People speaking their Language

Jul 8 41 Comments

I have seen people like Chinese and Indians speaking their language loudly at work. Makes me feel uncomfortable, even when I am around, I would like them to speak English so that I can join their conversation. I have seen Chinese doing this more than Indians though. Is it normal that I find this disrespectful?

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TOP 41 Comments
  • UnitedHealthcare I’m money
    It is not disrespectful and you don’t have any entitlement to join a conversation. If they want to talk to you, they’ll speak English to you.
    Jul 8 3
    • Google YYkR40
      Bullshit!
      I don't think OP is referring to break room conversations
      Jul 8
    • OP
      I dont mind people speaking their language during breaks or anything, but I have this expectation from my colleagues that if they sit beside me ( we dont have cubicles) and talking about work stuff, I would appreciate them speaking English.
      Jul 8
    • UnitedHealthcare I’m money
      Sounds like you’re not part of the conversation. It really doesn’t concern you.
      Jul 8
  • Nielsen nqED75
    People are naturally wary or fearful of different / new / unknown things, so it's not unexpected.

    But it's also not reasonable - consider it a private conversation. Having frequent private and exclusionary conversations is rude but people are rude.
    Jul 8 2
    • Google YYkR40
      No!
      Private break room conversations are ok.
      Not work related. And I've seen many a times people talking work related things in native language (especially Chinese)
      This is not ok and personally I've commented on it to some individuals more than once.
      Jul 8
    • Dropbox bigbeans
      YYkR40 learn about Title VII
      Jul 8
  • Expedia / Eng CQvV74
    You could learn the language and participate then
    Jul 8 0
  • Google YYkR40
    Let's separate break room conversations and work related.
    Break room are fine....
    Albeit, if you're familiar with them and it's only the 3 of you I would have expected them to switch to English... But, as others noted... Some people are just assholes.
    If it's work related, hell no.
    Call them out. Talk to your manager in next 1:1
    This is not ok
    Jul 8 2
    • Intuit a212drape7
      Just FYI, English isn’t the official language of the world. It’s spoken by only 5% of world as native speakers.
      Jul 8
    • Google YYkR40
      Just FYI...
      My native language is not English.
      But, I work in the US... So..
      It is the spoken language here.
      Jul 8
  • SAP ❌code
    It is pretty uncomfortable for me. Especially, that I hear codes, projects and/or people’s names.
    Jul 8 1
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      This is the differentiating factor IMO.

      If the discussion is in any way about work, it better be in English.

      Imagine if you were in a work meeting and two English speakers kept whispering to each other, or texting each other about the meeting.*

      If you’re on lunch break with your buddies, and everyone at your table speaks a language other than English, by all means speak that if you must.

      *I recall reading (I think on blind) about how this was happening at Uber. It’s very dysfunctional and encourages backstabbing and distrust.
      Jul 8
  • Davey cCTI36
    No it is just not acceptable. Me being an Indian is also in the same boat because I am a minority among my other fellow indian groups from specific regions. They only speak English when their non regional boss arrives otherwise they don't even care.even managers talk only in their regional language with their preferred minions.you feel left out in middle of meetings...this increases groupism, politics,and unfairness and hurts team morale..highly unprofessional
    Jul 8 0
  • Intuit a212drape7
    People should be free to use whatever language they want. I am not comfortable with English being spoken all the time. When I can learn a foreign language like English, so can you. Don’t be in your bubble.
    Jul 8 6
    • Intuit a212drape7
      It’s your choice. You are not allowed to dictate your choices to others.
      Jul 8
    • Google YYkR40
      @intuit...
      Are you Chinese by any chance?
      Jul 8
    • Intuit a212drape7
      @Google No I am not. :) Language is a choice dude. Just get that and move on.
      Jul 8
    • Dropbox bigbeans
      YYkR40 they may be Chinese speakers or not, but you are a hate speecher.
      Jul 8
    • Google YYkR40
      Why am I hate speacher?
      Jul 8
  • Zillow Group cEdy26
    Why do you want to join the conversation?
    Jul 8 0
  • Intel Spikiera
    People can speak any language they want.
    Jul 8 5
    • Google YYkR40
      Yes.
      They can choose to be assholes.
      It is a choice.
      Not a good one.
      But, a choice
      Jul 8
    • Intel Spikiera
      Ok Mr. Righteous
      Jul 8
    • Google YYkR40
      Not righteous.
      But, try to limit my assholeness to things that matter 😜
      Jul 8
    • Intel Spikiera
      It just doesn't bother me, people can speak French, Japanese, Korean, whatever at work. I just focus on what I do and not let it bother me. Don't see this as a big deal at all. In actual meetings, everyone speaks English.
      Jul 8
    • Google YYkR40
      Hallway conversations, related to work, are important.
      I've stumbled on more than a few which I joined as they were discussing something I was responsible for and corrected some assumptions for example.
      I couldn't have done that if they were talking Hindi or Chinese.

      As I mentioned earlier... Personal topics, lunch or break room... Have at it
      Jul 8
  • LinkedIn ex-fb
    For all the morons saying people can speak in any language they want, of course they can.
    The point is it is unprofessional if it is in the ear shot of the rest of the team.

    I mean there is so much fuss about how women and minority need to feel included blah blah. But there same doesn’t apply to those who don’t speak the majority non English language of the team (which need not just be those “evil” white men).
    Jul 8 4
    • Intel Spikiera
      Let the salt flow through you
      Jul 8
    • Intuit a212drape7
      It’s sad to note that we have people like you who have to use the word ‘moron’ to prove themselves. It shows ur character.
      Jul 8
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Don’t worry about my character, focus on the message
      Jul 8
    • Amazon •OP
      I'm curious about the message. How did you get from other people speaking to each other, to 'evil' white men?
      Jul 8
  • Amazon •OP
    You are free to express thoughts and opinions, so long as it is in English. Got it.

    Sometimes people sitting next to me are discussing code or their weekend or whatever and I cannot understand. Sure I can feel left out of a conversation, but that is because the conversation doesn't involve me. That is the point. If they wanted my help, they will ask me in English.
    Jul 8 0
  • Percolate / Eng SkLB71
    Policing speech?

    What's next? Banning whispering while looking at you? Klingon?

    What does this have to do with race? If you have some personal issue with some person or group of people who you know to be harassing you that's one thing.

    Otherwise you're either super narcissistic or paranoid with low self-esteem if you think people are just talking about you all the time.
    Jul 8 0
  • Indeed / Data 1U8zvM
    This is, at the absolute worst, mildly rude, but not really worth doing anything about. If the conversation was relevant to you, they'd be speaking to you. They aren't, so you have no reason to be concerned - the only reason they "should" be speaking English is out of consideration for the feelings of their English-speaking colleagues, but it's not really a big deal (or at least it shouldn't be). Just ignore it and move on.
    Jul 8 0
  • Intel kafee
    If there is anyone around who doesn't speak my native language, and they are in hearing range, I use English. This applies to both professional and personal discussions, in the break room or in the office.
    Jul 8 0
  • Microsoft fuugg
    Talking loudly in open workspace is distracting. It's rude and unprofessional regardless which language is used. Actually, using a language I don't understand probably is a bit less distracting. Anyway, stop the f* "hallway" conversation. Go find a meeting room for your chat. And grab the stupid who's eager to eavesdrop on the conversation of other people.
    Jul 9 0
  • Airbnb / Eng ⬇️⬇️⬇️
    Common here as well, but I like it because it makes me feel comfortable speaking my other language too (not a Chinese or Indian language)
    Jul 8 0
  • Booz Allen Hamilton / Consultant blindmasq
    Honestly I understand your concern and this is generally rude. However, most people don't know this. There is not much you can do. My recommendation is to just learn the language if you want to join them so badly.
    Jul 8 0
  • Davey cCTI36
    Yeah, it shouldn't be like that in a professional environment....but you can't have the same fun/feel safe while gossipping and doing office politics if it's not a secret common language 😉
    Jul 8 0