ANSWERS: 16
  • Extremely. If you know their language, yet have a "private" conversation out loud about them in your language with your friend or relative, that person is not an idiot. They know they are being talked about.
  • If there is a common language, understood by all, and a second is used to exclude that person then the answer is yes. It is very rude.
  • yes it definitely is!
  • I speak both English and Spanish. I work with a few people that do not speak English. When speaking with them, I speak Spanish. If there are people standing next to me that do not speak Spanish, I will let them know I will be saying something in Spanish so they don't feel excluded. Also, if I'm in a public space--let's say a train and my party speaks Spanish, I will speak to them in Spanish as well. But if I am in a mixed group, I will speak in the common language (whether English or Spanish). I agree it's incredibly rude to speak a different language when everyone speaks a common language.
  • It is extremely rude. When I went to the Netherlands to stay with my friend, her family came over. Everyone could speak Dutch and English. They all chose to speak Dutch. I thought it was very disrespectful to me. I was offended.
  • If you apologise and make the communication short, it is not rude. Sometimes, it is necessary in order to make a message really clear for someone. We all understand that....the apology and the brevity is what keeps the boundary between politeness and rudeness clear.
  • I have lived and traveled to many countries and found that if you make an effort to speak their native tounge, they will respect you and help you as you have shown respect by making the effort. It is rude without explaining when you are a part of the group. I inform anyone on my jobsite that if they do not speak English I cannot have them on it. It is a safety issue, and it hurts production as well as disrespectful of my nation.
  • My boyfriend's family does that a lot when they're talking to each other and I'm around. It makes me feel awkward. I don't find it rude. I find it interesting.
  • Depends upon the circumstances. In some settings it IS rude, perhaps even against regulations. For example: in the Navy, where the abilities to perform a wide variety of complex, potentially dangerous actions require clear and concise communications for the safe and effective coordination of personnel, there is a Navy instruction (OPNAVINST 5354.1F, Section 9) which contains guidance pertaining to the use of foreign languages. http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/05000%20General%20Management%20Security%20and%20Safety%20Services/05-300%20Manpower%20Personnel%20Support/5354.1F.pdf Basically, it gives commanders the authority to issue an order that only English be spoken in a work place when they have a legitimate, non-discriminatlry reason for the rule. It has to be clear that the purpose of such an order is to foster uniformity of action and operations within a work place. So, essentially, if it's work related in this case, only English is allowed unless the circumstances warrent otherwise. The same thing, in principle, applies to civilian businesses in America as well. English is the spoken language for business UNLESS the business at hand requires otherwise. For example, when a non-English speaking customer enters a store. And of course, where the majority of the business comes from non-English speaking customers. But people on breaks, dining in restaurants, and so forth...this is on their own time and their own private business/affairs. They may speak as they wish. Just because I'm in the same room with an Italian family in a restaurant doesn't mean they have to speak the same language as me...or I theirs, for that matter.
  • Extremely rude; it shows lack of class and no tact whatsoever.
  • No cut-and-dried rule here. My grandmother didn't speak good English so my mom would speak to her in Armenian whether everyone in the room understood it or not. Some people speak English but barely understand it and it seems logical to me to speak to that person in the language in which he/she is most fluent. If you were in another country and didn't speak the language surely you wouldn't expect people to stop talking in your presence. I wouldn't be offended because I would go through the same thought process I have provided you above and assume it was out of necessity or convenience and nothing more. :)
  • I've never had a problem with people speaking languages I don't understand in my presence but others are very offended by it. It simply wouldn't bother me.
  • Everyone has the right to speak a different language. Whether their native tongue or just one that they like. Being offended because someone speaks a different language in front of you is like being upset because someone is different. Howvever, if they are loud about it (like on a bus or in a resturant), then yes, it's annoying/rude (but only because of the volume). If you're hanging out with friends then that's probably more rude, unless it's a serious private matter.
  • As I'm usually not too interested in any case, I'd say no! [BTW: good question!] ;-)
  • If in the majority of the group, their mother tongue is Spanish, they will naturally speak Spanish to one another because their Spanish is better than their English. There are certain idioms which they might not know in English. If this happens a lot, I would try to take a course in Spanish and try to learn their language instead of blaming them for speaking Spanish instead of English. Think of it this way, say you were in Russia and even though your acquaintances know some broken English, would you expect them to quit speaking Russian and switch over to broken English just because you were present? However, it would be rude if people are intentionally using a language that's not their mother tongue just so that you can't understand them..for example someone who learned english first and second spanish and they immediately switch to Spanish with their partner who is also a native english speaker when you are in the room.

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