disadvantages of a person who is does not speak english well

Pauline   Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:02 pm GMT
Tiffany and Uriel,

Thanks for your responses :) I have the opportunity to visit the US. It would be during the next summer, and I would like very much to go, but I wouldn't like if they'll be hostile because it's far away. So if I'd know what's arrogant (they find) then I can try to not do this. I hesitate about the trip, but I know it's the best way to learn a language and in school I don't have good grades for it.
Robin   Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:43 am GMT
When I got on the plane from Gdansk to Edinburgh, I asked the woman in the seat next to me: "Where are you going?" She replied: "I am going to Britain"

End of Conversation !!!
Uriel   Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:34 am GMT
I doubt that you will find very many people who will be unfriendly to you on an individual basis, Pauline, no matter where you are from. Most Americans who hear a person speak with a foreign accent, especially a European one, are more likely to be curious about you rather than hostile, and you may even find that it works to your advantage as an icebreaker in social situations.

I can't say that I have ever found anything particularly "snobby" about French accents at all, so I don't really know that I can point anything specific out to you.
Pauline   Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:08 pm GMT
Robin,
What you exactly mean - that it's better to go to Britain, or that there are many polish in Britain now, or that she / you didn't wished to continue the conversation?

Uriel,
Thanks again for your response:) Probably I will go there, because otherwise for sure I would regret it after.
Robin   Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:13 am GMT
Hi Pauline:

I asked the question?

Where are you going?

(I knew the plane was going to Edinburgh)

When she replied: " I am going to Britain", her answer did not provide me with any information that I did not already know.

I then thought, that any further attempts at conversation, would be hard work.

Eventually, I decided to try again.

ie: "Where are you going in Britain?"

Consequently, I found out that she was going to Dundee.

What was rather shocking, was that she had lived and worked in Britain for two years. Unfortunately, a lot of Polish people are going to end up doing jobs that nobody wants to do, and involve very little communication.

On the whole I think that British people are very tolerant of people who have language difficulties. But, it does mean that communication is difficult and limited.

Poor 'English', isolates people socially, and it makes them dependant on the goodwill of other people.

On the subject of "Polish", it is a language that most British people have no familiarity with. To the extent, they are unable to guess what language Polish peope are speaking. If people say 'tag' a lot, I know they are Polish. Otherwise it could be Russian or Lithuanian, Latvian etc.
Pauline   Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:06 pm GMT
Hi Robin,

Yes, it's difficult and limited to communicate with someone who can't speak well your language, especially when there isn't the possibility to speak the person's language at all. In this situation it's necessary you have patience.

When I was in Ireland, I went there with my friends from my gymnastic club, and the people we visited they learn french, so it was more balanced communication. It's why if I'd go to the US it would be more similar the situation you have described on the plane because I think they don't learn french, and I can't understand well english when they talk also I feel intimidation for speaking it. If they would be friendly it would be nice, but I realise it depend of their tolerance and I heard they don't like the french. In Wallonie we don't have hatred of a country I think, except for flemish.

I would be unable to guess as well what language do they speak of polish, russian etc.. It would be very frightening I think to live in a country where you can't speak the language, but I think also the polish will live in groups so they have their friends there.
Damian in London E16   Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:23 pm GMT
Technically the woman was right when she replied the way she did...she gave the most obvious answer to a basic question. She probably thought your question was a bit strange and maybe you should have asked her first and foremost where she intended to go once you'd arrived at Edinburgh. :-) At least some persistence on your part gave you the information you required. I take it she was Polish.

Half of Poland seems to be in Britain right now and it's contributing very positively to the British economy big time. I think they're great and when I was working at the Tesco supermarket while I was at uni I always enjoyed scanning through all their shopping...sadly I was not permitted to engage in conversation with them apart from the basics.

Of course the Brits are by and large very tolerant towards them and any others whose native Language isn't English. Why shouldn't we be?

Historically Britain has always been tolerant and welcoming to people who've come here either as refugees from persecution or escaping from evil regimes, or come here for economic reasons so long as they don't become a burden on the UK welfare services and welfare benefits.

The vast majority of Eastern Europeans who are coming here are making a huge contribution to Britain's economy, even though a lot of them are over qualified for the mundane jobs they're doing, and in the type of jobs which a fair number of native Brits are not keen on doing, which is not so good.

The temporary dental practice I am using here in London has one mega cool dental surgeon - from the Czech Republic, and his spoken English is nothing short of exquisite. One of the dental receptionists is from Finland. No one can ever he UK isn't multi cultural - big time.
lo   Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:25 pm GMT
guys guys lets not carried away
JANEY   Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:35 pm GMT
I do think it is a huge disadvantage for people who come from different countries and do not speak the language, because they are limited to do many thing like joining a sports centre to socialise with other people you cannot do that,

Like when a friend of mine came from Spain to live here she felt left out. She did not get a lot of respect everywhere she went even supermarkets can you believe it supermarkets like when she did not understand what they were saying they would repeat it in a very annoyed tone. or when she got letter from job centres and that kind of stuff she could not read it really well hence she came to me for every single letter. She hated the country and went back to her country within a year.
Pauline   Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:09 pm GMT
Like when a friend of mine came from Spain to live here she felt left out.
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Janey,

When you write : ''here'', which country you mean? I would guess the US or Britain in this discussion, but you didn't told us, and it interest me to know.
JANEY   Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:40 pm GMT
yep
Adam   Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:43 pm GMT
"Nevertheless, most Americans, and I've said this before on this forum, are still suspicious of people who talk with foreign accents and that is one of the problems you will have to contend with if you speak with one. You can't entirely blame them either. The hard truth is that the United States does have enemies around the world. "


That's just stupidity and extreme paranoia.
Adam   Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:45 pm GMT
"Les ennemis les plus dangereux sont ceux qui n'ont pas d'accent, non ?"


I think the reason why the French - such as you - always childishly refuse to speak English is because they have a huge chip on their shoulder and an inferiority complex regarding the Anglo-Saxon peoples.
Tiffany   Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:30 pm GMT
I never thought I'd see the day that Adam stood up for us Yanks. The only reason I'm even toying with the notion that it really is our own Adam is his post two minutes later talking about a supposed French inferiority complex - which is just like him. You've either turned over a new leaf (just one mind you, there are lots more) or are a clever imposter using the correct language to put doubts in our heads!
Memphis Tiger2010   Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:07 pm GMT
Maybe everyone should read these short essays "An Open Letter to Diversity's Victims" by Greg Lewis, "From Outside, In" by Barbara Mellix, and "Should English be the Law" by Robert King.

I am an college Education major at the U of Memphis, USA, and we had to discuss a topic similar to this one. I found that those short essays where very insightful and resourceful.