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Old 2009-06-18, 09:15   Link #21
(。☉౪ ⊙。)
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In Maya world, where all is 3D and everything crashes
Age: 30
in my country people complain when there are fellow country men who were born or are part foreign blooded talking in their native tongue. the reason is simple for this though, in my town there is a neighborhood where hardly anyone speaks dutch, only the new generation does this with all those people talking in their own native tongue and not bothering to learn a word of this country's language how can we establish proper communications? That neighborhood has had a huge bad rep because of misunderstandings or with kids thinking it is fun to laugh at people and to insult in their own native tongue, that is what they did in high school a lot the kids would gossip about people in their own tongue while the other person was sitting next to them o.o; sorry but in those cases I would surely say speak whatever language your country should speak.

As for tourists, uugh I can understand the hate. whenever I'm on holiday I try and respect their own language etc. (I even start bowing to people I don't know why lol probably to be polite) however as a European to visit an Asian country and then to not have English folk around, it isn't any reason to start complaining but understand that Asian language classes are not a regular at our schools, we have German/French and English classes and to suddenly pick up an Asian language won't work that or people would be complaining that tourists use your language in an insulting way cause they can't speak it properly. I've been to Paris several times and yes it can be frustrating when other people refuse to speak English, my French is average but there are things I easily forget so I'd rather ask things in English but then the French folk start talking in speedy French which makes it nearly impossible to understand

tourists here aren't THAT bad, they speak English fine I speak English back, they speak German I respond in German. I won't go complaining if a Chinese tourist asks me in bad English where he can find this or that, I wouldn't find it insulting or anything I just help him like anyone else and would expect such behavior in return if I were ever to visit his country. I think that if people start being polite to another they can expect that behavior in return
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Old 2009-06-18, 09:23   Link #22
'Dear Elhit'
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 43
Originally Posted by Witchburn View Post
Coming to the Philippines took some adjusting for me too. Geezers, almost everyone made an issue about my american accent. It was like a joke to them. It did get a little bit annoying when they tried to mimic me. And then they went "nosebleed nosebleed" and also called me the "dollar spokener" (i know that you're all thinking that could be wrong but yes they say spokener on purpose to make it sound funny) I remember this teacher of mine who hates foreigners and called me the dollar girl. Yeesh!! "Go Home Dollar Girl!!!"
Hmm... the subject header made me think of a different issue prevalent here, and related to what Witchburn mentioned above.

Specifically, it often appears as though many Singaporeans still labour under a colonial mentality, where the "white man" is superior to the "locals". Meaning to say, you could be the bottom of the barrel in your home country, but you'd be treated like a king, regardless of your behaviour and attitude, simply by virtue of your white skin. In other words, Western travellers often appear to get special treatment, over and above the domestic population.

As for what language you speak, it doesn't really matter, so long as you come from a rich, powerful country — we Singaporeans will bend over backwards to curry your favour. We've learnt to be Anglophones because of the Anglo-American dominance in the world economy for the past half century. Today, we're told instead to master Mandarin as China is now a big boy to contend with.

Which is all very deliciously ironic, because we probably wouldn't have had to be told this today if certain pragmatic politicians hadn't been so eager to make us master English 50 years ago. Once again, and not for the first time, our remarkably far-sighted Government will have to undo the brilliant outcome of yet another highly successful social-engineering programme. Yippee.

Bottom-line: We welcome all tourist dollars and we'd make sure all travellers feel right at home here in sunny Singapore, regardless of what language you speak. After all, money talks, and that's all you'd really need to get by over here.
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Old 2009-06-18, 10:34   Link #23
Slice of Life
Join Date: Jan 2007
Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
Yet they seem to be the ones who remember that its good manners to learn the tongues of the European countries they visit; too bad they don't seem to think that basic respect applies to countries that don't use a Roman Alphabet.
Add me to the people who say this is bull. For tourists from any country in any country.

But demanding them to learn it up to a level where it is actually useful means setting the bar quite high. If you demand that you can as well close your borders right away. And everything below is merely a void gesture which I at least wouldn't demand.

So I frankly don't see the reason to learn the local language other than for your own benefit. Just don't expect the locals to speak yours. Things like good manners and an open mind is more important than language skills.

Actually, much worse than the friendly naive-ignorant can be the self-declared experts of all things local. Up to accusing the natives to do their native things wrong.

The type of person whom on western soil screams at you to "Speak English!!" when it's frankly none of their business what language you speak to your family, friends and loved ones.
The language you speak in within your group is no-one else's business in any case, I agree totally.
- Any ideas how to fill this space?
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Old 2009-06-18, 23:24   Link #24
A Priori Impossibility
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Age: 27
Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
The type of person whom on western soil screams at you to "Speak English!!" when it's frankly none of their business what language you speak to your family, friends and loved ones.
Granted, there are times where the foreigners/immigrants speak to each other in their language right in front of your face, and if they constantly do that, it's really annoying and quite rude, actually. That doesn't mean the other party is justified in screaming at them to speak English, but I think that immigrants give themselves a bad name some times.

Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
And the same type of person who does not even bother to learn one word of the tongue spoken in the Asian country they are visiting, and then get indignant and angry that nobody is speaking English for them.
There are a LOT of immigrants that still want to return to their native country after making it big in some more developed nation, and this was the mindset of Chinese immigrants for quite a while. For example, they might learn English for practical reasons, but sometimes they can find such large communities with people of a similar background and won't necessarily adapt to the culture, which, ultimately, leads to trouble.

I think that Asian people do it too - it's just that they don't do it as tourists. So it's quite a universal thing.

Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
Yet they seem to be the ones who remember that its good manners to learn the tongues of the European countries they visit; too bad they don't seem to think that basic respect applies to countries that don't use a Roman Alphabet
Well, French and German are already made fun of plenty enough by being spoken mockingly with bad accents and overly critical stereotypes, just to name two languages that might have more coverage in America, but really aren't being "learned" by any travelers that would go there. I mean, really, an American will make fun of a Brit for his English, let alone make fun of people speaking other languages (as someone has demonstrated earlier in this thread).

This isn't "learning" at all. I think the historical roots of English-speaking countries and much of their history mean there's a bit more exposure to European languages, but that doesn't mean anything. English has dominated the global scene (we can't forget the British empire, although other countries did have their share of colonial power) for too long, and I think it's mostly English-speaking tourists that are the obnoxious ones.
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