which language do you speak?

Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 132
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
which language do you speak?

If both of you normally speak English and are dining out or shopping in a foreign country but speak the local language, do you talk in English or the local one?
Just curious!
Felschurch is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:19 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,707
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, it depends. Since we live in France we often speak to each other partly in French, partly in English. In fact we seem to do that a lot, which sometimes confuses our Anglophone friends.

And sometimes we speak French so that we won't be confused with very loud Anglophones in the same restaurant. People will never believe that we are Francophone, but at least they are aware that we speak French.

Certainly when we are with French people we speak French - in fact we went to Sicily with a group of French people a few months ago. At breakfast I said to my husband 'On va monter?' Shall we go up? Several people at the table were amazed that we would speak French to each other - I said we don't at home, but they said that they found it quite rude that Anglophones here (I keep trying not to write 'English people') will speak English to one another when they are with a group of French people. I have to say I agree.
Carlux is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Almost always in English to other native speakers of English, even if we're both proficient in the local language. If we're interacting with third parties who are speaking French or Italian may switch to that language for a few minute before switching back.
Therese is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>they found it quite rude that Anglophones here ...will speak English to one another when they are with a group of French people. <

I find the reverse to be just as rude.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:52 AM
  #5  
fleur_de_lis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It depends...

I am Brazilian, my husband is American and we live in France. We both speak Portuguese, English, French and Spanish...but just Portuguese and English between the two of us...whatever country we are.
 
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I speak in whatever language the party to whom I am speaking will best understand me, and I them.
Mathieu is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 10:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,977
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No matter where we are overseas, I always ask those with whom we interact-- and in a quiet voice (and with a smile)-- whether they speak some English. This question I ask in the local language, having learned and memorized that phrase beforehand. It works wonders. If their answer is in the negative, I speak English slowly, simply, and distinctly -- although I am proficient in Spanish, French, and German. Always with a smile. Don't you feel disgusted with English-speakers who think that by speaking loudly and bombastically that they enhance comprehension? I've seen that happen, and it makes me wince all the way down to my shoes.
USNR is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 10:21 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,263
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
English speakers are by no mreans unique in using their own language loudly.

I was recently leafletting sheltered housing in a London suburb when an elderly lady managed to lock herself out of her flat. Unable to speak English, she simply repeated her problem slowly and loudly to me, in Punjabi, several times in much the same tone the local District Commissioner would have used to her in her youth. Turns out she assumed I was an employee of the housing association.

I later discovered she'd been living here for about 30 years.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 10:21 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I speak passable Spanish and enough German to sort of get by. Same with my husband. In Germany and Austria, we tried to speak German as much as possible, not only because it is the local language, but it is the only time we get to practice

One thing that we found very interesting though was that DH and I found ourselves speaking to each other in Spanish quite often. We rarely speak Spanish to each other at home, but for some odd reason, it was rolling off our tongues in Germany.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 10:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,289
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I speak in French in France if I'm with someone who also speaks French, even if we are both native speakers. It's to go with the flow and immerse oneself more as to where you are. After all, we can speak English at home.

I find it rude that anyone would get annoyed that they can't evesdrop onto a couple's private conversation because it was in a language they didn't understand. It's no one else's business what language you speak to someone else when you are only having a conversation with them.
Christina is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 12:27 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We too speak a mixture of English, our mother tongue and Dutch, our adopted tongue. We often don't realise we are doing it - but sometimes just can't find the right word in English and switch to Dutch for a few sentances. With our eldest son we speak English, unless his German wife is there, when we all speak Dutch. With the younger two sons we tend to speak more Dutch than English regardless of whether their Dutch partners are present.
WIth my baby grandson I speak English.
I do find myself speaking Dutch by accident in England, and having Dutch is useful for commenting on other people around you, when in the UK or practically anywhere else!
hetismij is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 12:36 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I had a lot of language fun on the Eurostar earlier this month.

I went to find the Service Manager to tell him that our seats (a table for four) were occupied by some folks who either didn't understand (or didn't want to understand) the concept of reserved seating.

I found him in the space between two cars, chatting up a lady passenger for whom he obviously had further plans, and using rather intimate language that he must have guessed I didn't understand.

When the conversation ended and she went forward (into First Class land at his behest), he said "how may I help you? I asked him in my passably fluent French if he could solve our seating problem.

He blushed ("beet red" is the phrase that comes to mind) and immediately got on his horse to secure our assigned seats. Every time I caught his eye from then on, he gave an embarrassed little smile and averted his vision.

Robespierre is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 12:41 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,144
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it's extremely bad manners to speak in a language other than the native tongue if you are fluent in it and are with company, as it implies exclusion.
RM67 is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 01:12 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
RM67 if we are in comapny we use Dutch or ENglish depending n the company,. If we are sitting in a pub in England on our own and make an observation about someone else we may do it in Dutch. Particluarly if it is a comment on the white tennis shoes/crocs/capris/short shorts/baseball caps that ae being worn at the next table Though given the Dutch love of white tennis shoes we check first that the neighbours aren't Dutch
hetismij is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 01:14 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I see you failed to grasp the point of my homily.

Commenting on other people is rude, no matter what tongue is used. I hope this practice gets you burned very badly.
Robespierre is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 02:43 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,227
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I am with a friend (the people I use to travel with) I speak Spanish. If we are talking with a local..then we try to speak the local language, or Spanish, or English...well, the main point is to be understood
kenderina is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 05:11 PM
  #17  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

>Commenting on other people is rude, no matter what tongue is used. I hope this practice gets you burned very badly.<

But it's a lot of fun.

ira is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 05:26 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,135
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I usually travel with friends and/or colleagues from Brazil and we always speak Portuguese to each other. But I also speak English, French, Spanish and understand some Italian.
Brazilnut is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 05:56 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 559
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to admit that my boss and I lapse into Russian sometimes, especially in the vicinity of students. If we are talking about school issues, etc.- and we have nowhere to speak in privacy.

When I was younger, and had just begun to study Russian, I loved when people spoke Russian in front of me- I guess I was the example of "comprehension is higher than I can let on verbally" for quite a few years. It has led to some funny moments while traveling.

While I am traveling, I always try to have some level of polite language to use. If I am somewhere that I speak the language more fluently, I often will try to drop English altogether. Much more fun to be had!

katya_NY is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2007, 12:39 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankyou ira.
And I am sure Robespierre you have commented on someones mode of dress or their strange pooch or at least thought goodness don't they have a mirror? once in your life.
It is not something we make a habit of but just occasionally it just has to be done.
hetismij is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:24 PM.