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English only at work? What do you think?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by PeterS, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
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    It's not "come to American only if you speak English" it is "come to American and be prepared to learn English". The French will not change their language to suit and English speaking American...and neither should we. We should however learn a second language. Americans are notoriously lazy in that area, myself included.

    At work, English is the official language...
     
  2. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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  3. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
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    You mean, at *your* work English is the official language.

    Most of my work is conducted in English, but it's sometimes conducted in Japanese and Japanese is also the "official language" of our household, though the kids routinely ignore that decree, ha!

    I often shop at or eat at establishments where Spanish is spoken and it is of course the "offical" language of the workplace that produces nearly all the food you eat.

    The United States is a multicultural and multilingual country. Do you know that in the United States, 2000 census data shows that 47million people, or 20% of the population, speak a language other than English at home? Only 28million of those people were Spanish speakers, which means 20mil were speaking some other languages! The largest percentage increase from 1990 to 2000 was....Russian. The top ten are: Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Italian, Korean, Russian, Polish.

    55% of those who spoke another language at home, also spoke English "very well", with the rest having lesser skills. That means that 92% of our total national population had no trouble with English. Not bad for all the diversity we have. I can dig it.

    -Slim
     
  4. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Bravo, man... Bravo... Thanks for posting that...
     
  5. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    You mean McDonald's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc. have made Spanish the "official" language of the workplace, or employees have?
     
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,509
    Whatever yo think about bilingualism, it is a well estabilithed fact that if you do not speak english well that your career path is highly muted and with it you ability to achieve the american dream.
     
  7. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    My ceo and president are Russian, I have to tangle the guys at LVMH in my bad French. I am stumbling my way into Italian.

    Certain places it is hard to standardise on one language due to the nature of your business, but in any publicly used company (retail, DMV, local government) you should not have to feel like a second class citizen in your own country because the PC police ram it down your throats. I have a hard enough time trying to understand civil service people without english being their second language.

    Why is it so friggin hard to order at a drive through? if you can't prononounce what is on the menu so we can understand you, get a new job.
     
  8. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    After 10 years working housing authority cop, my friend said that to some, the american dream is just getting here. In welfare, the forms in english are harder to come by than other languages.

    slightly racist, slightly true. I draw no parallels there, make your own judgement.
     
  9. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
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    Lets dispense with the american dream rhetoric and cultural diversity talk for a moment and get back to the thread.

    If you immigrate to another country that speaks another language (and I'm sure they are diverse in their own percentages too), go to work for a company in that country, live there, raise kids there, etc. What language do you need to converse in?

    Here, its English.

    There's only one saying to cap this post off. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Here, its ****ing English!
     
  10. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Nov 19, 2001
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    Okay this just happend to me about four hours ago, LITERALLY. I opened my cable bill to find it had been raised almost $20. I was so mad I called the customer service line. First off the guy wasn't paying attention to what I was saying and I had to repeat my account number four times. The smartass that answered my call asked what my name was. I have a spanish sur name. After I told him what it was he said, "Thank you for calling, como puedo servirte (how can I serve you)". Just because I have a spanish sur name DOES NOT MEAN that I wanna speak in spanish. I told this idiot, "I speak ENGLISH.......you can serve me by speeking in english". To add to this, it was after I pressed the button for assisance in M*ther F#CKING ENG!SH!!!!!This is what pisses me off! It happens to me all the time, and I hate it.
     
  11. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Depends. In my current role, I am expected to be able to communicate with nationals of the following countries:

    USA
    UK
    Japan
    France
    China
    Italy
    Germany
    Korea

    I speak a little of each (some more than others, plus Russian and Spanish). Most of our discussions occur in English. The key to communication is getting the message across. It will always be easier to do this in your native language. Mastering communication is being able to do it across the board. Understanding people (not just language, but also cultures) is what makes people sucessful.

    Now, if I could just get over this jetlag and get back to sleep (as I'm back home again). Cheese, crackers and Matrix Revolutions on DVD aren't doing the trick.
     
  12. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
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    where is that thred about Dell computer customer service?
     
  13. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    I have a very english surname but I speak spanish fluently. When I go to LA I have fun with the Mexicans by speaking to them in spanish, They just stare at me thinking "Where the H did white boy learn to speak spanish like that ?" :) LOL
     
  14. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
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    richard
    I said "Spanish is the "offical" language of the workplace that produces nearly all the food you eat." To which Wax replied

    uh...no...those places serve something vaguely resembling food, sure. But I was talking about farms. But Spanish is spoken a lot in the kitchens of many restaurants as well.

    ==========

    I agree that people should learn English to the best of their ability. I could have gotten by with just English when I lived in Japan but I didn't - I learned Japanese and only used English with other expats (except brazillians since they usually didn't speak english).

    But I think you guys are making too much out of the issue. Despite the fact that 20% of the population use a language other than english as their main home language, only 8% of our population has any trouble speaking English. And I figure half of that 8% can still communicate in usual situations. That leaves 4%. In other words, this is not a huge issue. It is also quite clear that in times past, immigrants from Europe did no better at learning English than today's asian and hispanic immigrants: in both cases it was the next generation that spoke English.

    If you don't want to encounter people who speak less than perfect Ivy League English, surely you can afford to conduct your business elsewhere. If you'd rather save money instead, you'll have to put up with the accented English from onshore and offshore customer service people. Your choice.

    -Slim
     
  15. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    William, I get the "were the hell did that white boy learn english" reaction also. One time I was in a restaurant and there were a few Mexicans eating at the table right behind me. They as there were talking the conversation turned to talking trash about the "gavacho" sitting in front of them, me. Well I just sat quietly listening to all their crap and finished my meal. When I was done I got up, and as I was leaving I paused in front of their table, waited for them to look up, glared at them, and said, "Si vas a hablar malo de una person, hablas malo enfrente de su cara". Translation: "If you are gonna talk bad about a person, talk bad if front of thier face." Then walked off as I was glaring at them with a challenging stare at the shocked look on thier faces. This sort of thing has happened in the work place too. While I was in high school I worked as a dish washer and busboy, and I can tell you for a fact that the Mexicans I worked with would talk trash about people in spanish so that they couldn't understand what they were saying. Now this wasn't an everyday occurance, but it did happen.
     
  16. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 25, 2002
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    slim, i agree with most of what you are saying except for the language. america doesn't ask you to change anything about yourself, your culture, your religious beliefs, your political beliefs, your sexual orientation, nothing....the only thing that is required is to be able to speak a common language. and this was a cosnideration based on national security - ie in a war situation everybody needs to understand each other easily. keep your native language intact and current in your family etc. but by god learn the language of your adopted country so that you can contribute to your maximum.
     
  17. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Testshoot: That is why fast food drive through's have the meals by the number! I do pitty the person who asks for easy mayo and extra ice.
     

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