General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Responding in a different language?

(1/2) > >>

I had a FB friend post a link to a blog in French.  I can read French, but I'm not quite fluent anymore.  I'd love to respond to what she and her friend wrote about the blog on FB, but I'll have to do it in English.  I know that my friend speaks English, but not sure about her friend.  Is it rude to jump into a thread in another language, expecting to be understood?  I know they have that translation feature on FB, but I don't think it works well.

Can your FB friend translate your desired comment into French for you? If it's a short message, that might be a nice gesture.

I don't find it rude, in either direction.  I have friends who post in English, Japanese, Swedish, Polish, and Lithuanian; some of their friends' responses are in English, some in the original language.  If I don't understand, I use the translation feature, or one of the myriad of online free translation sites like Bing translator, etc.  And I normally do respond in English.  I presume that they use the translation feature if they don't understand me!

It's so easy to translate these days - at least pretty close to the correct meaning :-).

This is pretty normal among my multilingual Facebook friends as well, and I've done the reply-in-English thing too, for the same reasons (m French reading comprehension is high, but writing back would just be embarrassingly full of mistakes). 

I don't think there is anything wrong with responding in English since your friend speaks English. However, if you are comfortable enough with French to manage a brief note in French at the start of your reply explaining that you aren't fluent enough to respond in French, it would let your friend and her friend know that you weren't intentionally trying to leave anyone out of the conversation.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version