By in Relationships

A Multilingual World

I may live and work in a world-famous city, but the primary is still English. My workplace has a rule that only should be used in the public places on campus, even if two people of the same nationality are working together.

Sure, I hear lots of Eastern and languages around me on a daily basis but I don't use them myself. I confess to being slightly envious of Francophone Canadians and the inhabitants of Saarbrücken in Germany, who routinely switch between German, French and English as needed.

The first time I went to Saarbrücken, I noticed the receptionist at our hotel speaking German with her colleagues, French with the cleaning staff and English with the guests. My is not terribly good; my German is better, and I can carry on a higher level of conversation in than I can in French.

My boss is of descent, but was brought up in Europe. Apart from flawless English, he also speaks French, and . We'll leave out the fact that he's ferociously intelligent, highly diplomatic and has the patience of a saint to boot. To my mind he is a future Head of Department, with all those attributes.

Many of the digital arts parties I attend have representatives of many other nationalities there, and it's not unusual to have to ask which language a scener wants to converse in before starting talking with them.

Do you routinely use more than one language in your job or home life, and if so, which ones?


Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/earth-globe-world-america-23593/ by Nemo

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Comments

Dragonfairy1 wrote on April 3, 2015, 7:22 AM

No, although I'm terrible at languages sadly.

scheng1 wrote on April 3, 2015, 7:57 AM

I am not good in spoken English, so I seldom use English to converse.

Kasman wrote on April 3, 2015, 8:57 AM

Since English is pretty much the universal language then that's the one that everyone really needs to know - witness the fact that just about anywhere in the world we travel to we find someone who speaks English.

wolfgirl569 wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:29 AM

I only know english and when needed sarcasm.

WordChazer wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:44 AM

What's your preferred spoken language scheng1 ?

WordChazer wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:48 AM

That's true kasman , but when travelling widely, a few words of common languages like French, Spanish and German come in handy. I don't speak Spanish, although many more visits to SoCal and I probably will learn the odd word, given the Hispanic community there.

WordChazer wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:49 AM

Trust me, I am fluent in profane too emoticon :winking:

MelissaE wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:52 AM

My goodness, it sounds like you work at a fabulous university. I speak flawless English, good German, and passable Spanish.

Kasman wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:58 AM

When I want to confuse I revert to my full Scottish dialect - no-one but another Scot can understand it! emoticon :devil:

WordChazer wrote on April 3, 2015, 10:03 AM

One of the best in the world, MelissaE , comes in the top 5 or 10 in just about every poll going for location, teaching, reputation and so on.

scheng1 wrote on April 3, 2015, 10:05 AM

Over here in Singapore, the business language is English, but each of us uses our mother tongue or dialects.

paigea wrote on April 4, 2015, 10:16 AM

Sadly I am only able to understand and speak English is spite of years of studying French. Pathetic and I envy people who can learn languages.

allen0187 wrote on April 6, 2015, 6:18 AM

I'm really good in English and I'm currently trying to learn Mandarin. Here at work, our main language is English and we just have to deal with different accents such as Australian, British, and Irish.

valmnz wrote on April 6, 2015, 7:44 AM

I only speak English, can read basic German when pushed. However, as a teacher I pick up a few words from the kids I teach. I admire the way these very young ones can converse in at least two languages.

AliCanary wrote on April 7, 2015, 5:53 PM

My husband is Japanese, so I figured I would learn that language from him, but some people are just not teachers! I've learned much more from studying on my own, but we don't really practice. I'm much better in Spanish, which I have actually gotten to practice, and French.