:05:15 PM »
Yes, that's it.

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9436
Re: Language and etiquette
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 10:43:15 AM »
Then I would say that unless one is interpreting, they are being rude. Having engaged you, they are now shutting you out.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls