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Awkward Situation

Updated on January 21, 2012
Awkward situation
Awkward situation | Source
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I live for awkward moments t-shirt

The language barrier

My husband and I were invited to a gathering at a friend's house this evening. We asked him if we could bring anything. He told us that his wife would be doing all the cooking and that we were just invited to come over, chat and eat.

When we got there, some of our other friends had come as well. One of the people brought some dessert she had made. I felt very awkward, as I hadn't brought anything. The other people had not brought anything either so it wasn't too bad for me.

The evening was sort of a let down for me. At first, everyone was speaking in English, and it was great that I could participate in the conversation. However, slowly the language changed to Hindi and some Bengali. I do not understand Hindi very well and do not speak Bengali at all. So I was a little confused as to what they were talking about. I asked my husband to switch the conversation back into English so that I could understand and participate. He was gracious enough to do so.

However, after a few minutes, the conversation again switched from English back into Hindi. I was a little lost. I didn't know how to ask them politely to speak in English so that I could understand the conversation. The friend who made the dessert came to my rescue and we began a conversation on our own in English.

It is really an awkward situation when people start talking in languages that are unknown by others. I am not sure if any of you out there have faced this similar situation. All I know from experience is that I do not feel comfortable sitting with people who don't speak in the same language as I do. It is a little disconcerting and a little rude. I know that those people felt more comfortable talking in their languages, but I don't think they thought about the other people in the room who do not speak their language.

What do you do if faced with a similar situation? Do you tell the other people in the room? Do you just sit and politely listen? Do you pretend to understand the conversation?

Comments, thoughts and ideas are welcomed!


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    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Oh good! I'm not the only one who had this problem! Thanks for sharing your story and stopping by. I guess I should attempt to learn the language now :(.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      I've dated a mexican and a guy from Columbia who both had spanish speaking families. So I definitely know how it feels to not know whats going on in a conversation and not being able to contribute. It is pretty awkward just sitting there while every talks.

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Hi KrystalD.

      Yes, there are way too many awkward moments that I am sure we have all experienced at some point or another. I'm glad you stopped by! :)

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      So many awkard moments in life! Thanks for sharing on such a common yet undiscussed topic!

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Yes that is true, I can learn the language, but I shouldn't have to if everyone in the room speaks my language right? Anyway, thanks for the tip.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      I am sorry you had that problem. I think the trick is to learn the language and not tell anyone, then you will know exactly what they say when they are talking about you! You can learn by watching lots of Hindi movies.

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Ha ha!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      I use English, the elite's language in my country, ha-ha-ha!

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Thanks Vinaya. What did you do in that situation?

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      There are as many as 106 languages in Nepal and every one wants to speak their own language. I have also been in an awkward situation like you.


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