How do you feel ...?
February 3, 2007 2:01am CST
I am just currious about this situation. How do you always feel if you are in a group and they are discusiing in another language that you do not understand? Yesterday I had it tough with my chef. My chef does not speak English but he does understands it a bit. Yesterday I recieved an emergency call that a coleague of mine that was absent from work was terribly sick and been taken to the hospital. The discussion was in English and while i was yet speaking, my chef came around. I was completely aware of his presence because of the situation. He stood beside me but could not make sense of my discussion. He was so enraged that i had to run after him and try to explain what I was discussing. I later got the impression that he became furious because he does not understand what I was discussing on phone. What do you see to this?
• United States
6 Feb 07
Maybe this will seem harsh, but if this is your employee...and you were speaking in a language that he understands a bit...then what does it matter? I understand that you are gracious and concerned, but would not his actions seem a bit insubordinate? Unless you had a conversation directly stating that no one including the employers were allowed to speak just one common language I don't understand his irritation, especially if words were used in the conversation such as ill, hospital, sick etc.
• United States
5 Feb 07
Sounds like you need a person there working for you that can speak both languages. This way, if you have any problems, you can get the person to help translate your words. I have seen people get upset because they didn't understand what was being said. And then that person thinks that the other is talking about the one that does not understand the language. Paranoia...not a great thing. But it is said, that we fear what we do not know. And in this case, your chef did not know what you were saying. So, he became angry because he was fearful that it was something bad about him. Have you tried taking classes to learn the language? That might help to defuse a future situation.
4 Feb 07
I think this is wonderful topic. I had this ugly problem even in my office. Many a times, group of people just start discussing the things in their native languages. This really irritates me. Often what I did is without telling anything just walked out of the discussion. They very well understood the reason. Sometimes I just ask them to talk in a common language :)
3 Feb 07
It can be extremely frustrating to listen to a conversation and not understand it. Common conversational etiquette says that you don’t speak another language in front of someone who can’t speak that language, unless you can’t avoid it. Your guy needs more conversational English, obviously. Try quietly bringing him in to conversations on his own level so he gets more fluent.