Language Manners

Recently I’ve been having different opinions about different things and to start off this rambling I’d like to talk about the language you speak. Majority of us speak a different language, and coming from a University has a large amount of cultural diversity this of course brings up problems. Language barriers are needed to be overcome between peers and between teachers but in many cases it becomes manageable.

I noticed something today though. While sitting with two friends having lunch, when one started a conversation it’d always be in Chinese. After awhile I found this to be unusually rude. Unusually because I’m not too sure if it is being rude. This has happened to me god knows how many times. This happens to me often simply because I’m a Chinese who can’t speak one bit of the language. When I’m around my cousins and aunts I understand, simply some of them CAN’T speak English in which I accept the reality that I may not be included in the conversation at all. Similarly when I’m at a party and majority of the people speak a different language. Usually the person sitting near me realizes the problem and strikes up a conversation before I start staring off into the space of my own world. In a group of three though, this concerns me. They speak PERFECT English but choose to strike the conversation up in Chinese. From my point of view its rude, since they’re explicitly excluding me from the conversation that I could be part of. But is it also selfish? For me to want them to speak in a language that may be universal but they’d rather not speak in? I mean its rude if they’re OBVIOUSLY doing it JUST to spite the third person but what if it isn’t too obvious. Who am I to go: PLEASE, I really want to UNDERSTAND something here. Should I embrace the idea of “Its a free world, speak in what ever language you want to speak” or have a little prod at the person going: so, should I pull out goggle translate or will you actually speak English. So basically what I tried to explain in around 400 words is that I’m on the fence. It feels rude but it also feels selfish, which is where my illogical Maths of life comes in such that if it feels selfish it can’t feel rude. Or can they both co-exist?!

Hmm I don’t know. Maybe I should to prevent future damage that person might do? Though in many ways it might cause him to be too self concious about how he talks. Sometimes I consider too many factors when making a decision, and I’ll talk about that in another post probably.

What, you thought that was to much of an abrupt ending? Well TOO BAD.

-Cause…I don’t know, just cause.


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