ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Speaking English

Updated on September 20, 2012

Teaking in Spongues

I owe my existence to migration, so I'm a fan.

From potatoes to pine trees, monoculture is neither robust nor interesting.

I think Australia is lucky in its multiculturalism.

That said, I'd like to talk language.

Nail Biting

Being of Mexican-American and Native American descent, Anjelah Johnson is well placed to do social commentary.

Millions have seen her nail salon routine (see below) an indication that it may ring true.

I'm interested in the last 15 seconds.

My wife says this certainly meshes with her experience. And our multilingual friend once scared the crap out of a rude nail technician by retorting in her language.

Past Tense

When Winston Churchill escaped from a Boer prison, his comrades told him in Latin when the coast was clear.

When I studied Indonesian at school, my colleagues enjoyed insulting other kids without their comprehension.

Words can be weapons.

So when dealing with suppliers I don't understand, I wonder what's being said.

For instance, when Chinese cleaners call back and forth across office spaces, are they saying:

'How nice of that chap to lift his chair!'

or

'These filthy copywriters can't even get a damn banana in a bin!'

Second Person

Excellent reasons for using one’s native tongue could include:

1. Immigration is too recent for English to be strong.

2. English is infernally difficult to learn at the best of times.

3. Conversing with compatriots is the sole solace in a rotten job.

4. In some contexts (like a French restaurant) it’s expected.

My Word

To give speakers the benefit of my doubt, I assume all the above (and more).

Yet when these reasons don’t seem to apply, I find speaking in tongues distracting, disconcerting and even offensive.

Especially when it’s loud, constant, done in front of me and accompanied by gestures of aggression or disgust.

And particularly when speakers have demonstrated that they can use English if they wish.

So is this my problem, or theirs?

Your Say

This is obviously a sensitive subject.

And I’ll brook no intolerance.

Yet I reckon it’s worth discussing.

Does a preference for English in business make me a racist client or a reasonable person?

Speak now, or forever hold your

pax.

What do YOU think?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      7 years ago

      @sirkeystone lm: You sure are a man of many parts, James! Now I see why your lenses are so varied and interesting. Thank you yet again for adding value to this topic. :)

    • sirkeystone lm profile image

      sirkeystone lm 

      7 years ago

      I enjoy a good deal of listening to other languages. I have learned a tiny bit of Japanese from watching Anime, I have always had a strange attraction for the Russian language, I grew up around several native American Indian tongues (Hopi, Apache, Navaho, Mexican/Spanish and I am Cherokee/Scottish), my ancestry had given me a liking for all things Gaelic and Celt, I have many friends from my internet experiences that are of several of the Norwegian languages especially Dansk...

      But I am to much of an ADHD sufferer to stay focused on one language well enough to learn it. So I say thumbs up, and

      Spacibo!

    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      7 years ago

      @Ann Hinds: Many thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. :)

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      Never been good at holding my pax and I took years of Latin so I know what it means. It does not make you a racist client. It makes you a rational thinking adult who expects to be able to converse in the spoken language of the country you live in.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)