talk

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    the pain behind your eyes
    Communication. At work the better majority of the co workers and associates are those who speak spanish, and english. yet sometimes they switch back and forth whenever I pass the vicinity of them talking. Take this last saturday for instance; I come on shift, see two hispanic gentlemen from a distance talking in clear and distinctive english about setting up some drywall, yet, as soon as I almost pass them up side- by- side, it blips almost too fast in spanish as they continue past me.

    Now these were guys I didn't know from Adam, yet they felt the compulsion to do so as if I was an enemy. It doesn't stop with just passing by people in the aisles either. I've had to take orders from other people who can have very lucid conversations in english for the 1st couple of minutes, then,BANG!!right back into their own language. And I might add, so as not to generalize about just spanish, I've also witnessed, but not completely understood russian and polish, slovic, german, and quite possibly arabic.


    Why does this happen? I don't these people at all except for their orders.Thiskind of rudeness makes me wonder just exactly what it is about me that does not install any trust in them.

    Any similar cases/experiences?
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I was near fluent in Spanish when I was in college. One of my best roomies had a Filipino mother whom I liked very much - and they spoke Filipino in the home.

    One of the things I found (and I've subsequently noticed in movies and IRL) is that multi-lingual people often speak mixed languages to each other in normal conversation. In other words, a couple of guys will be speaking Spanish to each other and you'll hear English phrases thrown in without hesitation.

    You may notice, if you like "foreign language" films with subtitles, that the principles will do the same, mixing two or more languages into their conversation.

    So you might not have heard what you thought you heard, Chuck. Those Hispanic men might not have even been aware of your presence and simply were flipping back and forth between English and Spanish without being aware of it.
     
  3. headbang8

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    Pecker makes a good point. It's particularly so in environments where two languages co-exist in more-or-less equal measure. Often, there's the official language of business and government, of pop culture, and the language of home and hearth.

    I was on a plane last week where a Hong Kong Chinese married couple were talking about an extended family member who'd dropped out of college. When they discussed grade point averages or choosing a major, it was English. When they spoke of (I assume) the parents' reaction, they slipped into Cantonese. A lot of first generation immigrants do this, too.

    On the other hand, Chuck, when you're talking with someone and a third party passes by, it's a natural instinct to lower your voice. You don't necessarily want to hide what you're saying, but you don't really want to invite people into the conversation just because they're passing, either. hey're just lowering their voices in a different way.
     
  4. dolf250

    dolf250 New Member

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    My grandparents came from Germany shortly after the end of the Second World War. I clearly recall being younger and being at some functions (anniversaries etc…) with them and their close friends. All were from Germany and all had been in the country for at least a half century. If my father (whose German is limited) or mother were involved directly in the conversation it would remain in English. If, however, they were holding a conversation beside you or at another table the language would jump around every couple of minutes. There were English phrases thrown in German and German phrases thrown in the English. So long as the people who you are directly communicating with are not talking to each other in Spanish, looking at you and laughing uncontrollably I do not think I would be too insulted.
     
  5. madame_zora

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    I used to work with deaf people who would use sign language if they didn't want the hearing people to know what they were saying. It's no insult that people don't want to invite others into their conversation, but if ya wanna get even, learn Spanish.
     
  6. Pye

    Pye
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    I have noticed this at times myself-- I agree that it's just like others lowering their voices when you walk past..some people jsut don't want others to hear what they are saying...but in this day and age it can be pretty risky to switch to another language...you never know what others unserstand

    This occured to a friend of mine. He's Puerto Rican and he looks like a whitebread boy until he opens his mouth and you cna hear his accent. He was sitting in a waiting room and 2 woman began to comment on how he looked and how hot he was and he didn't let on until he was leaving and he spoke to the receptionist in perfect Spanish loud enough for the women to hear...he loved the look of shock and red faces on the women as he left
     
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