English Please!

How does it feel when everyone around you talks in a language you do not understand and leaves you out? Very annoying and it gives me an idea of how rude and inconsiderate people can be. 

I often encounter this problem here which is pretty lame because they claim that English is one of their official languages but they will often keep talking to each other in non English languages all the time in office or labs and leave you out. Sometimes, even meetings are in other languages than in English. Then how are the rest supposed to follow?

 Why? Because

  • some have really poor English
  • they do not want you to understand
  • they are too proud of their language and wonder why they should converse in any other language
  • they are plain rude and inconsiderate

It is real annoying, when they invite you to join them for lunch (which is not very often either) and everyone starts talking in non-English. Then, why the hell am I even sitting on the same table like I am invisible? 20% of the conversation will be in English  and 15% of that constitutes me asking questions and get them to chat and all I get a brief replies and off they go back to their language. And most of the time, they do not even bother to tell me what they are talking about or translate.


I got so very pissed last week, when I was sitting in the car in the middle and every one was talking non-English and they were conversing and people on my sides were talking over my head. I was like what the heck and it was not like they were from China with an inability to converse in English. This extreme protectiveness of their culture can get seriously annoying at times. Needless to say, I did not want to join them for lunch and went off and had lunch with someone else because I knew they would not be speaking English and treat me like invisible.

Contrast that with the French I met few days ago. Even, the other guy, whom I did not even know was speaking in English to my friends because I was on the same table as him. 

It does happen in India too at times. 

Remember to converse in a common language when among people who speak different languages. All those good manners your mommy taught you? Even if she forgot to mention this, now you know, right?


5 thoughts on “English Please!

  1. You example about the french might be an exception but try coming to france for sometime. The lab meetings and conferences would be in french and it is expected of you to learn their language. So sorry the french example based on one person is not very statistically significant. NOne of the university admin staff speak a word of english. I was bugged initially but then i learnt french as i liked the language and its called survival. It is also known that other than asia lot of other cultures try to learn the local culture or language when they go to another country or place even as a tourist.

    1. Fair enough, but English is the official language here right? I am equally critical, even it were to happen in India or anywhere – like when people who speak Hindi exclude others too. I still feel it is impolite to invite people to join you and make them feel invisible by excluding them of all conversation. Even people who cannot speak the language sometimes, do not do that. It is still rude – wherever you go.

  2. hahah , this is funny,

    i mean i understand what you are saying, but it is also kinda self centered to expect people to change their language just so they can accommodate us.

    if they wanted i am sure they would speak in a language that you also understand?

    1. It is not self centred. I am not going to China and demanding people speak english for me. I am in a country, which is multi racial and has english as the official language. And the workplace claims to be english speaking as well.Then why do that? It is plain rude, to call someone to lunch with you and then totally treat them like invisible and pretend they do not exist and keep talking among themselves. That is unacceptable. How would you like it if someone calls you in a group and then totally ignores you, leave you out of conversations and pretend you are not even there?

      1. of course i will fill disrespected and left out, but then this is just how i look at things…… it really doesn’t matter because then if i ask that they speak in a language that i can also understand , in way i am kinda limiting them in terms of expression….

        i just wouldn’t have lunch with them again..

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