Author Topic: Language Barrier Etiquette  (Read 4395 times)

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cwm

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2013, 02:23:36 PM »
I'm in an English-speaking region, I have an Anglo last name, six letters long, and I always spell it when spelling is important. There's just too many possible variations of even the simplest name to be sure it will be spelled correctly by those who hear it.

My last name is four letters long. It's a very common adjective. I still have to spell it out every single time that spelling is important because people will spell it wrong.

camlan

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2013, 09:08:05 AM »
My Scottish last name has a double "L" in the middle of it. When I lived in an area with a high percentage of Spanish-speaking people, I tended to spell it out more than usual. In my name, the double L is pronounced as an L. In Spanish, the pronunciation is completely different. I'd say my last name and then start to spell it. I'd get a lot of surprised faces once I hit the "L, L," part of it.

But I tend to spell it out most of the time when I'm not in Home City, because there's just no way to know there are 2 Ls in there from the pronunciation of it.
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marcel

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2013, 03:14:48 AM »
Also:

Avoid slang: Most language classes don't teach colloquialisms.  One of the last things that is learned is true conversational language because there are so many quirks and nuances to how the language is spoken in everyday life.

I once dated a young man who spoke English as a second language and he explained that in his home country and language there is a phrase that means "pay attention", but directly translates to English as "turn on your batteries".  I had studied his language, but would never in a million years have understood that phrase without assistance.  Not to mention that it was a common phrase in his country, but that many countries share his language as their own and most do not have that saying.
I disagree with that one, I actualy think it is good to use slang and common expressions, especialy to people that want to live in the country.
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Peppergirl

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2013, 06:48:22 AM »
Regarding spelling:  I work in a call center and never fail to be amazed that people will rattle off an *extremely* difficult last name, and then don't spell it unless I ask. 

I occasionally even pause and give them a moment, because I usually assume (and most do) that if your last name is Iouweriuowerjasdfi, you'll realize I won't automatically know how to spell it.  ;D

MissRose

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2013, 02:30:57 PM »
Regarding spelling:  I work in a call center and never fail to be amazed that people will rattle off an *extremely* difficult last name, and then don't spell it unless I ask. 

I occasionally even pause and give them a moment, because I usually assume (and most do) that if your last name is Iouweriuowerjasdfi, you'll realize I won't automatically know how to spell it.  ;D

I've had people do that to me, and I encourage people to spell their names if I am unsure or do not see it listed in the account records.

I will spell my last name for people as it is uncommon. 

Goosey

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2013, 04:20:12 PM »
An increase in volume is not proportionate to an increase in understanding.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 04:36:43 PM »
Sometimes the simplest way is best. DH and I went to a catering shop in Noumea, not usually where tourists go so the staff didn't speak much English, we understood very little French so were confused about the amount we had to pay.

Fortunately, she had added it up on a calculator and showed us the total. And we thanked her in French, as we knew how to do that.

Pen^2

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 11:24:47 PM »
An increase in volume is not proportionate to an increase in understanding.

Oh goodness me yes! The rude tourists I've seen... Oh dear...

katycoo

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2013, 02:16:30 AM »
Semi-applicable, but yeah, if you have a foreign last name, don't assume I don't know how to spell it.  If I need clarification, I'll ask.  I get people spelling French and Spanish last names on impulse.

My surname is ango, but not particularly common.  It is a nightmare for people to get right if they're not familiar with it due to so many points of error (first letter, first vowel, double letter, double vowel, is there an E on the end?) and there are 2 common spellings for those who ARE familiar with it.  How on earth are you going to know which spelling my family uses?
Frankly, I don't even bother saying it, I just start spelling right off the bat.

misha412

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2013, 09:33:51 PM »
My first name is a fairly common one for people in my age group, but I spell it slightly different from most who have the name. Any time I set up an account or do a legal document, I always make sure its spelled correctly.

My last name is only six letters and it starts with K, but I always spell it because 9 out of 10 people try to start it with a C.


Twik

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2013, 12:50:55 PM »
An increase in volume is not proportionate to an increase in understanding.

No, but I think it's sort of hardwired into us. The brain says, "I see lack of comprehension on this person's face - perhaps he can't hear me. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?"

I know I do it without intending it at all.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

alis

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2013, 02:33:42 PM »
Also:

Avoid slang: Most language classes don't teach colloquialisms.  One of the last things that is learned is true conversational language because there are so many quirks and nuances to how the language is spoken in everyday life.

I once dated a young man who spoke English as a second language and he explained that in his home country and language there is a phrase that means "pay attention", but directly translates to English as "turn on your batteries".  I had studied his language, but would never in a million years
have understood that phrase without assistance.  Not to mention that it was a common phrase in his country, but that many countries share his language as their own and most do not have that saying.
I disagree with that one, I actualy think it is good to use slang and common expressions, especialy to people that want to live in the country.

It depends on the level of the user - sometimes slang will just confuse the second language learner more. I live in my 2nd language but I am low-intermediate and slang will just confuse me. I won't even know it's slang, just assume more gibberish that I don't understand. I have friends who speak advanced level and they would be happy to learn slang, but not me, I'm not there yet.

Peppergirl

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2013, 01:03:30 AM »


No, but I think it's sort of hardwired into us. The brain says, "I see lack of comprehension on this person's face - perhaps he can't hear me. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?"

I know I do it without intending it at all.

Me too.  At the beginning of my career, a foreign client actually (kindly) called me out on it.  Told me he was Vietnamese, not deaf.  I was so embarrassed.


Twik

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2013, 11:59:36 AM »
Also:

Avoid slang: Most language classes don't teach colloquialisms.  One of the last things that is learned is true conversational language because there are so many quirks and nuances to how the language is spoken in everyday life.

I once dated a young man who spoke English as a second language and he explained that in his home country and language there is a phrase that means "pay attention", but directly translates to English as "turn on your batteries".  I had studied his language, but would never in a million years have understood that phrase without assistance.  Not to mention that it was a common phrase in his country, but that many countries share his language as their own and most do not have that saying.
I disagree with that one, I actualy think it is good to use slang and common expressions, especialy to people that want to live in the country.

Depends what you're trying to do. Teach them for the future, or have them understand what you're saying right now?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Language Barrier Etiquette
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2013, 02:35:10 PM »
An increase in volume is not proportionate to an increase in understanding.

I actually asked someone once, who was basically screaming at this poor girl whose first language wasn't English, "If I start screaming at you in German, are you going to be able to understand me?" and they said "Well no, I don't speak German", so I said "So why do you think this will help her speak English", they just kind of sputtered and walked away.