When people move to a different country, should they learn the language?

@cpamanda (694)
United States
December 14, 2006 9:44pm CST
I am a leasing agent. I see people everyday who do not speak the native language of my country. They are all from another country and seem to think I should speak their language. When I start inquiring about their rental history, seems some of them have lived here 10 years or more and speak hardly 20 words in the language of my country. I have learned their language during the past 4 years and am getting much better. ALMOST fluent. But I still feel they should learn the native language of the country where they are working and living.
18 people like this
104 responses
@magikrose (5423)
• United States
15 Dec 06
In my opnion it would only be right to learn the basics of the language of the country that you are moving to. Thst way you can communicat with those arround you. It wouldent be a good thing if something happened and you couldent communicate what happened because you cant speak the language.
3 people like this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Yes, that is how I feel too. It was hard for them to report maintenance problems and such. It was hard for me to explain to them if there were problems with them breaking the lease. It is much better now that I can speak their language, but I only did it out of necesity with keeping my community nice.
1 person likes this
@sunnypub (2130)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I completely agree with you. I can uderstand if they are visiting, but come on, if they are going to live somewhere they should speak the language. I had two girls in my Girl Scout troop who spoke English but their mother didn't. It made it really hard to discuss troop things with the mom. The poor girls had to translate. They had lived here for over ten years. We did the best we could but it did make extra work for us to make sure the mom knew what was going on with the troop. I really liked them mom but it did bug me that she never learned English.
3 people like this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I understand what you went through. Before I learned the language, I would make them bring a translator to sign the lease. They would 9 times out of 10, bring a 5 to 10 year old. It was so hard explaining to a 5 year old about all those things they know nothing about.
2 people like this
@pvleroux (607)
15 Dec 06
I think it is good etihics to learn their language. You are after all a visitor in their country. I am in the UK from South Africa and here I had no choise to speak only english. I luckily knew it before I came here.
3 people like this
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
15 Dec 06
i am from the philippines and i will soon move to sweden to be with the man i love. and i am gonna go through a swedish study program. i will go to this school everyday to study their language. it's my choice. i wanna fit in well. i want to be able to understand they language and speak it as well. it's a way of showing respect to the country i'll soon be living in for years. my boyfriend who is a swede has already started learning our native language. and when he came over to visit me and my family, he was able to understand what people are talking about and he also uses some tagalog (native language) words and phrases when talking to people. when someone moves on to another country, atleast that person should try to fit in and adjust. not the other way around...
2 people like this
@WAHSIS (216)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Yep that is a very smart thing to do.
1 person likes this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
16 Dec 06
That is a great idea! I can imagine how lonely you would be if you could not talk with anyone.
@WAHSIS (216)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I agree somewhat because we could not go anywhere without my son-in-law to interpret for us so this was a big pain in the neck. We also dressed like the native people so they were shocked when we spoke English LOL. My son-in-law he went to a country just to sit and learn the language before he took a job in a foreign country so he already knew the language. I guess he was determined to learn it at this boot camp. It is hard to learn it if you already accept a job and live in a foreign country and don't know the language. This boot camp he went to was one on one too and not that many people so it was fairly easy for him to learn and he went specifically just to learn that language. He had no other distractions because this was before he married my Daughter and had kids and other responsibilities. Not many of us are this blessed to have one on one training form native speakers beforehand so this is what most people like me have experienced so please give us a break it is not always easy to learn languages. I lived there for two whole years and don't know any more than what I knew before living there. I am sad to say but that is true.
@pagli84 (1850)
• Netherlands
15 Dec 06
well, i think they should make an honest effort to learn the language, but its not that easy. of course, if you've lived in a country for 10 years and only speak 20 words, then you're obviously not trying hard enough. ive lived in the netherlands for a few months, and im trying every day to learn more and more by watching TV or just trying to talk to people in the few words of dutch i know. ive actually been coming to the netherlands almost every summer for the past few years, so i can understand a lot of dutch, but its just hard to reply!
2 people like this
@icequeen (2842)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
I totally agree. If you are going to move to another country then you should be able to function there in everyday life. If that means that you have to learn English..then that is what you should do. I have run into so many people that don't understand what I am saying...and I don't understand them..so it becomes frustrating and useless....
2 people like this
@Tejass (108)
• India
15 Dec 06
u r absolutely right dear...they should definitely learn the local language atleast when they r sure for they ld b living in there for m,ore than an year or so.... it also develops a sense respect for the local language..and indicate their interest in the localites...
2 people like this
@a_127966 (25)
• India
15 Dec 06
Yes its really necessary to learn the language
2 people like this
@sudhajan (1219)
• France
15 Dec 06
ya i too agree with u.U have to learn the language in the place u r working. if u learn a language it is an added advantage and u can move around anywhere.
2 people like this
@susanscs (268)
• Spain
15 Dec 06
I am English and have lived in Spain for almost 5 years. Although I have a grasp of the lingo its not good enough to hold a proper conversation. I am embarassed at the fact that I cannot converse with my neighbours in their language and do as much as I can to speak what I know. In my area most people are english which is very sad as it doesn't give me the opportunity to push myself further. Yes, in answer to your question, if you live in a foreign speaking country you should learn enough to get by at least.
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
15 Dec 06
to learn the language of the country you intend living in is a vital requirement of operating in that particular country. In my opinion, if you have no intention of learning the language then i think you would be better served to stay at home
1 person likes this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Agreed. Thank you for putting it so well.
• Brazil
15 Dec 06
yes...thats why im trying to masterize (is that the word? hehehhe) my english. I am brazilian, and i want to go to US some day..
1 person likes this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Close, I would say "Master" the language or become "fluent". Good work! I hope you get to visit some day soon.
@gknott (936)
• United States
15 Dec 06
DUH! I believe with all my heart a country should stay what it is, it should not change to suit people moving from another country they should change if they want to move into that country and they should be prepared for that, pure and simple.
1 person likes this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
You said that well, thank you!
@nilanym (184)
• Philippines
15 Dec 06
yes they should also learn the language. even though we have the universal language which is english, its better that we should learn the language of that country if we move there because you will meet some people who only knows their own language and its hard to communicate if we don't know their language.
1 person likes this
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Yes, English is the language they are refusing to learn.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Yes, they should just this morning on the news there was a story of a men who lived in the U.S. for 20 years and he did not speak English. He was arrested not sure what, but part of his sentence was to learn English. I went to a store recently, and I asked one of the young lady for help, and she told me no hable inglas. I have not visited that store since.
@cpamanda (694)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I missed that news story! I would like to know more about that. I am in the US as well. It is fitting that he should learn the native language as his sentence. There are many places around here where you can take a class or get help for pennies.
• United States
16 Dec 06
I think they should learn the language of the country they are living in. It is unreasonable for them to think we should accomodate them when they are coming to this country. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@vinod4net (628)
• India
15 Dec 06
yes you are true, they should learn the language of the county where they are living, this will not only help them but will also help the natives, when they speak their native language in foreign countries they simply invite suspicion
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 06
Hi! I am an Indian and we have arround 30 states in India. Each state has its own language. I was living in a state which has a language that was not my own native. But I have always been of a view that you should never forget your mother tongue or native language and you should also know the native language of the state or country where u work and live. So I learned the language of my state and was so fluent that the people of that very state could not tell that that was not my native language.
@198112 (336)
• United States
15 Dec 06
If a person is living or working in a foreign country then I think its essential for them to learn the language of that land. From my experience having traveled to foreign lands, I noticed that the people of the land can smell out a person thats not from there miles away. Learning the language helps the person blend in and become independent and not have to depend on translators or hope that they can find someone that speaks their language. Like countries like Egypt, I noticed that because I wasn't from there, a lot of merchants picked up on that, I was usually charged higher prices for things than it normally costs. And was not able to do a lot of transaction or get my point across at times because they didn't understand me nor did i understand them. So yes If a person decides to live in a foreign country that speaks another language than it is very important for them to learn that language.