Jump to content

LOTE in public?
Languages other than English


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#1 dlee

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

Today when my partner and I were out with our mothers and his grandmother at some church luncheon for St Patrick's Day. They had singers between the servings and, rather than speak out loud and disturb those at our table, we signed our opinions to each other. As I'm in my 2nd year of studying Auslan at uni, my partner has picked up quite a bit of it because I'll sometimes sign at the same time I'm speaking for practice. At the very least, he knows enough to understand when I'm saying someone's voice is lovely or that I like their clothes, song choice, whatever.

I didn't think it was too distracting and were trying to be as discrete as if we were whispering in English but between singers, his grandmother leaned over to say, "Are you signing or just being ridiculous? I think you're being rude!" She later explained that she didn't know it was a legitimate language but it made me wonder how other people feel about languages other than English being used in public when the majority of people only speak one language.

So what do you think EB, should people stick to English when only a select few will understand or is it okay to speak another language when they're out in public?

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:14 PM

I think the idea that if you don't use English in public you are being rude is an old fashioned one.

#3 Dionysus

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

I hate when I am in a conversation, in English, with one or more ppl who speak another language, and they start having their own side conversation, effectively excluding me from a conversation of which I was initially a part.

However, if I am not part of their conversation at all, they can speak in whatever language they please.

As for signing being innappropriate and rude - hmm, try telling a deaf person that, I guess.  Then grandma would get an answer!

#4 Let_it_Rain

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

I think it is rude when you are in a group to communicate in a language that some or most of the group can not understand.

If it was just the two of you in a crowd of randoms I wouldn't have an issue.

#5 Procrastinator5000

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

It's okay to speak another language when out in public.

The exception is when there is someone actually with you, who is meant to be included in the conversation, and you're leaving them out because they can't understand.

Having said that, you were potentially being rude by having a conversation during the singing performance. Just because it's not an audible conversation, if the polite thing was to listen, and give them your attention, then to speak to each other during the performance could be interpreted as rude. That's probably what the woman was taking offence at.

#6 Guest_BessMarvin_*

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

..

Edited by BessMarvin, 12 April 2012 - 07:54 PM.


#7 Imaginary friend

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE
but it made me wonder how other people feel about languages other than English being used in public when the majority of people only speak one language.



If you were with someone in anotherr country, say, France where majority of people only spoke French and you have a very basic knowledge of French only - would you try to speak to your partner in French or in your mother tongue English.

I know  I would use English in that situation so I think it is just as reasonable for other people to speak whatever language they are most comfortable in/proficient at. smile1.gif

#8 Harlekijn engel

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (WinterDancesHere @ 17/03/2012, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it is rude when you are in a group to communicate in a language that some or most of the group can not understand.

If it was just the two of you in a crowd of randoms I wouldn't have an issue.


Absolutely this.  The language is not rude, but exclusion is.  

That said, I'd make some allowance for people whose English is poor and who might struggle to understand or contribute to an English conversation.

#9 Guest_Buy Me A Pony !_*

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:24 PM

I'm not racist but...

#10 Julie3Girls

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE
So what do you think EB, should people stick to English when only a select few will understand or is it okay to speak another language when they're out in public?

No problem at all with people speaking another language when out in public.

However, sitting at a table with other people (who you are actually with), and speaking in a language they don't understand, yes, I think that is a bit rude.
Also from the point of view that you were talking/signing during a performance - you might have been a bit distracting to other people at your table, and really, it is polite to give your attention to the singers, not have a conversation.

#11 HRH Countrymel

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:25 PM

I think if you are a native English speaker surrounded by other native English speakers and you deliberately switch to a different language that can definitely be construed as rude.

Rightly or wrongly the people in your immediate vicinity will assume you have done so to speak about them.
It is like people obviously whispering at length. It makes the people i their company start to wonder what it is they can't say out loud.



I can remember being in a group of Danes when I was travelling in Italy - there were about 15 people of whom only two (my friend and I) spoke English as their first language. Everyone spoke English all night, to us (obviously) but also to each other - when we said there was really no need, (as we felt like we were putting everyone out, and as we all got drunker I imagined it was getting more and more difficult too!) they insisted. To do otherwise would be 'Extremely rude' according to them.

#12 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:26 PM

Doesn't bother me; where I grew up it would be thought of as odd if you only understood one language.


#13 LynnyP

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:27 PM

Unlike the vast, vast majority of the people who think it is rude if the people in the post office speak to each other in their own language (after all they are in Australia now and should speak English) I have actually lived in another country where I had to speak another language.  It is exhausting.  When I was with other English speakers we would speak English.

#14 bakesgirls

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:33 PM

I think it's rude if it's used in a way to exclude others in your group,workplace etc, who don't speak that language. In a group of randoms? No worries.

#15 Iliketoflounce

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

As someone who uses Auslan alot due to hearing loss it can sometimes be the only way to communicate. DH and I both speak a bit of Spanish. I think LOTE should be used in the correct setting or if you don't want other people to know u are arguing.

#16 HIH.GD.Isolabella

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE
I think if you are a native English speaker surrounded by other native English speakers and you deliberately switch to a different language that can definitely be construed as rude.

Rightly or wrongly the people in your immediate vicinity will assume you have done so to speak about them.
It is like people obviously whispering at length. It makes the people i their company start to wonder what it is they can't say out loud.


I will agree with this.

I envy SIL who switches to German to tell her kids off in front of me (I wish I had that ability LOL!!!). When I travel I am on the other side... the token English speaker who people try and include (as they all speak English) but often they will lapse into their native German/Dutch (SIL also speaks Dutch). That doesn't bother me as I am the interloper who does not speak the local language.



#17 ComradeBob

Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

If you're in a group, you speak the dominant language of that group. That's polite and includes everyone. Two people in a group who then veer off and talk in a language that others don't understand is rude.

And I say this as a family that speaks three languages.

#18 Cherubs

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:20 PM

My DH is South African, he speaks Afrikaans, his family switch to Afrikaans sometimes, it doesn't bother me.

Funniest thing my DH has told me, he was on a train and a Dutch family where sitting across from him , the children where speaking about him in Dutch (DH is quite olive)), their father told them off, DH didn't say anything, until he got off he said 'Goodbye, don't judge a book by it's cover.' in Afrikaans with a wink, he said the Kids looked gobsmacked and the father roared with laughter LOL.

#19 little lion

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:33 PM

I think people have a tendency to default to their native language. E.g. When discussing technical/legal/medical things, when they are angry or upset, or when they are tired or sick. I married into a family who don't speak English together as it is their third language. Sometimes they speak to me in English, but mostly I spent years being immersed in their two first languages. This helped me pick up their language greatly, so I don't think it is rude in all situations.


Slightly off topic but I think it is more rude that people marry into families where another language is spoken, and they have no desire to learn that language.

#20 BentoBaby

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE (dlee @ 17/03/2012, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She later explained that she didn't know it was a legitimate language...


Nice! Cause the many members of the Deaf community have just been using made up mombo jumbo to communicate right?

Personally I find it uncomfortable/rude when 2 people deliberately communicate using another language (be it oral or sign) in an otherwise joint occasion (e.g. at a dinner table). Mostly because it seems like they are talking behind your back. I understand you were doing it not to disrupt but many people would assume that you were saying things you didn't want others at the table to be privy to (which is rude and should be done in private).

I can see why your grandmother took issue with it in the context. In a different context (e.g. not a joint dining situation) I don't see the issue.


#21 BentoBaby

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:49 PM

QUOTE (njs4dks @ 17/03/2012, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who uses Auslan alot due to hearing loss it can sometimes be the only way to communicate. DH and I both speak a bit of Spanish. I think LOTE should be used in the correct setting or if you don't want other people to know u are arguing.


Trust me, arguing in Auslan in very obvious wink.gif hehe

#22 HRH Countrymel

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:53 PM

QUOTE (Cherubs @ 17/03/2012, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Funniest thing my DH has told me, he was on a train and a Dutch family where sitting across from him , the children where speaking about him in Dutch (DH is quite olive)), their father told them off, DH didn't say anything, until he got off he said 'Goodbye, don't judge a book by it's cover.' in Afrikaans with a wink, he said the Kids looked gobsmacked and the father roared with laughter LOL.


A dutch friend of mine had a fabulously embarrassing story.

She and her friend were standing in a queue in Hong Kong surrounded by 'people of SE Asian appearance' they were having a long and sordid conversation about the sexual shenanigans one of them had got up to the previous night.

As she said "Speaking Dutch is like speaking a secret language - No One learns Dutch! The only people who speak Dutch, are Dutch.. and there are only 3 million of us! You can safely speak Dutch wherever you want, about whatever you want.. no-one can understand you."

They were waiting and chatting for about half an hour (they were at an office building) - finally the doors opened and the gentleman ahead of them, immaculately dressed in a suit turned to them and said in perfect, un accented Dutch "Would you ladies like to go before me? I fear you (with a nod toward the story teller) must be very tired, on so very little sleep..."

My friend said it was hilarious! Her companion lit up the Hong Kong skyline with the depth of her blush!

The gentleman in question was a Cambodian who had lived in Rotterdam for the last 20 years!

#23 Polly Esther

Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:55 PM

If people are performing, I think it's kinda rude to be talking... even if you're just signing to each other, it's still communicating. A quick word when you have to is fine, but otherwise, I think maybe that's what your grandmother was getting at? The fact you were communicating rather than being respectful and paying attention?

Regardless, if I went to another non-English speaking country, I would be speaking English in public. Why? Because it's the only language I speak. Even if I spoke part of some other language, I'd probably speak English to an English-speaking person with me, because it's easier for us both to say and understand. For that reason, I have no issues with people speaking other languages in public. You do what works for you.

In a group though, where there are 2 languages (at least), I'd be speaking the one that the majority spoke or could understand. Otherwise, it's as rude as whispering to a select few in front of others.

#24 Canberra Chick

Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:09 PM

I'm with the majority here - if you're not in a mixed group, you can speak what you like. Whether that's in the post office or at the shops/whatever. DH and I will lapse into riffing off in Scots when we're out on our own. Fit ye dain' quine? Ah dinnae ken...

But if you're in a group, then everyone needs to speak the same language so no-one is excluded.

#25 HIH.GD.Isolabella

Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:14 PM

To PP who spoke about Dutch being spoken, being in Paris and speaking English I was very aware of some wry smiles held back at my kids antics at times. I never assume we are not understood.

Edited by lsolaBella, 17 March 2012 - 07:16 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.