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Is it immoral to not tell people talking in other languages that you understand them? Watch

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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I wouldn't tell someone having a loud conversation in English that I can understand them...

    Besides, it can be very funny to have someone swearing at you in a language they think you don't know - the look on their face when you say "That's not nice, I didn't call you a *******" in English is priceless! :rofl:
    That is so funny I have a german friend and he swore at me in german once(he wasnt mad just trying to tease me) and I had really worked on my german during the summer and swore right back at him.His face was honestly priceless.
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    (Original post by Lizia)
    I'd say it's more immoral on the part of the people deliberately using their own language as some kind of private code. If someone who doesn't speak your language is present, then you speak in a language that you can all understand, or you wait to speak privately. I notice a lot of foreign people think it's appropriate to make asides in their own language while speaking English to the group as a whole.
    If people want to have private asides, what of it? Sometimes people want to make unfamiliar cultural references, or jokes, or whatever. Sometimes they would feel more comfortable just speaking to one person rather than the group. Fair enough! Sometimes I feel the same way.

    (Original post by Lizia)
    Or think that *****ing about other people in their native language is fine if that person can't understand you. It's incredibley rude, and frustrates me so much.
    Everyone speaks differently in private from how they speak in public. That's just how people communicate. I wouldn't get worked up about it (:

    (And I say this as someone who only speaks one language fluently, but lives with others who are bilingual and trilingual. )
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    In England we speak English.
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    Had two Chinese students sitting next to me and they were talking about me. They found out a little while afterwards and needless to say, they haven't discussed about me in my presence ever since :P
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    (Original post by Nigel9)
    In England we speak English.
    And Arabic, Hebrew, French, German etc you really think everyone in England speaks English even the tourists talking to other tourist from their country?
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    What you on about?

    If they're speaking to you, then tell them you don't understand them
    If you don't understand them and they're not speaking to you, it's because they don't want you to hear.
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    When in Rome
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    (Original post by Lizia)
    It's completely unnecessary and just plain rude. You might be comfortable with rudeness, but I'm not. There's no reason why you can't make those cultural references in the language of the group. And you're completely able to speak to one person in the group, without switching to another language. If you want a private conversation, have one in private. If you're in a group, you speak the common language, so the rest of the group isn't left wondering if you're insulting them. It's basic manners.

    If you want to speak in private, you don't do it in front of a group. If you were just having a monolingual conversation and someone kept whispering into one person's ear, it would be rude.
    Why? You aren't really offering reasons. You're just regurgitating statements of social conventions. Why shouldn't someone be able to have a private conversation in public? My opinion of someone is not going to change if they choose to say in public (in a different language) what they'd say in private anyway. Whether they are the kind of person who would say insulting things about me is what matters - where they do it is irrelevant.

    Of course, if it disrupts the conversation then that's a worry. But that's not a given and it has nothing to do with speaking in a different language per se.

    It's no revelation that other people speak differently about me in private - or in another language - than they do if I can hear them. If I thought they didn't like me, and weren't afraid of saying so in private conversations, then I wouldn't socialise with them, or hang out with them. How they chose to express their dislike of me - be it in private or in my presence but in another language - is simply by-the-by.

    Perhaps my point is that not everybody is as socially anxious as you. Different people have different social expectations and different social comfort zones. Whoda thunk it.
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    I speak Spanish, and I overheard some Spanish students talking in our library, while I was working. They said something along the lines of "oh that girl is so stupid. Isn't it fun to talk about people when they don't understand you." and little things like that.

    So I went up to them and said, in Spanish "I can understand you, you ignorant little *****" lol! I've actually ALWAYS wanted to do that. Have been able to speak the language for 15 years and now it's happened.

    I feel complete.
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    Assuming the other parties were aware of your presence and you didn't attempt to conceal yourself from them in anyway, I don't think you were doing anything wrong.

    The other parties chose to hold a conversion in a public place, with onlookers in the vicinity. So they had no right to believe they were having a private conversation. A lot of residents here speak a language other than English as their mother tongue. This doesn't make it a "private language" even if they mistakenly believed it to be so.
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    (Original post by Lizia)
    I'm not talking about friends here. It's pure common sense that you wouldn't be friends with people you thought would ***** about you. :rolleyes: I'm talking about in general social situations, you can't spend your whole life just talking to people you like. If they want to ***** in general about you in a foreign language, they can do that privately too. The only reason to do so in front of your face is for the pleasure of insulting someone to their face without the repercussions and getting to feel superior that they're too 'stupid' to understand. It's cowardly, arrogant and malicious, and I don't consider it "socially anxious" to be offended by those qualities.

    Some people just respect themselves and their right to be treated with respect by others, unlike doormats who claim it's just "socially anxious" to be offended when people are rude to them. Whoda thunk that? :rolleyes:
    Err, someone who cares more about what strangers think of them is obviously more socially anxious than someone who cares less (or not at all).

    That's not to say social anxiety is bad - indeed, a complete lack of anxiety would be worrying. But it's a little silly to get so frustrated when others do not conform to your social expectations, or when they do not act in a way that doesn't aggravate your social anxiety. Framing the problem in normative terms, as you are inclined it, only makes it harder to see what's going on.

    There is of course nothing wrong with responding with social frustration but it is an unnecessary source of stress - a source that, if one cares about stress and the like, it would be worth overriding.
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    Once I was in a computer room back in college with a pair of girls sitting next to me and one said in arabic "what about him?" and the other one said "yes and no."
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    I usually don't tell them, but it depends on what they're saying.
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    I remember when I went travelling with my ex and a couple of friends, none of them speak anything other than English. On the very last day before our flight we went into a German restaurant and had a champagne breakfast as a celebration, ordering loads of food and basically half the menu. The waitresses all sat there *****ing about the 'rich Americans' implying we thought ourselves superior and various other things. At the end of the meal I asked for the bill in German and told them not to bother leaving space on the receipt for a tip. Their faces were priceless.
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    Nah, it's their fault for assuming that others won't understand. Once, I had to stay after school with my friend and a friend of hers I didn't know very well, after everyone else had gone home. This other girl wanted to talk about something private but apparently didn't want to wait until I wasn't there, so she decided to just sit right infront of me and talk about it in Urdu, which they both speak. (I didn't know any of the people involved, nor was I remotely interested anyway, so it wouldn't have made a difference what language they were speaking to be honest.) Now I don't speak a word of Urdu, but somehow, with the bits of English they were unknowingly throwing in and their body language, I got a pretty good idea of what they were saying. Her face when I repeated the story back to them (apparently accurately) and asked if I had the right idea was priceless. They finished the conversation in English.
 
 
 
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