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SpringHeeledJack
7th Nov 2014, 13:14
I was listening to a radio phone in about the Lidl supermarket in Scotland banning the majority of their staff (Polish) from speaking in that language on the shop floor and in the staff room as both staff and customers had complained that it was alienating and dare I say it, it shows a lack of effort to integrate into the land they have chosen to make their home.

Lidl Polish workers banned from speaking own language - The Scotsman (http://www.scotsman.com/news/odd/lidl-polish-workers-banned-from-speaking-own-language-1-3596137)



SHJ

Gertrude the Wombat
7th Nov 2014, 13:24
We've got a "no talking Greek" rule in our office as there are two native Greek speakers and people talking foreign leads to a lack of valuable SA (which *does* matter, actually, in an office full of engineers).

I've not seen a need for a "no Indian languages" rule anywhere I've worked as all the Indian techies appear to speak English in the office even if they have other languages in common.

Blacksheep
7th Nov 2014, 13:47
Having spent thirty years living among the cacaphony of different Chinese dialects, Malay, Hindi, Tamil, Tagalog and English or 'Singlish' all around me, I am immune to being bothered by people speaking foreign. Missus and I speak in Malay - when discussing prices in front of shop assistants for example. Sometimes, just for the fun of it, I speak French at people on the train or underground.

Sometimes they respond, but mostly its a good way to get them to speak more slowly and loudly. :}

OFSO
7th Nov 2014, 15:09
Amusing to read that. In this part of Catalunia, if you can't also speak Castilliano, French, German, oh yes and a bit of English - forget about opening a business. Most Catalans and Spanish cannot, which is why so many foreigners are making a success of things.

Capetonian
7th Nov 2014, 15:36
I often have breakfast at a cafe run by three lovely Polish people. They speak perfect English (better than many native speakers) but between themselves they speak Polish, which I think is normal and I rather enjoy it, and it gives me the opportunity to practise my very imperfect Polish, which they appreciate.

All round, it's a bit of a win-win. Also, I'd far rather hear people speaking other languages than listen to the inane drivel of so many younger people particularly in the UK ......... "So 'e was like you know, like, shagging Vicky like, know what I mean, so I went like, and 'e went like...... an' 'e said ......"

Lon More
7th Nov 2014, 15:58
When I started working in Europe in 1970 I was in a group with six languages, English was the common one. The worst nationality for conversing in their own language were the Irish. Eventually everyone had command of at least a smattering of all the languages involved and discussions would be carried out flowing from one to the other.
When I left there were more than 20 nationalities represented, the easy flow between them had disappeared: English, French, German or Dutch being used as lingua franca but I don't think anybody, except a couple of misplaced isolationists, were offended ( HIH can you live for more than 30 years in a country and not pick up a bit of the language? ) if a couple of say, Greeks, started to chat in their own language.

Capetonian
7th Nov 2014, 16:04
HIH can you live for more than 30 years in a country and not pick up a bit of the language? Perfectly easy if that's how you choose to live. I had a g/f whose parents had immigrated to South Africa in the 1950s. In the 1980s, between the two of them, I doubt if they spoke more than 10 words of English or Afrikaans.

Shack37
7th Nov 2014, 16:10
T´would be interesting if this rule was applied to all expat Brits. Probably lead to a very quiet work environment or few customers in the super.:rolleyes:

Gertrude the Wombat
7th Nov 2014, 16:33
The worst nationality for conversing in their own language were the Irish.
Once Upon A Time I was hitchhiking in France.

So when I came across some other hitchhikers we naturally started conversing in French, each having as yet no reason to suppose that the other wasn't French.

However we soon discovered that they were Irish and I was English, so we switched to speaking English.

But we found that the mutual incomprehensibility of our accents was such that we switched back to French.

Um... lifting...
7th Nov 2014, 16:43
On a working stopover in a place that ostensibly is Spanish, but caters largely to English tourists, went to a local restaurant. The reasonable assumption was that I'd speak English and was presented a menu emblazoned with the Union Jack, but left the menu closed, greeted the server, asked if there were anything she recommended, what the chef was up to, and so forth, all in admittedly fractured Castellano.

I ordered my meal, and in rapid succession arrived unbidden at my table an aperitif, a plate of various tapas, soup, (my ordered) meal, flan, espresso, & a chupito.

The large, loud, rude, and heavily-accented females from somewhere W. of The Channel at the next table demanded to know how I received such dainties (at least that's what I think they were saying, they were using a dialect of English profanity with which I was not familiar, and I'm a fair student of the subject). I smiled sweetly & responded in Russian and took my leave after sticking my head in the kitchen.

Sallyann1234
7th Nov 2014, 16:52
I'm a very strong supporter of the principle that immigrants should integrate with the language and customs of their chosen country.

But in this particular case the report makes it clear that many of their customers actually prefer to speak to the staff in Polish - something which SHJ chose to leave out of the quotation.

Unfortunately the integration principle only seems to apply in one direction. I recently found myself in an English enclave in Spain where most of the residents make no effort to learn the language and only patronise shops and services where they can speak English.

Windy Militant
7th Nov 2014, 17:33
Maybe if the English did the same they'd be more popular. :p I'd leave them to get on with it!
watch?v=yXf1bhEEXd0
We have a couple of Polish lasses working at a cafe near my mums in Wales they've been there for years, one has a son who helps out occasionally. He speaks Welsh as well as Polish and occasionally when there are tourists around English. ;)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Nov 2014, 18:16
HIH can you live for more than 30 years in a country and not pick up a bit of the language?

Ask most of the muslim women in Britain. Of course you can't, they hardly ever leave the house. My mum lives in a naturally chatty part of the Midlands with a large Asian population. She hasn't heard one of them speak English in 15 years.

SpringHeeledJack
7th Nov 2014, 18:28
But in this particular case the report makes it clear that many of their customers actually prefer to speak to the staff in Polish - something which SHJ chose to leave out of the quotation.

Great ,now I'm being taken to task for doing something wot I didn't, especially as there was no quotation. :hmm: The extended article mentions the fact that a lot of Polish immigrants chose to go to this store because they knew that they would be served in their mother tongue. If this was (in this case) a Polska sklep, then it would be both normal and expected that the lingua franca would be Polish 1st and English 2nd. As Lidl (UK) is an English company in England and the employment contract signed by all employees requires them to behave in certain ways, one of which is to communicate in English, the issue shouldn't have arisen.

The much castigated English and their unwillingness to learn and/or speak other languages rests almost entirely on the success of the old empire and the usage of the Queen's English as the language of languages. Most think "why should I learn XYZ because everyone speaks English ?". If it wasn't true back in the day, it surely is now due to the Internet and the youth being particularly beguiled with it and use English daily. I took the mindset of wanting to integrate when I found myself spending longer periods abroad. Some cultures were more accommodating with my efforts than others, but in general it allowed me experiences that would otherwise have been kept at a distance. The inane conversations by English yoofs remarked upon earlier are no different than the young of many other lands when one can listen in :hmm::8



SHJ

Krystal n chips
7th Nov 2014, 18:48
The large, loud, rude, and heavily-accented females from somewhere W. of The Channel at the next table demanded to know how I received such dainties (at least that's what I think they were saying, they were using a dialect of English profanity with which I was not familiar

They were probably from Birmingham.......

The report does show that the term customer service has yet to be understood by the management who issued this directive....if the customers are entering the store on the basis of being able to be helped with their purchases by staff speaking their own language, then it would make sense to encourage this as, quelle surprise, they may become regular customers.

The British are notorious for expecting every other Nation in the world to speak English and for not even making a basic attempt at speaking the host nations language.

Toulouse and I am in the company ( not through personal choice ) of the quintessential "Brit abroad ".....

Breakfast, and as one has been categorised as being uneducated, one greets the waitress in French ( well OK, it wasn't actually fluent French and did have a Manchester accent attached ) and, lo and behold, the nice lady replied in French and one's breakfast duly appeared with a smile.

Enter our "hero"...who, possibly may have had a former colonial heritage as there were distinct similarities involving the French and / or "members of the opposite sex " sat there and demanded, in English of course, how he wanted his breakfast prepared.

Not being the most astute of people, he possibly missed the pursed lips and body language of the lady concerned.

His breakfast arrived "some considerable time" after mine, and was deposited on the table in the manner that would have required a heavy landing check had it been an aircraft.

Three days of breakfast later, he was still unable to understand why this was the case.

Windy Militant
7th Nov 2014, 18:56
Just remembered my nephews little girl had to go to A&E recently. He complained of not being able to understand the Chinese Doctors Glaswegian accent.

Or the tale that was told of a bunch of Malaysian students by a girl who was at college with them in Cardiff. She said you could tell they'd integrated into the community when they walked into the off licence she worked at to supplement her student grant and chorused shw wit ti Butt* to her

* The contraction colloquially used for Sut ydych chi heddiw or how are you today and every one in the valleys is your butty!

Mac the Knife
7th Nov 2014, 19:13
When my Dad arrived in Scotland in 1941 he stopped speaking Polish and learned English (he also spoke French, German and Russian).

Even 30 years later when he lectured in Poland, he spoke English (dutifully translated for him into Polish), though he did lecture in Russian in the USSR and French in France/Switzerland.

Only in his late 70's did he ever lecture in Polish and German (much to the astonishment of the Germans who had no idea that he spoke German).

When he became British he became British and thus English was his mother-tongue.

That is the way it should be.

Mac

:cool:

OFSO
7th Nov 2014, 19:21
I speak in Catalan to local people I know and they reply back in Catalan.

But people I don't know always reply in Castilliano.

This dates from the Franco era* when provocateurs trapped Catalans by speaking their language: even today the older generation are suspicious of strangers who know Catalan.

* Which will shortly be returning, courtesy of Prime Minister Rajoy.

meadowrun
7th Nov 2014, 19:21
Of course there are different considerations if it is in a non-work or workplace situation.


I worked(managed/supervised) workforces with many different languages for many years. I had to impose a rule requiring only English or French (official languages) to be spoken in the workplace based solely on safety considerations. Even then the allowance for French did not make good sense considering the geographical work locations. Break times - do whatever the hell you wanted to.


At the same time I consider it rude to everyone if a common language is not spoken when in a group at work. It does nothing to foster an efficient team.


On a more general theme, I am not so fluffy as to think the multitude of different languages in this world promotes diversity or celebrates cultural histories as good things. That we ever developed different languages in the first place is perhaps one of the worst, most divisive paths humans could ever have taken.

ex_matelot
7th Nov 2014, 19:27
Speaking from experience - Most Poles I have known / still know have a far better command of the English language than any so-called native English. Their work ethic is far better also. If a Pole is given overtime you can take it to the bank they will just consider it extra cash - whereas their English counterpart will think "I can afford to go sick one day this month now".

I don't see any problem with Polish shop assistants speaking Polish to Polish customers. Look at the wine warehouses in Roscoff / Calais etc. Do they demand the people on the till speak French? Most English would be buggered if they did!.

I consider myself right-wing and have various issues regarding immigration. I cannot fault the Poles though. Like any people - they have their bad apples. I've known "justice" dispensed on ones who have "crossed the line", by their fellow Poles;twice. Disgraced Pole on next flight home...

We, as a nation, have much to thank Poles for. Past & present.

SMT Member
7th Nov 2014, 19:56
Funny reading all the comments from people on the western side of the Channel, all agreeing that immigrants should integrate and learn the local language.

In the mean time, millions of Brits living abroad have never done anything to even try the local language or culture, living instead in enclaves and keeping their own traditions. Sounds familiar, doesn't it, and with that I think it's fair to say my hypocrisy meter just went through the stops.

In other words, if you're a Brit the best thing to do in a thread such as this would be a 180, hat and coat in hand.

ex_matelot
7th Nov 2014, 20:04
Funny reading all the comments from people on the western side of the Channel, all agreeing that immigrants should integrate and learn the local language.

In the mean time, millions of Brits living abroad have never done anything to even try the local language or culture, living instead in enclaves and keeping their own traditions. Sounds familiar, doesn't it, and with that I think it's fair to say my hypocrisy meter just went through the stops.

In other words, if you're a Brit the best thing to do in a thread such as this would be a 180, hat and coat in hand.

Read preceding comment

Shack37
7th Nov 2014, 20:21
Funny reading all the comments from people on the western side of the
Channel, all agreeing that immigrants should integrate and learn the local
language


Even funnier reading a comment from someone who doesn´t appear to have understood many of the posts preceding his.

ex_matelot
7th Nov 2014, 20:32
SSSHHHH Don't spoil it for him! He was going to go to bed feeling all warm, fluffy and full of altruism before we rumbled him!

Fareastdriver
7th Nov 2014, 20:45
I saw a couple in a hotel foyer in Beijing. They both looked down in the dumps and close to tears. I asked them what the problem was and the story unfolded.

They were coming to China on an extended self funded tour. To this end they had spent many months learning Chinese. They had practised it in their local Chinese restaurants and they seemed to communicate without difficulty.

They then arrived in Beijing to find out that they had learned Cantonese.

For those that do not know Mandarin is the official one out of the five main languages in China. Cantonese is spoken primarily in Guangzhou (Canton) and the surrounding area including Hong Kong, where all your Chinese restaurateurs come from.

bosnich71
7th Nov 2014, 20:46
Yet another thread which ends up knocking the English.

ex_matelot
7th Nov 2014, 21:08
Yet another thread which ends up knocking the English.

I wouldn't say so. At least one person dived in too early though.

I am English btw. I would gladly swap some of my compatriots with those from elsewhere.

One Polish Peter must be worth at least 3 English Jaydens, Kyle or Brittany

SpringHeeledJack
7th Nov 2014, 21:39
I am English btw. I would gladly swap some of my compatriots with those from elsewhere.

One Polish Peter must be worth at least 3 English Jaydens, Kyle or Brittany

The UK is made up of more than useless benefits addicted chavs otherwise it would be really down the pan, wouldn't it ? The Poles (and others) in the UK are generally very compliant and hard working immigrants. That's the whole point, all the Polish chavs are……back in Poland causing consternation to the remaining hard working citizens. This thread is about integrating in the UK and not really about the Marbella Mafia down at the Old Dog and Duck on the Costa del Sol. There are still plenty of industrious 'Peters' left, but they probably don't want to work for less money than they would have earned 20 years ago due to the arrival of all the hard working ex-east bloc citizens.



SHJ

Flash2001
7th Nov 2014, 22:09
There is a small food market nearby that I used to frequent. It changed hands, and the next time I went in the shelves had been re-arranged. I asked a stock person where to find xxx and received a rather unpleasant snarl and the words "no eenglish" (sic). I put the same question to another employee and received the same reply, this time with a downright hateful look. A month or two later when the place went out of business I made it my habit to stop from time to time and shout "No English". Sic semper etc...

ExSp33db1rd
7th Nov 2014, 23:27
Although having achieved School Certificate Fail standard in French and German, and then spending a year sharing a room with a French student pilot, after which he could speak good Yorkshire accented English, but my French hadn't progressed one bit, when I started flying round Europe I could at least cope in those two countries, but suggested that I might also attempt Italian and Spanish, but which ? Neither, said a sage old Flight Engineer ( the fount of all aviation knowledge ) you only need one phrase in any language, he said, "Two beers please, my friend will pay".

This took me through my career, tho' I regret that I never managed to get my tongue successfully around the Chinese.

Shouting louder seemed to get me around the World OK, too.

con-pilot
7th Nov 2014, 23:58
I figured that on a three or four day layover in a foreign country, all I needed to learn of the local language was;

Beer.

Toilet.

Please.

Thank you.

Once I got those down, I was good to go.

onetrack
8th Nov 2014, 00:21
English is the language of aviation, technology, science, engineeering, and construction. It contains many more technical and precise terms than any other language in the world.
Technological terms that originate in English, always transfer unchanged into other languages.

If you wish to succeed in the global corporate, technology, science, engineering, or construction environment, having an excellent grasp of English is crucial to your success.

Having an excellent grasp of English for retail operations is less important for dealing with customers, but if you're operating your retail business in a country where English is the primary language, you will be much more successful as the owner if you have a good grasp of English.

Having said that - the world is much more multi-cultural than anyone ever envisaged even 40 years ago. The ability to travel long distances more easily and the relaxation of immigration restrictions has seen many English-speaking countries invaded by large numbers of foreign-language-speaking people, whose grasp of English is rudimentary at best.
It's rare for these people to succeed completely on an overall social and business basis, if they do not develop a reasonable grasp of English.

If I went to live in a foreign country, I would expect that I would learn the local language. Otherwise, you remain "a foreigner" forever.

There's two things that bug me about languages. The tendency for English speakers to introduce purely French words and phrases into English discussion as a subtle form of superiority.
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.

The second thing is people who start to speak in their own language to try and get the upper hand in negotiations. Italians are good at this - but they get shocked when they suddenly realise the person they are negotiating with, knows Italian!

And of course, there's always the funny anecdotes about travel and language difficulties. A rather intolerant and xenophobic Australian uncle of my wife, went on a European tour, and they stopped someplace in Italy to eat.

He was discussing this particular exercise with us, and came out with, "Oooh, they're an ignorant lot!! They know English, but they refuse to use it!
I was ordering food, and even though I loudly stated, 'one-a ham-a cheese-a sandwich', they came back with 'no understand-a!' ... " LOL

ExSp33db1rd
8th Nov 2014, 08:56
3 hour delay at Idlewild - remember that ? Crew given vouchers to eat at the "diner" i.e. horse-shoe shaped counters with the waiter in the centre, ours started at one end and worked his way around, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, BLT. etc was the usual request, until one guy asked for a "Plain Omelette". Cannot, said the waiter, we only have Cheese Omelettes, Ham Omelettes or Western Omelettes. No, just a plain Omelette please, No. this went on for some time until the guy said, OK give me a Ham Omelette, but hold the Ham (he could speak American )

Finally, with his order pad full the waiter addressed a microphone that relayed the orders to the kitchen, open plan in view of course. He recited the orders and finally said, now listen to this - one Omelette made just with eggs, and the Chef shouted back. Hey, do y'mean a plain omelette ?

English as she is spoke. Easy.

Capetonian
8th Nov 2014, 09:35
The tendency for English speakers to introduce purely French words and phrases into English discussion as a subtle form of superiority.
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.That irks me too, and bien sur I make a conscious effort to avoid phrases and words as 'nouveau riche', 'de rigeur' and 'genre'.

Konrad Adenauer said something along the lines of : "If I want to speak to you or sell to you, I'll speak your language. If you want to speak to me or sell to me, you will speak mine." He was right and I subscribe to that.

A few weeks ago I was on a train in France and took a very brief call from a friend, obviously in English. The sourfaced old hag sitting in front of me turned round and glared at me, and then started screeching : "Nous sommes en France, on parle Francais ........." and so on for about five minutes. When she'd finished I asked her if she spoke English ..... "non je suis Francaise, je parle Francais ....... on est en France".

So I said : "Madame here's your first English lesson. Repeat slowly : Shut the f... up you old cow."

Krystal n chips
8th Nov 2014, 10:21
Our Diplomatic, Social, Travel and Cultural affairs correspondent writes :

A few weeks ago I was on a train in France and took a very brief call from a friend, obviously in English. The sourfaced old hag sitting in front of me turned round and glared at me, and then started screeching : "Nous sommes en France, on parle Francais ........." and so on for about five minutes. When she'd finished I asked her if she spoke English ..... "non je suis Francaise, je parle Francais ....... on est en France".

So I said : "Madame here's your first English lesson. Repeat slowly : Shut the f... up you old cow

quelle surprise !

Ah, age can now be discounted as a source of your insecurities it would seem, albeit and alas, the two other criteria remain somewhat entrenched.

However.....je would like to be of assistance therefore....albeit je isn't that fluent en Francais so je has thoughtfully included a Mancunian sentiment...

" Bonjour , Je suis ce qu'on appelle un cochon pillock ignorant dans les pays qui parlent anglais et je tiens à me présenter socialement pour confirmer vos opinions de haut-parleurs Englshe sont , dans mon cas , tout à fait justifiée . Je vous remercie, Madame.

PS K n C est sur ​​ma liste noire que je pense que je suis une auto importante non - entité joyeux qui a une sorte d'influence dans le monde ."

Lon More
8th Nov 2014, 11:29
Fortunately most foreigners in the UK are more polite than Capetonian was in France.
I bet he's had the word :mad:wit directed at him in most languages spoken on earth

Capetonian
8th Nov 2014, 11:41
Since you weren't there, Lon, to witness the woman's outburst of xenophobic hatred, you have no right to comment.

Why should I be berated rudely by a miserable French hag for speaking my language on the 'phone?

What exactly is rude about taking a call and speaking English to the person at the other end?

Krystal n chips
8th Nov 2014, 11:50
Since you weren't there, Lon, to witness the woman's outburst of xenophobic hatred, you have no right to comment.



Hmmm ?.....I think that's called unintended irony.


Why should I be berated rudely by a miserable French hag for speaking my language on the 'phone?

Indeed !.....having the sheer gall and effrontery to be both French and Female whilst offering her opinion to one as socially adept as yourself is really quite beyond the pale !

However, it does make me wonder if your, lets call it a "somewhat forthright response" would have been equally forthcoming had, for example, the person uttering been a member of the French Foreign Legion or French Para's ?

Hydromet
8th Nov 2014, 11:53
Many years ago, in anticipation of a trip to Japan, during which we would meet SWMBO's pen friend, I spent a year studying Japanese at night school. SWMBO and her pen friend had been corresponding by mail, in English, since they were 12, so we assumed that she spoke good English.

On arrival, armed with my year of night school Japanese, I rang the pen friend, and when her father answered, I introduced myself in my best local tongue. The rest of the conversation was completely unintelligible to me.

We eventually managed to make arrangements to dine with her extended family at their home. Only one person, a friend of her brother's, spoke both languages properly. However, all those of our generation could write English, and that's how we communicated, with the assistance of sake, Scotch whisky and beer. A most civilised night.

Blacksheep
8th Nov 2014, 12:40
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.one begs to differ, but I don't want to fight over it.

My experience of other languages is that they often include insightful ways of describing things that differ from one's own. English is very good at technical stuff, but can be a little stiff when it comes to expressing emotions.

Sallyann1234
8th Nov 2014, 13:09
but can be a little stiff when it comes to expressing emotions.

That's where the f word come in, right? :E

Lon More
8th Nov 2014, 15:50
BTW Capetonian, did you make is as far as Brussel. You must have been the person who could have ruined an enjoyable meal I was having with a friend in de Kleinbeenhouwerstraat. We were chatting quite happily in English until you arrived and started to throw your linguistic weight around; we switched to Dutch, but then you tried Afrikaans and got even more upset when the waiters couldn't ubderstabd you. To prevent giving any indication thaat we could, and would, have helped you if you'd been a bit more pleasant, we carried on our conversation in German, you might have recognized your name, der Saukerl.
I nust thank you for providing thé cabaret; as a bonus we got 10% off the bill, and an apology from the owner for your prescence. I hope you enjoyed your meal and that the little extras introduced into it didnt make you too ill

Gertrude the Wombat
8th Nov 2014, 16:22
My one linguistic attempt at Brussels (it was a very long time ago) was to try to be polite by speaking French in a shop. I got a very rude look and a reply in English.

Capetonian
8th Nov 2014, 16:43
No idea what you're talking about Lon, but I haven't, by choice, been to Brussels for many years so I can assure you it wasn't me.

There are a couple of words for which I know of no good English equivalent. One is 'schadenfreude' and the other is 'dronkverdriet'. And it's hard to find words as versatile and expressive as the Afrikaans 'poes' and 'doos'.

JWP1938
8th Nov 2014, 16:59
The current immigration fashion around Europe can confuse things too. While living in Spain my Spanish was coming along fine. We went to a nice restaurant one night and, in the middle of my trying to explain exactly what we wanted, the waitress said "Oh please stop speaking Spanish and speak to me in English." I was a bit miffed as I thought my Spanish was very good and said something to that effect. She said "Yes, but I am Lithuanian and my Spanish is not as good as yours but I have better English." After we all had a good laugh the rest of the evening went great.

vulcanised
8th Nov 2014, 17:40
Anyone who insists that people should speak the language of the land they are in hasn't been to Wales.

racedo
8th Nov 2014, 19:09
Funny not a single person is highlighting that within the Lidl store, the staff are predominantely foreigners who have travelled a long way and then found a job.

Locals pretty much I guess weren't bothered at the idea of paid employment.

I shop at my local Lidl and there is a whole variety of different languages spoken by the staff in assisting customers.

Bearing in mind that these were the people who have been shopping in LIDL for years well before it became fashionable with the inbred set.

When Tesco had loads of Polish staff in after 2004 and they working nights I didn't notice a demand they speak English, more like get the work done and work it out.

There is a real danger that Lidl decides to start alienating the very people who have made it succesful in order to appear relevant to the Chelsea tractor set.

Lon More
8th Nov 2014, 19:19
My one linguistic attempt at Brussels (it was a very long time ago) was to try to be polite by speaking French in a shop. I got a very rude look and a reply in English
Brussel is officially bi-lingual. Unfortunately many refuse to use both languages. Police and council officials are probably the worst offenders

ExSp33db1rd
8th Nov 2014, 20:50
Why would the French lady abusing C. for not speaking French want him to stop speaking English anyway, was it so that she could listen in to his conversation ?

Nowt to do with her. I don't think my reaction would have been as polite as his !

Personally I'd ban phones on trains 'n planes, but that's another story. I was happy to tour UK and Europe this year without a cellphone - quelle bliss.

Flying across Italy once, I practiced saying Firenze before making my position report, ATC replied - we check you over Florence. Can't win, and I was only trying to be friendly, but then I guess English is the language of the air.

I once bade goodbye to a Russian ATC operator, bored to his death in the middle of the night in the middle of Siberia, with a cheery Do Svadanya (?) and he, thinking I could speak Russian replied with a torrent of fast Russian ! That'll learn me.

Rule Britannia. ( but we'll all be talking Txt soon, anyway, innit ?)

con-pilot
8th Nov 2014, 21:59
ExSp

I know what you mean, I've tried to use the language of the country I've flown over a few times with the controllers and about every time it ended in tears.

So I just stuck to English for the last 30 or so years until I retired.

ExSp33db1rd
8th Nov 2014, 22:37
Con - trouble is .... it is legal under ICAO ( or was ) for the ATC controller of a State, to talk the local language to a local pilot of the same State, so on occasions it was difficult to monitor the local traffic. To be fair, I only had problems in France and a certain South American Country, most played the (English) game.

Dialects were another matter ! One of our pilots responded to New Delhi with a very passable copy of a local accent, accompanied by the associate head wobbling, to the amusement of his fellow crew members. The response was "you'd damn well better have an Indian on board when you land" and the flight deck was "visited" by a local official. Fortunately the pilot had been born in India to parents of the British Raj, so he was able to keep it up !

Such Fun.

Flash2001
8th Nov 2014, 22:56
The Canadian government spent a great deal of (my) money on bilingualism. Many middle management level English speaking civil servants took 9 month long fully paid French language courses with the last 3 months spent in immersion in Switzerland. When they returned to their places of employment, attempts to address French speaking employees in French were almost always rebuffed by a response in English. The two solitudes remained intact.

After an excellent landing etc...

con-pilot
9th Nov 2014, 00:06
Con - trouble is .... it is legal under ICAO ( or was ) for the ATC controller of a State, to talk the local language to a local pilot of the same State

As far as I know, it still is.

But then again I retired in 2005, so it could have changed.

ChristiaanJ
9th Nov 2014, 01:16
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.
Well then, give me a not-stilted expression in English for "bon appetit".

421dog
9th Nov 2014, 02:23
Either "enjoy" or, in the case of my Wisconsin synod inlaws:
"Well, it's probably not fit to eat"

evansb
9th Nov 2014, 02:41
"bon appetit" = "dig in!"

pigboat
9th Nov 2014, 02:50
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.

Like Blacksheep, I disagree. "Mange donc, de la calisse de marde" is so much more evocative than plain old "Eat [email protected]#." :E

onetrack
9th Nov 2014, 06:03
ChristiaanJ - I'm afraid that "enjoy your meal" sounds just as inviting to me, as "bon appetit!"
Besides, I have always wondered how the French claim to have invented all the superior food cooking styles. Once again, the "pose" or superiority factor appears to assume ascendancy. :suspect:

Stanwell
9th Nov 2014, 08:27
.
....which is what the froggies are all about.

funfly
9th Nov 2014, 10:13
It doesn't really matter what language you speak. The important thing is to be able to communicate and for the person/people to whom you are communicating to be able to understand you.
It matters not a toss if those who overhear the conversation do not understand what is being said.

mad_jock
9th Nov 2014, 10:29
There are more than a few countries with multiple languages that the language of least issue is now English and as such a lot just speak it so no ego's are hurt.

I went to open a local bank account and the first question was what language do you want it in?

Err English if possible.

What currency's?

err Euro, Dollar and Sterling if its possible and doesn't cost a fortune.

You now have 3 accounts one for each and its included in your yearly fee.

From that point on its as if I were dealing with a UK bank apart from a complete lack of stupidity. ATM, internet banking, letters all come in English. There was another 2 languages to choose from.

And I stood in for my niece in law aged 5 when her dad was away, at a school dad thing. Took a few of the teachers by surprise when she started yabbering away at me in English certainly to a higher level than her plus 50 teacher.

her sister aged 8 is very proficient in English, IACO 4 wouldn't be a problem.

In someways I feel quite sorry for the 40 plus aged Europeans as its only the highly educated ones who do speak English. They are getting left behind and a lot of them are becoming unemployable if they don't speak English and that includes manual trades instruction manuals etc just aren't being translated and if they are they are that poor quality that the English original has to be consulted just to make sure.

I am not surprised at older people getting the hump when they hear English being used everywhere. They will be feeling more and more isolated in there own country's if they don't speak it.

I have even heard two locals conversation with each other about technical matters to do with aircraft and it was in English. Asked why they were speaking in English. They just said we don't have a clue what the names of the parts are in anything else but English. And if you are using that many English words in a sentence its easier just to speak English apart from which we think in English if we are talking about aircraft.

Some country's have already come to terms with this fact that English has become a part of there culture, are perfectly happy with it being there as it does a job very well as a common form of communication.

Others such as France are going to suffer as its over taken them. In fact it went past them just after the second world war when the French sectors in Germany had illegal English schools set up and the kids learned English instead of French.

As for the French refusing to speak English that's fine by me. I don't visit the country if I can help it and certainly don't spend any of my cash there. there are loads of places to go that English isn't an issue.

I have a very little german and a smattering of a few other languages. If I had learned every country's language I have lived in I would have 10-12 different lingos in my head. That's not say its impossible as I work with people that speak 4-5 languages but most of them it seems to be one parent speaking one language the other another, local school was in the local lingo and English slapped on top.

At my age and skill level with languages I find it extremely hard to learn a new language and its not for the want of trying. So I can completely sympathies with the French lady on the train who for all we know had just turned up to a interview in France and it been conducted in part in English and she didn't get the Job.

There must be a large group of people that are feeling as if they are second or third class citizens because they can't speak English.

Fareastdriver
9th Nov 2014, 11:41
English is a compulsory subject in China. Coupled with this there are several local and official newspapers printed in English plus a national TV channel. Having a coffee or a Big Mac one is often approached by children practising their English greeting lines. You can also hear their elders slagging off all foreigners, especially you, with much enthusiasm confident that no westerners speak Mandarin.

The look on their parents faces when you have a short chat in Chinese to their children can be quite interesting.

Krystal n chips
9th Nov 2014, 13:12
:hmm:Now there's a surprise....

BBC News - Lidl clarifies policy in 'English only' language row (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-29976134)

" We understand that in certain regions of the UK there are other official languages in use and we welcome the use of these in our stores. We also ask that, if possible, our staff respond to customers in the language in which they are addressed

That would be Essex, Yorkshire, Mr Drapers Fiefdom.......and Birmingham then..:p

cockney steve
9th Nov 2014, 14:23
I used to use an Asian Cash and Carry,in Ashton Under Lyne. It also sold retail and the aisles werepopulated by women in bright saris (don't remember seeing black Daleks) :(
Get tothe checkout and there are a group of these Asian women having an animated natter in......ENGLISH

Overcome with curiosity,I asked the cashier why?
She smiled and said "we all speak different languages and can't understand each other....but we all also speak and understand English"

Whe n I'd approached a staff member for an item I couldn't find, he'd had a high speed jabber to another lad, who took me to the shelf where the stock was...spoke to me in English.

reynoldsno1
10th Nov 2014, 00:52
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.
Monocoque...

Do I win ?

galaxy flyer
10th Nov 2014, 03:04
I always like to try a few of the "courtesy" words in the local language--please, thank you, a greeting. While I think it is respectful, I hate when my modest attempt is meet with a torrent of the said local language. I'm not sure if it's a out down to me as a Yank ("I'll show you, Yank, try to speak to me in xxxx") or do they think, "my, my this Yank speaks my language". I'd like to the think the later, but it's likely the former.

Back to the OP, I work with French (québécois, really), I just look bored and stare out the windows when the conversation goes French. Usually, a four letter Anglo-Saxon word breaks in shortly. Doesn't French have an equal word?

GF

onetrack
10th Nov 2014, 03:38
Monocoque...

Do I win ?

Hmmm ... I don't think so. The word monocoque comes from the Greek for single (mono) and French for shell (coque). So it's not wholly a French word, anyway. :suspect:

What's wrong with "stressed skin"? The term is as descriptive as needs be.

John Hill
10th Nov 2014, 05:27
I always speak English when I visit the USA and the locals usually respond in some quaint dialect.

SpringHeeledJack
10th Nov 2014, 07:22
I just look bored and stare out the windows when the conversation goes French. Usually, a four letter Anglo-Saxon word breaks in shortly. Doesn't French have an equal word?

Arret! Ca c'est suffie! Cas pas mes couilles :E (Assuming you're the captain).



SHJ

ExSp33db1rd
10th Nov 2014, 08:00
I always speak English when I visit the USA and the locals usually respond in some quaint dialect.

Ditto, then usually ask me what part of Australia I come from !

Surprising that, not a lot of Yorkshire spoken on Bondi Beach last time I visited. I reply by asking them why they don't show the true price of their ice cream, chocolate etc. i.e. to include the known, and rarely changed, tax, and we then both move on to something else. ( but that's another topic )

I've coped in most places, but Beijing and Glasgow beat me.

Capetonian
10th Nov 2014, 08:02
I always speak English when I visit the USA and the locals usually respond in some quaint dialect. I've been told when working in the USA : "Y'all gad a real strong accent ............. can y'all speak proper English like us.........."
At which I revert to my most 'Queen's English' accent to hack them off even more.

John Hill
10th Nov 2014, 09:14
When checking in at an American airport always be sure to ask directions to the 'aeroplane'.

I was working for a few weeks with a software company in California, there were some Indians (from India) working there too and they were griping about the poor standard of living in California where the pay was so miserable they could not afford domestic servants!

ExSp33db1rd, when the barmaid on Oxford Street greeted me by saying "I suppose yours will be a Fosters" I checked myself from correcting her in fear that she might have instead offered a Steinlager!

Octopussy2
10th Nov 2014, 10:46
Quote:

There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.


Coup d'état

Vercingetorix
10th Nov 2014, 11:02
ExSp33db1rd.

Glasgow beat me.

Need to travel more, me ole China

mad_jock
10th Nov 2014, 11:06
Need to travel more

Aye try Banff or Buckie that lot are barely ICAO 2 spoken.

Fareastdriver
10th Nov 2014, 11:32
Aye try Banff or Buckie

That's Doric. I had to learn Doric in a hurry to stop my digger driver demolishing my house.

mad_jock
10th Nov 2014, 11:41
Aye min, foo yu deeing min.

Vercingetorix
10th Nov 2014, 11:53
Aye, a decent bottle of whisky helps you to understand Buckie but it is still difficult!

mad_jock
10th Nov 2014, 12:04
I used to drive a delivery Artic up round the North East and it was a challenge for someone brought up in Aberdeen never mind anywhere else.

goudie
10th Nov 2014, 12:26
As a young airman I spent two years in Germany. I learnt colloquial German enough to converse with the frauleins, order meals etc and generally get around.

Many years later I was with some friends in Basle. One day we got lost but as our hotel was adjacent to the Bahnhof I decided to show off my linguistic skills and asked a local the way to it in German. 'Entschuldigung wo ist der bahnhof bitte?' I uttered. After he'd finished explaining and bid us farewell my friends looked at me expectantly. To my embarrassment I had to confess I had hardly understood a single word.:O We got a taxi!

racedo
10th Nov 2014, 12:33
There's nothing said in French that can't be stated in English just as well.


Dunno that 60's record with Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin would have sounded a lot different if done in Yorkshire

Stanwell
10th Nov 2014, 13:21
.
I think it was George Dubbya who was recorded as saying...
"The trouble with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur".

KBPsen
10th Nov 2014, 13:26
I think it was George Dubbya who... That's at least the rumor on the Internets.

seacue
10th Nov 2014, 14:35
My first-cousin's wife was German and left Germany as a late teen. Their younger son got all sorts of awards for his German proficiency in the USA. Then he went for an extended visit to his cousins in Germany. He said that it was some weeks before he understood a word of the conversation at the dinner table. His hosts, though well educated, spoke the local German dialect at home - while I suppose they spoke high German at their fancy clothes store.

I've heard that the regional German dialects are very strong. I'm not surprised that goudie didn't understand Schweizerdeutsch.

mad_jock
10th Nov 2014, 14:40
I have worked in Germany and its not uncommon for someone from Keel to speak English to someone from Munich because they have no chance in german.

ExXB
10th Nov 2014, 16:27
Well, there are four official languages here, but I have never seen anywhere where one can actually learn Romansch. It is Switzerland's least-used national language in terms of number of speakers (20~60k) and the eleventh most spoken language in Switzerland overall.

English, and sometimes bad English, is often used by national retailers when they don't want to say something in the three main languages. Here a shop will have a 'sale' rather than an 'action' because the English is pretty well understood everywhere, and it offends no one.

That doesn't mean that everyone speaks English, they don't. Around here there is a fair amount of resentment to the 'internationals' who can't be bothered to learn any more than a word or two of French.

On the other side of the Röshtigraben, they have double the resentment due to the reluctance to learn either German, or the local dialects. (Yes, the Basel dialect is one of the hardest to understand).

I speak French well, but it is still difficult to have a good argument ...:{

Tankertrashnav
10th Nov 2014, 16:37
I was in Ghent at a food stall on the main square. The chap in front of me was ordering in French and the stallholder was replying in the same language. When it came to my turn I ordered in French which I speak reasonably well. I was a bit miffed when he replied in English. I persisted with the French and once again got an English reply. When I asked why he had spoken French to the previous guy, but not to me he said, "He was French. This is a Flemish speaking area, we dont speak French here, except to the French because they don't understand anything else!"

Octopussy2
10th Nov 2014, 16:45
I speak German and understand people speaking Bayerisch (because I studied there - actually I find it charming) but I have a fair amount of sympathy with those who can't be arsed learning Swiss German - to a Hochdeutsch speaker it's largely incomprehensible AND it has regional differences AND it's bugger all use anywhere else.

My children go to local school and are bilingual in French and English - I would probably have made the same decision if we lived in the "German"-speaking part of Switzerland, because of integration with the local community etc, but all in all I'm happy they've learnt French.

My daughter is now learning German at school with a French accent which I'm finding utterly weird (although logically no stranger than speaking German with an English accent).

Edited to add that I forgot that at least if you learn Swiss German you're reading "proper" German - but you can't necessarily speak it.

G-CPTN
10th Nov 2014, 16:52
We knew when our children had assimilated the local language, as they changed from English when they began to argue.

We were also informed by neighbours that some of their 'language' was 'not polite'.

radeng
10th Nov 2014, 17:50
I know a 60 year old Belgian who is Flemish. At one company he worked for in Brussels, he was the only Flemish speaker, all the others speaking French - which he didn't and still doesn't. As a result, the official meeting language for the office was decreed to be English, in which he is extremely fluent.....

Several international organisations have English as their official language - the European Conference of Post and Telecommunications, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the International Telecommunications Union at Working Party level (higher levels have simultaneous translation) and so on.....

A French CPL friend described Quebecois ATC to me as "They can't speak French and they won't speak English", but as I pointed to him, flying an aeroplane with a French registration was asking for them to respond in Quebecois!

John Hill
10th Nov 2014, 17:59
I was in a meeting with a friend who is a senior official of a European air traffic services organisation when the communications network went into meltdown. A network server in another country had failed, repeatedly, but was automatically rebooting and every time it came up it brought the network down again.

My friend had a procedure for this sort of situation in which he telephoned his equivalents in five or six adjacent and nearby countries. Every conversation started in the language of the one being called then quickly switched to English.

Krystal n chips
10th Nov 2014, 18:17
"now learning German at school with a French accent which I'm finding utterly weird "

Not quite as surreal as speaking with an Aussie accent.

We went to a place called Husum to pick up a Harrier that had decided on a brief, but passionate affair with a seagull. The gentleman concerned was our liaison with the German A.F as the Harrier, and seagull, was in one of their hangars.

He had an "interesting" reason as to why he was fluent in German....and Aussie....it was quite entertaining when he combined bits of both languages to, ahem, express his opinions.

G-CPTN
10th Nov 2014, 18:22
There were several British (one Welsh) staff at the place in Denmark.

We all learned to speak Danish, but the one from Lancashire was so heavily accented that I had problems understanding him.

meadowrun
10th Nov 2014, 18:55
Not sure how true this is but it is often said that when the Quebecois visit France they are miffed when they are not understood and ditto when the French visit Quebec.

421dog
10th Nov 2014, 19:02
Kids are a wonderful buffer.

My wife is fluent in German, and has insisted that we raise the children with that as an integral part of life, but we also sent them to a French immersion school (run by a Belgian woman) and so the've been polyglot since birth.

It is fascinating to note the difference in attitude and tolerance of natives when we are abroad, when the kids are around. Hard-boiled left bank denizens who trap tourists for a living, bend over backwards to facilitate communication in the lingua Franca, and shopkeepers in the Ruhr, who are solicitous, but pedantic to a fault when I trot out my poor hochdeutsch, (liberally sprinkled with little bits of plat left over from my grandparents), just smile and fall all over themselves to wrest another phrase from the kids' lips.

It's also a lot of fun to find playgrounds and turn the kids loose. It's amazing how seamlessly they elide from one mode of communication to another.

mad_jock
10th Nov 2014, 19:41
I got stopped once on the border of Germany near Aachen on a drugs check on the car.

After two sentences in German I was told in English to stop speaking German or I would be arrested for offenses against German grammar.

goudie
10th Nov 2014, 19:45
Our local chippy is run by a Chinese family. The teenage daughter serves and her mum and dad cook. When you give your order she converses in Home counties English complete with local accent. She then, in an instance gives your order to her parents in Chinese. Nothing out of the ordinary, you may say, but it's nice to listen to.

rgbrock1
10th Nov 2014, 20:21
421dog wrote:

but pedantic to a fault when I trot out my poor hochdeutsch, (liberally sprinkled with little bits of plat left over from my grandparents), just smile and fall all over themselves to wrest another phrase from the kids' lips.Hoch or Platdeutsch won't get you very far in Bayern! Gruess di Gott! Aber das ist sowieso einen Schmarr'n.

Fareastdriver
10th Nov 2014, 20:28
I have taken Chinese (Mainland) friends to have a look around Hong Kong. After thirty minutes of arriving they are sorting out everything in English.

G-CPTN
10th Nov 2014, 21:23
I agree that truly bilingual children are a blessing.

Daughter in Law was born in France to an American (US) mother and a French father (who worked in Embassies around the World so never needed anything other than French).
D-i-L was raised in International schools and is 'native' standard in English.

Grandchildren communicate in English with their father and in French with their mother (though frequently reply in English to French). They attend school in England during the week and 'French school' at weekends (run by native French speakers).

When we were travelling regularly between England and Denmark we encountered a 4 year-old returning from an English Christmas who was babbling in Danish apart from the phrase 'Father Christmas' in English.

When questioned whether she could speak English she replied in perfect English "No." - of course she only knew 'Mammy's language' and 'Daddy's language' and wasn't aware they they were called English or Danish.

'Scottish' grandson (with an English mother) speaks with a broad Scottish accent - acquired from nursery teachers.

ExSp33db1rd
10th Nov 2014, 21:24
Then there were the two squadies in Paris, debating whether or not to visit a local bordello, subsequently one did and eventually a top window was flung open and the participant called out to his mate - Hey, how do you say Soixante Neuf in French ?

421dog
10th Nov 2014, 21:28
Hoch or Platdeutsch won't get you very far in Bayern!

Yeah, they keep confusing me with a guy named Sau Preiß...

reynoldsno1
12th Nov 2014, 01:07
r1jr spent some time at kindergarten in Thailand, and refused to speak English for a while. Over the years, she spoke Thai less & less. Now in her early 20's, she visited her cousins in Thailand (who don't speak English), sat down and chatted away in Thai quite happily. All of us, including mrsr1, were quite gobsmacked - she kept that one to herself for a long time...

G-CPTN
12th Nov 2014, 01:15
Now in her early 20's, she visited her cousins in Thailand (who don't speak English), sat down and chatted away in Thai quite happily.The limitation with that (as seen in our own children) is that their vocabulary is limited by the extent of their vocabulary as it was when they left wherever they were living as youngsters (ie they have childish capability).

Gertrude the Wombat
12th Nov 2014, 09:13
Hey, how do you say Soixante Neuf in French ?
Reminds me of a Bash St Kids in the Beano.

In the background the blackboard had a list of "interesting numbers".

For the kids, the joke was that obviously there's no such thing as an interesting number.

But I rather suspect that the prominent 69 was there for the parents.

reynoldsno1
14th Nov 2014, 01:28
I've heard that the regional German dialects are very strong
Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger volunteered to do his own dialogue in the dubbed German version of 'Terminator'. The German distributors were horrified - they said he 'sounded like a f*ckin' farmer' ...

O'ill be back ...

ExSp33db1rd
14th Nov 2014, 02:04
But I rather suspect that the prominent 69 was there for the parents.

I was amused to see that Rolf Harris was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months. ( you work it out )

A Judge with a sense of humour perhaps - or is that an oxymoron ?