General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board

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mechtilde:
Certainly thank them in German, they will appreciate it. I've never had anyone be anything other than thrilled that I have made an attempt to speak their language. The only downside can be that they will assume that you are fluent and act accordingly- but translation programs are your friends there  ;D


snowdragon:

--- Quote from: mechtilde on June 22, 2013, 02:36:28 AM ---Certainly thank them in German, they will appreciate it. I've never had anyone be anything other than thrilled that I have made an attempt to speak their language. The only downside can be that they will assume that you are fluent and act accordingly- but translation programs are your friends there  ;D

--- End quote ---
urg
  I drove through the province of Quebec back in 2002 when coming back from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I stopped twice and tried to speak French to the attendants - and got told off roundly for the attempts. Apparently there trying to speak the local language makes me an "American female dog".  I also got told off by Pierre Turgeon   for trying with him, his rookie year. Sigh. It does happen.

MariaE:

--- Quote from: Kaora on June 20, 2013, 08:16:40 PM ---Good or bad idea? :)

--- End quote ---

Neither. My native language is Danish, if I help somebody and they reply with "Tak" it would make me neither more nor less pleased than if they reply with "Thank you". It's one of those things that likely wouldn't even register.

daen:

--- Quote from: snowdragon on June 23, 2013, 04:12:54 PM ---
--- Quote from: mechtilde on June 22, 2013, 02:36:28 AM ---Certainly thank them in German, they will appreciate it. I've never had anyone be anything other than thrilled that I have made an attempt to speak their language. The only downside can be that they will assume that you are fluent and act accordingly- but translation programs are your friends there  ;D

--- End quote ---
urg
  I drove through the province of Quebec back in 2002 when coming back from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I stopped twice and tried to speak French to the attendants - and got told off roundly for the attempts. Apparently there trying to speak the local language makes me an "American female dog".  I also got told off by Pierre Turgeon   for trying with him, his rookie year. Sigh. It does happen.

--- End quote ---

Some language groups have a reputation for being snobs, and certainly some people within those groups have earned that reputation honestly. All I can say is that I've never had someone react badly to my attempting to speak German (and once, rather hilariously, French - I ended up reverting to charades) in my travels.

You might get a bit of eye-rolling if it's horribly misspelled in your post - "Donkey shane," let's say, instead of "Dankeschoen" - but based on my experience, I would say that saying Danke would go over well, or at least neutrally.

If you're concerned about someone switching to German in following posts, you might consider writing a few sentences in English, and using Danke as the start or end to your post.

stitchygreyanonymouse:

--- Quote from: daen on June 24, 2013, 08:23:19 PM ---If you're concerned about someone switching to German in following posts, you might consider writing a few sentences in English, and using Danke as the start or end to your post.

--- End quote ---

I agree with Daen that this is a great way to dissuade them from trying to start a German conversation with you.

Through the years, Iíve picked up greetings and thanks in a few languages (I only speak English, but have studied quite a few languages superficially). German happens to be one, since my family has German roots. There are times when "danke", "domo", or "gracias" come out of my mouth without even thinking.

I try not to make assumptions, but I think that when you have enough exposure to a language, it's inevitable that certain words will become part of your lexicon, and itíd be almost strange to me that on a bilingual board (or offline group, wherever) some of the simpler phrases of one language don't start being used by non-fluent members.

Ed. b/c spelling "speak" as "speek" doesn't support my claiming to speak English ;)

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