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Cultural differences or just uncultured?

 

Questions about culture and cultural differences between countries and languages.


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  #21  
Old November 20, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Yes, I understand the complexities of the matter...

Yet, if you are having or want to have a "high-ground" discussion, well, better have people who understand your language around... (and tell the other guys, "sorry, this discussion is exclusively in Euskera..."

I have been unable to talk Catalonian (when I was a kid) but able to understand everybody around, and was not feeling excluded, except when I wanted to say something, I would feel incapable to say it in Catalonian... then from 14 on, my command of this language was good enough to talk rather fluently... although my literacy level (writing mostly) is very poor, I can read and talk without any major difficulty.

At any rate, every situation will require judgment as to what would be the best... you can tell the guy who doesn't know the language some words to acknowledge his presence and/or whatever... every situation will be its own, but as long as you are trying to be helpful and your ATTITUDE shows that genuinely, any problem arising from that can be solved in a split of a second... or maybe a few minutes...
When there is a will there is a way... as the saying goes...
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  #22  
Old November 20, 2010, 01:54 PM
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I think that when someone is going to work or live in another country, the first thing to do is learning the language spoken (official or not) in that country.

My husband, who is a teacher, had a Chinese as a pupil a couple of years ago. He used to say that he was like 'a piece of furniture'. He didn't make any effort to learn either Spanish or Catalonian. And there he was, doing nothing, without friends, spending his time in the classroom without understand anything. At last my husband tried to find a web page in Chinese, so he could read something, but the boy could explain in some way which I have never understood that that page was Mandarin and he spoke Cantonese. I felt pity for that boy when he talked to me about him. It's very useful to learn a language when you're going to live in another country; communication is essential for a human being.

Furthermore, recently I've been told about something that happened to a friend of mine who is looking after an old lady who had an embolism. That woman couldn't speak at all and, suddenly, one day she began to speak, but she started to speak Spanish instead of Catalonian, her mother tongue. Studies said that a second language and following ones learnt after two or three years old and later, as adults, is stored in another area of the brain, different to the mother tongue (complete bilingual people store two languages in the same area). So, that woman was able to speak something because she had another language stored in her brain in another area not so much damaged. That's something to take into account for those people who don't want to learn a second language.
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  #23  
Old November 20, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
I think that when someone is going to work or live in another country, the first thing to do is (to) learn/learning the language spoken (official or not) in of that country.

My husband, who is a teacher, had a Chinese (as a) pupil a couple of years ago. He used to say that he was like 'a piece of furniture'. He didn't make any effort to learn/in learning either Spanish or Catalonian. And there he was, doing nothing, without friends, spending his time in the classroom without understanding anything. At last my husband tried to find a web page in Chinese, so he could read something, but the boy could explain in some way which I have never understood that that page was Mandarin and he spoke Cantonese. I felt pity for that boy when he talked to me about him. It's very useful to learn a language when you're going to live in another country; communication is essential for a human being.

Furthermore, recently I've been told about something that happened to a friend of mine who is looking after an old lady who had an embolism. That woman couldn't speak at all and, suddenly, one day she began to speak, but she started to speak Spanish instead of Catalonian, her mother tongue. Studies said that a second language and following ones learnt after two or three years old and later, as adults, is stored in another area of the brain, different to the mother tongue (complete bilingual people store two languages in the same area). So, that woman was able to speak something because she had another language stored in her brain in another area not so much damaged. That's something to take into account for those people who don't want to learn a second language.
¿Qué?

Last edited by chileno; November 20, 2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: I added a / in fron of "invlearning"
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  #24  
Old November 20, 2010, 04:34 PM
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A ver. "To learn" o "learning" están bien en registros informales; "to learn" es mejor en los formales.

"...the language spoken in that country" es correcto, y puesto que Irma deja claro que está pensando en la realidad y no en la teoría me parece mejor que "...the language of that country". *"...the language spoken of that country" está mal.

"...a Chinese pupil" sí que debe ser así. La alternativa es "a Chinese boy as a pupil".

"He didn't make any effort to learn" está bien; *"he didn't make any effort in learning" me suena raro.

"without understanding anything" sí que necesita el sufijo.
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  #25  
Old November 20, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
A ver. "To learn" o "learning" están bien en registros informales; "to learn" es mejor en los formales.

"...the language spoken in that country" es correcto, y puesto que Irma deja claro que está pensando en la realidad y no en la teoría me parece mejor que "...the language of that country". *"...the language spoken of that country" está mal.

"...a Chinese pupil" sí que debe ser así. La alternativa es "a Chinese boy as a pupil".

"He didn't make any effort to learn" está bien; *"he didn't make any effort in learning" me suena raro.

"without understanding anything" sí que necesita el sufijo.
I forgot to cross out "spoken", rather make it clear as to the usage... :/
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  #26  
Old December 02, 2010, 10:18 PM
Jessicake Jessicake is offline
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It's very important to learn the dominant language of the country you are living in. There are few opportunities for success when you can't properly communicate with most of the population. However, that's a personal thing. It's rude to tell people not to speak a language just because it's foreign to you.

I personally don't mind other people speaking languages I don't understand. Unless it's done for the sole purpose of excluding me, that's pretty rude!
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  #27  
Old December 03, 2010, 01:04 PM
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I agree with you, Jessicake.
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  #28  
Old December 06, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessicake View Post
It's very important to learn the dominant language of the country you are living in. There are few opportunities for success when you can't properly communicate with most of the population. However, that's a personal thing. It's rude to tell people not to speak a language just because it's foreign to you.

I personally don't mind other people speaking languages I don't understand. Unless it's done for the sole purpose of excluding me, that's pretty rude!
I'm agree quite with your commentary, but sometimes in some countries the second language isn't very valued.
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  #29  
Old March 07, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by poli View Post
I worked with a woman who said, "talk American" (instead of speak English) to Spanish speakers when they called her on the phone. That's how stupid she was. When I became her supervisor, I fired her.
I wish I could have done that Instead that manager ended up firing me. I just think that people should speak they language they are most comfortable speaking; but I also think we as Americans should expand our knowledge and learn another language. I feel that if we try and speak to them in their native that they would be willing to do the same for us (Americans).
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  #30  
Old March 07, 2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maravilloso View Post
The other day at work I was talking to the people who clean our office and they were Hispanic. So naturally we were speaking in spanish to each other about a comic strip I hung up (which was in Spanish). The manager that sits in the cubical across from mine told me that "Spanish people" need to speak "our" language not theirs or they need to go back to where they came from. I sort of just stared at him and told him they have a right to speak their own language. I was shocked, offende, and embrassed that he said this in from of the girl I was talking to.

Why is it that some Americans feel this way. I am American and I don't act that way or think that way. Is it just cultural differences or rem being uncultured?
That was extremely rude and prejudiced behavior shown by the manager. My first internal reaction would've been, "Shove it up yours, jerk!" I don't know a lot of people who would be as brazenly crass and outspoken as that manager, but I've met some who unfortunately hold the core of his view privately.

In the end, I attribute it to fear stemming from ignorance. Aren't most "we vs. they" divisions started and maintained from this? He's probably fearful, whether he knows it or not, because reality is challenging his notion of how he wants life to be. And how he wants or expects life to be has, in large part, been passed down through his cultural programming and reinforced in the groups he regularly associates with by choice.

This guy's world is changing around him (the Spanish-speaking people and their ways are coming!!). It refuses to conform to his strongly held expectations and he doesn't like it. In fact, he fears it, and so much so that he is angry about it and lashes out against it. Not that he isn't responsible for growing and becoming more aware, becoming a more loving human being, but this is a major challenge for the world in general. We can see it playing out all around the globe. Until he can come to a place where he can let go of the fear and bigotry (or he's forced to outwardly behave in a more compassionate way, which may or may not help him solve his hate) he'll probably deal out more of the same given similar circumstances.

I've had to work diligently with my older relatives to make headway on even a portion of their negative attitudes toward the Latino members of our community. Some progress has been made, but for the most part they still cling to their old habitual thought processes. They just feel more comfortable being that way and their social situations typically allow them to maintain their prejudices. My earliest experiences with Latino folk, boys who attended school with me, were mostly very unpleasant, full of belligerence and violence. This actually pushed me away from wanting to learn Spanish or exploring Latino culture during my youth. When I looked back on it years later, I believe I saw where the boys behavior primarily came from, feeling excluded and denigrated by a suburban/rural WASP society and working from the examples their fathers provided of anger toward the injustices of the local situation. This type of thing is a vicious circle and until some refuse to participate, it survives and becomes more entrenched on both 'sides'. I feel those perpetrating the injustice fully have the obligation to stop, but we may be able to help ourselves by looking and recognizing where their very human attitudes come from and not fueling the same inside ourselves as we fight for respect and equality.

I'm very glad you challenged that bigot and stuck up for yourself and the cleaning staff. I've worked as a janitor and known many others. They so deserve our thanks for what they do. And you might have planted a seed that will allow that manager to recognize the hatefulness of his behavior.
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