I work in office comprised of all Hispanics, they know/understand English but speak Spanish in front of me lot?

I have tried to learn Spanish to no avail. Am I right to feel that they are rude to speak Spanish in front of me when i don’t understand it? I have told them how i feel….but they don’t care. I think it is rude.

9 Comments

  1. It is a bit rude.I’ve been in that circumstance and I just said everything twice.Once in English and once in Spanish, alternating sentences.Or they could give you the general topic and rattle on. That would be preferable to treating you like crap.

    Melissa M
  2. First of all, stop and think why they are doing this: they are probably more comfortable in Spanish, it is a way for them to bond and to identify with one another, they’re probably thinking in Spanish (so naturally, when they say something, it comes out in Spanish), and they are doing it out of force of habit. They’re not purposely being rude to you–they’re not even thinking of you—they’re thinking of the person they’re speaking with.

    Secondly, you’re not a guest there, and you’re not a temporary presence there—this is where you work. With that in mind, do you really expect them all to change their entire way of communicating on a permanent basis to accomodate your preferences? That’s simply not going to happen. People tend to take the path of least resistance when it comes to communication–they do what feels most natural and what they can do with the least amount of effort. If you lived in Mexico but worked with a large bunch of Americans and you wanted to get something said effortlessly and be sure you were understood, you know good and well that you’d say it in English without a second thought. Well, that’s what you’re seeing here in the reverse.

    You say that you’ve tried to learn Spanish "but to no avail". I would encourage you to stop feeling picked on and stop taking offence and to look at this as a fanstastic opportunity to immerse yourself in another language so that you CAN learn. It’s not only fun to be bi-lingual, but it does amazing things for you personally, broadening your mind and your intellect in ways that you have to experience to truly understand. Don’t give up–keep plugging away at it. Anybody can develop language skills.

    Troy F
  3. I feel as Troy does.
    If you were in a spanish speaking country and were surrounded by english speakers, who CAN speak spanish but choose to speak english together (of which I am certain) it would be to your benefit to learn it so that you can communicate with them.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    TexHabsfan
  4. As you are the only non-Spanish speaker in the office, I don’y think it’s unreasonable for the majority to speak in their own language. I bet you would if the roles were reversed…

    GrahamH
  5. Well you don’t say where you are based, if in an Hispanic country then sorry but what can you expect?
    If in the US for example, then I have to say you need to make your mind up what you prefer to do…….either try to make more of an effort to understand, or get another job where the ratio of Hispanic people are less.
    I live in Spain and speak fluent Spanish, but when I am with more Brits we don’t think "oh we will speak English to upset that one Spanish person who works with us", it is just a natural thing you fall into, it takes more of an effort to speak another language other than your own and especially when it is only 1 person who doesn’t speak our language. Sorry.
    If I am speaking to other Brits and there is a Spanish person in the group, I usually apologise for rattling on in my own language, and they usually don’t mind.

    Maybe, you need to lighten up a little and tell them you are trying to learn Spanish but it is hard and will they help you, not see them as they are doing it to spite you.

    lightworker
  6. they are probabaly not trying to be rude becoz i do it a lot whenever im around my latina friends and my english speaking its just a habit thats hard to break,

    Raine J
  7. Yes, it is rude, but you knew when you were hired, (I assume) that you were going to be working with a lot of people whose first language is Spanish, and you should have taken that into account.

    For ANYONE, it is natural and easier to express themselves in their own language, especially when speaking to other people who are the same.

    I think you should VERY GENTLY AND CAREFULLY, remind them once in a while, that it is rude to exclude you as they are doing.

    If they begin to laugh as if they are making fun of you, you should ask, again, dipomatically, if they are excluding you so they can talk about you while you are right there. THAT is rude!

    If there is a supervisor, they should be informed, and if it doesn’t get resolved, think about changing jobs, positions, or offices.

    dart
  8. I have a spanish boyfriend and stay at his brother’s house a lot. His brother’s gf also lives there. They all speak spanish to each other. MOST of the time i have no idea what’s going on. My boyfriend translates when he thinks I would find something interesting but for the most part I just try and learn. I understand that it is much easier for them to speak spanish to each other and it would be alot to ask of them to speak english just because i am there. My boyfriend speaks to me in english but his brother and his girlfriend would have a difficult time if they tried to speak english while i was there. I suggest trying a lil harder to learn spanish. You’ll get it if u stick with it. And every so often ask one of them you feel comfortable with what was said. You have to look at it from their point of view. If you were in another country and were with english speaking people you would love to speak english with them because it is your first language and comes naturally. It’s not as rude as you think so don’t get too paranoid that maybe they are talking about you or something. Don’t worry : )

    regina reina
  9. Its not rude, as long as they are not talking to you you should let them work & you should keep on working. News flash to everybody the usa was never a monolingual country & will never be, the only thing that it has monolingual are some of its inhabitants. I live in mexico & I use english to communicate with some family members & also many others here use other languages to communicate besides spanish and english so don’t feel bad. I don’t mean to be rude but I must be honest with this opinion of mine> or is it some people are to egoistic or ignorent to the fact that there is more than english out there. Per say we live in free countries where people are free so let’s not say someone is more free then others just because of the different abilities we have and try to tell others what language to use thus not being free just because you feel sad COMEON! Live & let live, wish u the best sincerly. Adios

    xavi

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