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Old 03-06-2011, 09:39 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,273,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I'm a white Jewish girl with a very goyische look so I can "pass" in lots of circles. I can also speak Spanish and Latinos, when they see me, are (mistakenly) confident that I can't understand them.

They're wrong.

I find that when Latinos speak to each other in Spanish in a work environment (i.e. 2 employees of Company A speaking to each other in Spanish in full view/earshot of other employees/customers), it is usually because they are having a conversation that would be completely inappropriate in English. I've overheard them referring to customers using racial slurs, insulting them, insulting other coworkers, making homophobic/sexist remarks, etc. because they think nobody can understand what they're saying.

I report this sort of behavior sometimes...when it's egregious...but if I reported every inappropriate conversation in Spanish that I overhear in public around here, I would not have enough time to do all the other things I need to do.
Lol, I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me, especially with Chinese and Spanish, which are both associated with non-white people. A lot of people assume I would never know those languages and have made comments about my race in those respective languages in my presence. I have to admit, I really had a ball replying to them in Spanish or Chinese and looking at the expression on their face.

To be fair, I've had Russian, Farsi, French, Italian, and Portuguese speakers make the same assumptions that I don't know their language, but when they say something rude it usually has nothing to do with race because those languages are at least in part associated with white people. I've heard speakers of those languages either talk about something extremely private in public assuming no one understood them, or make other rude comments.

You can imagine how much fun I had when I told the two Russian ladies (who were speaking quite loudly and obnoxiously) on the bus not to assume they weren't being understood because I had just understood their entire conversation about their gynecological results, and the other time when I told my P.E. teacher on the last day of school that I understood every French conversation he had the entire year on his cell phone with his cousin about hot chicks! Oh man he was so embarrassed and it was so priceless. But I don't think he ever did it again!

Moral of the story folks: don't assume other people don't speak your language! Lol. Even when I use foreign languages in public, and even when I can safely assume I'm probably not being understood, I never talk about anything I wouldn't want other people to understand, or at least I whisper it or paraphrase it the same way I would if I were speaking English.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:13 PM
 
1,785 posts, read 2,933,804 times
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Strange. The Sears near me (NJ) makes the store announcements in Spanish FIRST - then English. Go figure.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:23 PM
 
3,493 posts, read 2,395,609 times
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I was in Sears yesterday. They ran repeated announcements in Spanish. Worse in Spanish with no English translation. I also ran into two sales associates chattering away in Spanish who did not speak English and would not answer my questions in English.

I left. I will not be made to feel like a stranger in my own country while a company willfully caters to the needs of foreign nationals.

Speaking a foreign language in front of others who do not speak it is inexcusably rude. Employees who do so should be fired. It is ridiculous to move here, learn very little if any English and then whine that Americans do not speak your language.

Bilingualism is a nice option. But it should not be forced on natives by migrants too lazy and arrogant to learn the dominate language of a country where they have freely chosen to live.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,392,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXTwizter View Post
Sears Employees Told Not to Speak Spanish - Fox News Latino

If you want to speak Spanish, speak it at HOME, or when you get a caller who speaks it, NOT when conversing with your co-workers.

When are these "Latinos" going to learn that it is RUDE!
How is it "rude"? If you're supposed to be part of the conversation, then yes, it would be. But if you're not, then what does it matter? What's rude is paying attention to what other people are saying when they're not even speaking to you in the first place.

Unfortunately, with all the Bluetooths out there, it can be hard to determine if they're speaking to you or not. Maybe they're talking in Spanish so you know they are not talking to you.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,392,330 times
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I was in the Navy. There were a lot of Filipinos that would speak to each other in their own language, but use English when they wanted to include someone who wasn't Filipino.

You don't have to be privy to every conversation two people are having, maybe they want the ability to make their conversation a little more private, without someone butting into it.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:57 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,273,421 times
Reputation: 12496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanora1 View Post
I was in Sears yesterday. They ran repeated announcements in Spanish. Worse in Spanish with no English translation. I also ran into two sales associates chattering away in Spanish who did not speak English and would not answer my questions in English.

I left. I will not be made to feel like a stranger in my own country while a company willfully caters to the needs of foreign nationals.

Speaking a foreign language in front of others who do not speak it is inexcusably rude. Employees who do so should be fired. It is ridiculous to move here, learn very little if any English and then whine that Americans do not speak your language.

Bilingualism is a nice option. But it should not be forced on natives by migrants too lazy and arrogant to learn the dominate language of a country where they have freely chosen to live.
I don't think anyone is advocating for Spanish only, but rather, just noting there's no harm in having Spanish alongside English.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,991 posts, read 4,485,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I'm a white Jewish girl with a very goyische look so I can "pass" in lots of circles. I can also speak Spanish and Latinos, when they see me, are (mistakenly) confident that I can't understand them.

They're wrong.

I find that when Latinos speak to each other in Spanish in a work environment (i.e. 2 employees of Company A speaking to each other in Spanish in full view/earshot of other employees/customers), it is usually because they are having a conversation that would be completely inappropriate in English. I've overheard them referring to customers using racial slurs, insulting them, insulting other coworkers, making homophobic/sexist remarks, etc. because they think nobody can understand what they're saying.

I report this sort of behavior sometimes...when it's egregious...but if I reported every inappropriate conversation in Spanish that I overhear in public around here, I would not have enough time to do all the other things I need to do.
This has been my experience as well as a black person. Despite a growing presence of Spanish speakers of African descent where I live (black Cubans, Panamanians, Dominicans, etc.), most Spanish speakers of Mexican descent here are quick to assume that I can't understand them, and are often surprised that I do. I remember getting into it with one Mexican co-worker of mine years ago who thought it would be cute to refer to blacks as "mayates" to one of his compadres while I was in earshot of them. Let's just say that after the incident, he was as respectful as an altar boy whenever he was around me. It's people like this who give monolingual English speakers a reason to be wary of those who make it a point to cloak their "personal" conversations in a language the English speaker more often than not won't understand.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:12 PM
 
3,493 posts, read 2,395,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I don't think anyone is advocating for Spanish only, but rather, just noting there's no harm in having Spanish alongside English.
Clearly the people who run my local Sears feel differently. They've officially lost my patronage. I have no problem with bilingualism. I have serious issues with many immigrants and their sanctimoniously shrill advocates who constantly argue at every turn that the problem isn't monolingual immigrants but monolingual natives.

I also don't believe that Spanish should necessarily be alongside English. Americans are under no obligation whatsoever to accommodate the needs of foreign nationals. If you are here permanently you ought to be fluent in English. If you are not, you should not come here in the first place. If you continue to live here and still do not speak English you should leave.

Willful failure to adjust to America by learning fluent English is arrogant and lazy. We are an incredibly diverse country. In many ways the only thing that unites us is a common language. When we abandon that principle we abandon one of the few common bonds we have. We should not do so merely to accommodate a rude minority that behaves more like invaders instead of people who wish to join us.

If you want to put me at a disadvantage in my own country because I don't speak Spanish I think I have every right to shrug and tell you that you are not welcome here. Our immigration laws should be all about benefiting Americans not making life as easy as possible for people from Latino countries who want to move here for economic reasons.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: California
4,445 posts, read 5,200,581 times
Reputation: 9185
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMcQ LV View Post
Which is why, if a business or government office feels the need to have employees who speak other languages, then at least one or two of the supervisors (managers, assistant managers, etc.) should be bilingual or multilingual.

So, how many supervisors need to be hired to be language police? In some offices, it was the supervisors themselves who were a part of the problem protecting their own and participating in the negative remarks about English speakers.

Socializing at work is absolutely necessary to keep the office culture alive but it should be posititive interaction. I took the time to learn some of the phrases being used. It is almost like a gang culture only language is used instead of spray paint.
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:04 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,273,421 times
Reputation: 12496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanora1 View Post
Clearly the people who run my local Sears feel differently. They've officially lost my patronage. I have no problem with bilingualism. I have serious issues with many immigrants and their sanctimoniously shrill advocates who constantly argue at every turn that the problem isn't monolingual immigrants but monolingual natives.

I also don't believe that Spanish should necessarily be alongside English. Americans are under no obligation whatsoever to accommodate the needs of foreign nationals. If you are here permanently you ought to be fluent in English. If you are not, you should not come here in the first place. If you continue to live here and still do not speak English you should leave.

Willful failure to adjust to America by learning fluent English is arrogant and lazy. We are an incredibly diverse country. In many ways the only thing that unites us is a common language. When we abandon that principle we abandon one of the few common bonds we have. We should not do so merely to accommodate a rude minority that behaves more like invaders instead of people who wish to join us. ...
I think that's strange they made announcements in Spanish only. I agree English should be at least one of the languages used in all announcements and documents. So you and I agree. I meant earlier that I don't think anyone in this thread was advocating for Spanish only. Not announcing in English as well is a bad business choice on their part IMO. That also alienates a lot of customers. Inclusivity is the best policy, which in this case translates to bilingual announcements.

If you want to put me at a disadvantage in my own country because I don't speak Spanish I think I have every right to shrug and tell you that you are not welcome here. Our immigration laws should be all about benefiting Americans not making life as easy as possible for people from Latino countries who want to move here for economic reasons.[/quote]

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 03-06-2011 at 04:06 PM.. Reason: Sorry about the messed up quoting. Typing from iPhone
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