Author Topic: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board  (Read 1946 times)

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Kaora

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Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« on: June 20, 2013, 08:16:40 PM »
This is probably random, but quick.  I wanted to gauge how good an idea this was.

There's a forum I go to that is primarily German, and the webmasters are in Germany, but due to the subject matter, it tends to attract a lot of English speaking users.  It's basically where a group of a few people post exclusive software music plugins, like synthesizers and effects.

I was wanting to know, how good of an idea is it to thank them in German?  I mean, the board's language is default German, and they each understand English somewhat, but I really like some of their works and feel like it'd be better if I showed thanks by saying "Danke," instead of "Thanks!"

Good or bad idea? :)

betty

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 09:35:52 AM »
I think it would be fine. If you want, you could even use both "Danke. Thanks."

whatsanenigma

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 11:14:33 AM »
I think it's very nice from an etiquette perspective, but I would worry that if you do that, people on the site will think you actually speak German and try to address you that way in other comments.  That could get awkward.

I like the idea of saying "danke and thanks" or maybe "Thank you very much! Danke!", something like that, that basically says you are respecting the language norms of the site but you can't continue the conversation in that language.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 12:33:14 AM »
I think this is much less of an issue now that you can get pages automatically translated for you  :)

nolechica

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 01:27:44 AM »
Maybe it's just me, but I never worry about hello/goodbye, please/thanks/you're welcome in most languages being thought of as weird to know.  I'd say Danke.

mechtilde

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #5 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


NE England

snowdragon

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 04:12:54 PM »
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
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

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 02:57:14 AM »
Good or bad idea? :)

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.
 
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daen

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 08:23:19 PM »
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
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.

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

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 01:16:58 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.

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 ;)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 12:13:54 PM by stitchygreyanonymouse »

artk2002

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 12:11:39 PM »
At the risk of sounding like a Sherman brothers song, thank you is thank you, no matter what the language. If you post regularly in English, I doubt that you're going to get flooded with German simply because you say "danke."
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 04:55:43 PM »
At the risk of sounding like a Sherman brothers song, thank you is thank you, no matter what the language. If you post regularly in English, I doubt that you're going to get flooded with German simply because you say "danke."

And I'd add: If someone does reply to you in German, it doesn't mean you did anything wrong in posting "danke." It's just a misunderstanding that you'll have to correct. I once sent an author an email entirely in English about his English language paper...and I got a reply entirely in the author's native language. I can only guess he saw that my surname comes from his language and assumed I spoke it (I don't, beyond a few basic words like "hello" and "thank you"). I had deliberately not used any words (e.g., "thank you") in his native language to avoid just that assumption--see how well that worked for me.  ;) People sometimes just make silly assumptions.

TootsNYC

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Re: Language Etiquette on a Dual Speech Board
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 02:03:00 PM »
At the risk of sounding like a Sherman brothers song, thank you is thank you, no matter what the language. If you post regularly in English, I doubt that you're going to get flooded with German simply because you say "danke."

I agree.

I also don't think they'd particularly notice. they might, and if they do it'll be a little pleasant blip for the vast majority of them. (A few cranks might think it's a tad patronizing, but they're cranks, and you can't please them so don't try.)