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Office Language Etiquette

Our company employs many diverse people who speak several languages. To avoid miscommunication and possible perceived slights, and to promote a more harmonious work environment, the company, particularly the human resources department, has insisted for a long time that English to be the only work language because it is the one common to all employees. The policy isn't always followed as intended.

My mother tongue is French, born in France with an obvious French sounding name, but I speak English at work even if someone speaks in French to me in the office, I answer in English. I don't really mind when others around me are speaking a language I don't know (I'm fluent in two more languages, but most coworkers are unaware of that) except in meetings when a few people around a table begin to share a private joke in their own language and laughter to the exclusion of others. It can be disruptive and halt the flow of the meeting with others feeling confused and often offended that they might be being laughed at. There are a couple of coworkers who do sometimes say nasty things about someone present in their native language and they think no one understands, but I have a good command of their language and so does another coworker, so we know what is being said.

What are your opinions on speaking languages with non-speakers of them present, particularly in a work environment?

by Anonymousreply 1006/09/2021

Office etiquette my foot. It’s a dog eat dog world out there my dear.

by Anonymousreply 106/09/2021

If it's policy, they're just being a douche not following it and I'd lose all respect.

by Anonymousreply 206/09/2021

Cero de ciento

by Anonymousreply 306/09/2021

It only bothers me when I am involved in the conversation and then someone speaks to another person in a different language. You can't help but wonder what they're saying that they didn't want you to hear.

by Anonymousreply 406/09/2021

R4 They said you are a fag

by Anonymousreply 506/09/2021

OP is Karen

by Anonymousreply 606/09/2021

In America, we speak AMERICAN!

by Anonymousreply 706/09/2021

I worked in a highly international office for years. We had people speaking Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, and a smattering of other languages. I could sometimes follow the gist of the conversations, but even when I didn't understand a word, I enjoyed hearing foreign languages.

English was our working language, but there was no policy prohibiting the casual conversations in other languages in the workplace.

And actually, since I was there to work, I was often relieved when they spoke to each other in another language, because it meant they didn't need any input from me -- I had enough to do on my own.

by Anonymousreply 806/09/2021

If it is two people at lunch conversing in their native language then I don’t care, but like R4 mentioned, I’ve heard people make asides to each other in a different language on conference calls, and that is beyond cunty.

by Anonymousreply 906/09/2021

It's rude to speak in a language that all do not understand in the presence of company.

by Anonymousreply 1006/09/2021
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