Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Seriously?!?

(disclaimer: I am not about to get into a political discussion about minorities or America or politics or the state of the union or anything like that. Nor do I discuss my political leanings because, well, frankly, I don't have any)

I'm overhearing this conversation at work and it's blowing my mind.

A certain co-worker is having this conversation with others in the group. I credit her with the Stupid Award today since she started the conversation.

This is the quote I overheard:

"See, what I don't like is when you go to like the grocery store and they're (people who don't speak English as their first language) sitting there talking in their language and I wanna know what they're saying. I just know they're talking about me!"

Really? For reals? Seriously? For seriouslys? Whywhywhywhywhy?

There are so many things wrong with that sentence that I hesitate to even try to decipher it.

The conversation then takes a turn for the worse with comments like "if they're in this country, they better speak English" and "I like their food, it taste good" and what not.

Granted, I do agree that if you're in this country and you have a job where you have to talk to people on a daily basis, you should know English enough to do your job. That means understanding AND speaking the language.

But to condemn or look down on people talking to their co-workers or friends in their native language? Especially when you have nothing to do with the conversation and you're not being serviced by them at that very moment?

How incredibly self-centered and selfish (for wanting others to be just like you).

Gah.....sometimes people are just so S-T-U-P-I-D.

Later,

Mama Dawg

15 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

scargosun

Rock on! Right there with you. I just LOVE ignorant people, otherwise known as fodder for my blog. :)

SherE1

I agree. I am asian but english is my first language. In fact, I don't really speak my native language, although I can understand it. I am actually SO JEALOUS when I hear people speak in foreign languages. I wish I knew multiple languages!!

What about people who live in other countries who learn English, just so that they could communicate with us Americans when we visit their country. That's a killer... some of these people have never even BEEN to the US but can speak english. Craziness!

leezee52

They want to talk in their native language because it's easier for them and I understand. I also feel that if people who don't speak English and can't communicate to help their customers should not be working with the public. When my Great-Grandparents came to this country they went to school to learn english...They wanted to learn because they loved America and wanted to assimilate. I hate to say it but the people that are coming here from another country just don't want to learn english...it's like they want us to learn their language and understand them. If you were to go to Israel and live there and work you would have to go to a Kibbutz (a community) and learn the language etc.

Lisa

STUPID.

Ignorance and jealousy, that's what I think.

I do not speak a second language at least not fluently, and I so wish I did. I know many people that do, as in English is/was their second language. Do I get upset when they start rattling off in Spanish and I'm having a hard time keeping up with the conversation? NOOOOOO. I ask questions when necessary. Do I get upset when I run across strangers conversing in their native tongue? Uhhhh, Noooooo. Just because they are speaking another language doesn't mean they are talking about YOU (meaning the general public) nor does it mean that YOU (again the general public), need to know about every single conversation going on around you.

I bet some of those very same folks wished they knew enough English to know what's going on around them or if people are speaking about them. Do they go about moaning and groaning about it? Maybe. Or even better, many of them actually make the effort to learn enough English to get by. At least they make the effort. How many Americans (and I am mainly concerning myself with people like the ones you mention), actually take the time and make the effort to learn another language? No, everyone MUST know English since we live in the god, damn USA. Don't get me wrong, I am patriotic and I love this country, but I cannot stand ego-centric, I am better than you, my way is the only way, kind of people that exist here. Yeah, I'm sure they exist everywhere. But it seems like the USA is one of the FEW countries where it's citizens only speak one language, for the most part. It's a damn disgrace I tell you.

Sorry to rant on and on. This one touches me to the core. I don't get passionate about many things, but this, this is one of them.

Mama Dawg

Whew, glad to know I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Lisa-never worry about ranting on my blog. I get where you're coming from.

If I go to another country, I would fully expect myself to know enough of their language to get myself around without having to resort to finding someone that speaks English.

But, I might be in the minority.

jen721

I agree. Our small town grocery store was recently taken over by a very nice family from India. Some of the comments I have overheard in the community make me ashamed to live here. One woman was telling people she was short changed when she was there last. WRONG! I was behind her. (I followed her over to the Dollar General next door.) They have a machine that sends out the change and he gave her back the right amount of bills. I was so mad! I wanted to call her on it (I now wish I did). People can be so ignorant!

Heidi Rogers

WOW, good blog post, this happens way more then it should. I personaly don't care what language you speak or when you choose to speak it, I mind my own buz and my life is fine for that. Although, I do see where if they are going to live here it would be helpfull to the rest of us for them to learn our language. My neighbors are from Russia and they are always trying to learn it and I am learning from them.

Tonya

Diversity is what makes us interesting to others. Good blog post!!

Lula!

If I had his number, I'd call Christian Bale and ask him what he thinks about all this, him being a foreigner and all. And I'm certain he'd share his thoughts on the matter...in Spanish.

HA!

Rhea

Tell your silly coworker to get off her butt and go learn Spanish then. hehe

LiteralDan

I also hate when people are so self-centered. I wish there were more countries on this continent speaking more languages, and we had to depend on them more. Then we could all be a lot more sane. And a lot more educated. I'd love to speak Spanish more fluently, along with a hundred other languages I don't know at all.

Jen

Is this girl a little paranoid or what?? At least it made for some great blog material. :)

Minivan Mom

I can't stand people like that. Ignorant ass.

Lindsay

What a great blog post. And comments. I must agree, I hate how ignorant and self-centered and xenophobic (new word for the day :) people in America can be. I wish we all had a better understanding of other cultures and took the time to learn other languages like they do in many other countries. Hell, most people in Europe who learn English probably do a better job of it than Americans!

deconstructing jen

Great point! She definitely deserved the idiot award as well as the "OMG! Are You SURE The World Doesn't Revolve Around Me And My Pea Sized Brain!" Award. I would have had to walk away lest I say something completely inappropriate.

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