Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The rudeness of talking in a foreign language

You're really not that important. Never mind that Sopranos scene where they travel to Italy.

 But take this following scenario, which happened to me: You introduce yourself to someone who speaks with an accent. You show them something of yours. As they're looking at it, their partner comes up beside them and starts speaking in their native language, and they start giggling as they look at your item. What did I do in response? I said "Hm", loud enough for them to hear me. They didn't continue talking after that.

 What else could I do? And what am I supposed to think? That they could be giggling about anything, least likely of which being your item? Or is it natural, healthy even, to preserve some discomfort over the fact that they're enjoying talking badly about you?

 The truth is that, in personal situations like these, suddenly talking in a foreign language is rude, and is not the mark of civilized and respectable people. I've dealt with much more than my share of rude behaviour. I shouldn't have to take it any longer.

 And for those of you who read this, you don't have to either. It's socially awkward to walk among people talking in a different language and think they're talking about you, absolutely. But it's not when you're in a situation such as the one I've described.

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