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 Mitis angelam

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

 

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

A solo birth, a wasp swarm and a forest fire: mum and baby's amazing story of survival

Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.

Boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

Child's play and laughter help battle fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.

Dad shares entertaining 'how to hold a baby' clip

For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".

The Australian baby with 100,000 Facebook fans

She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.

Public welcome outside church for Princess Charlotte's christening

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited well-wishers to see Princess Charlotte outside church in Sandringham on day of her baptism.

Tongue tie: what you need to know

Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.

My daughter is small but that doesn't matter

My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Mother-in-law 'from hell' inspires survival guide

The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.

Name your baby Quinoa, win a $10K gift card

Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

The 83 children who were tragically let down in the last decade

Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.

Expert Q&A: Gross motor skill development in toddlers and preschoolers

Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.

Is it reasonable to expect your partner to give up drinking in pregnancy?

From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.

Stroke victim joins class action against makers of popular contraceptive pill

"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

When newborn photoshoots get messy

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

Channel 10's Sarah Harris expecting first child

The Studio host Sarah Harris doesn't mind if her first baby is a boy or girl, but she does hope it is born with one thing in particular.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

The horrible act that sparked a brawl at child's birthday party

The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.

Babies 'benefit from iPads at a young age': study

More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

Why some dogs might attack babies or young kids

A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Mum demands refund for 'beargina' christening cake

It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.

5 things no one warns you about after giving birth

How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?

Police officer sang nursery rhyme as heartbreaking photo was taken

A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.

Don't worry, working mums: Just leave Dad in charge at home

Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.

Hilaria Baldwin shares post-baby selfie

Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.

'Help - my child won't ever do what I ask!'

Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.

Postnatal depression support gets $23 million boost in NSW

The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).

'I'm just as tired, scared and stressed as you': stay-at-home dad's plea

I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.

 

FREE TICKET

Get your FREE ticket to the Baby & Toddler Show

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
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.