Questions tagged [language]

For questions about situations where certain types of language play an important role, such as slang, informal language or swearing. This tag can also be applied to questions about communicating with people who speak other languages to you.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0 votes
1 answer
245 views

If I know my interlocutor native language, it is approprieate to respond them using it? [closed]

I got an email in English from a staff member, and it turns out that he speaks the same native language as me (which is not English). Would it be rude/appropriate to respond to the email in our native ...
user avatar
  • 11
11 votes
2 answers
880 views

What are the practical ways to minimize dead-naming of someone behind their back?

I see from social media that a former colleague "A" (whom I'm not close to and haven't spoken to in years) now has a differently-gendered name, look, and pronouns from what they had when I ...
user avatar
  • 261
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

How can I respectfully ask my landlady to use English when in my home?

When our landlady comes into our place she always brings a relative. She visits with repair people, or most often it's a family member doing repairs. When they talk to us, they use fluent English. ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
168 views

Helping with Business Grammar

We have some employees who frequently communicate with customers. These employees are native English speakers and yet somehow their written communications come across as though they really struggle ...
user avatar
  • 2,452
6 votes
3 answers
617 views

How to request people to help me speak a language without imposing it on them?

I'm an Indian student who recently moved to the Netherlands to study. I'm intending on it becoming my permanent home at some point. While I was in India (and when I briefly moved to the US with my dad)...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
575 views

How to handle language differences

I am in the UK dating someone from a different country who has a lot friends here from her own country. Friends are good of course, but they all speak a language I don't understand and I find it ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
743 views

How and why to be politically correct? [closed]

Comming from the 2nd/3rd world and living in the 1st now, I often have the problem of speaking in a way counted often as politically incorrect. Political correctness intends to avoid offense or ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the differences between Zie, Sie, Ey, Ve, Tey, E [closed]

Stack Exchange have released a post about changing their policy and CoC on using personal pronouns. I am not familiar with all of the personal pronouns linked in an article that they cite on the ...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
578 views

Seeking clarification on the use of "They/Them/Their" as a personal gender pronoun [closed]

We currently exist in a time of macro-evolution changes to our interpretation of gender and sex. The classical binary system of the Christian based Western cultures (and others) is being challenged ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
619 views

Stop disrupting behavior from a complete stranger

I recently started learning a new language. Together with studying it, I am also attending a conversation group, where people learning the language and people with native proficiency in the same ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to avoid semantic noise during a regular conversation?

Semantic noise refers to using grammar or (technical) language that the person you're talking with cannot (clearly) understand. I keep running into situations where I feel I am ruining a conversation ...
user avatar
  • 33.7k
6 votes
2 answers
735 views

How to tell foreigners they don't need to speak English when near me?

Background At my university we have a library building for students to meet other students and discuss/study amongst themselves. It's rather large and people from all sorts of backgrounds can be found ...
user avatar
  • 3,358
3 votes
0 answers
246 views

Is "Black American" an acceptable term in the US? [closed]

In the comments section on this question, someone took offense at calling african-americans black (because not all blacks are african). Then took offense at using the term african-american (because ...
user avatar
23 votes
12 answers
12k views

Polite way to ask how to pronounce name with sounds outside local language?

In my experience, it is not common practice for native English speakers in the United States to attempt to pronounce non-English sounds, such as gutturals or trills. So say I meet a new colleague ...
user avatar
  • 331
4 votes
3 answers
389 views

How to switch conversations in mother tongue/native language to English at office

I am an Indian citizen residing in India. I am exposed to quite a few regional/native languages, few of which I am fluent in. My preferred language for verbal communication is English at the office. ...
user avatar
  • 1,008
1 vote
2 answers
12k views

When is it rude to speak a language that other people around do not understand? [closed]

When is it rude to speak a language that at least one person who can hear cannot understand? My family and friends generally are of the opinion this is rude behavior but I noticed with some new ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
527 views

What are the effects of using a verbal tic in informal speech?

I've been watching the Japanese version of Naruto a lot, recently, and the word "dattebayo" really stuck with me... Not necessarily a good thing, but I'm doing it pretty much unconsciously now. I've ...
user avatar
  • 3,218
3 votes
2 answers
497 views

How do I correct the grammar of another person if they claim to be speaking my language for practice?

I have a friend, let's call him Bob. I met Bob many years ago back when I was working in another country. We keep in touch over Facebook, occasionally we can have a small conversation. Bob wants to ...
user avatar
  • 133
8 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to get roommates to speak same language

I live in a large shared house. I had to move out of my old home on short notice and as such my new one isn't really a good fit but I'm trying to make the best of it until I leave. The house is rented ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to avoid looking/sounding unfriendly when I don't speak the same language as everyone at work?

Background I moved to Denmark a bit more than a year ago - from a Western Europe country. I originally did not plan on staying there more than 6 months. For that reason, I did not start learning the ...
user avatar
  • 576
2 votes
2 answers
457 views

How to switch conversation from language to language in peers?

I have a mixed group of friends from different countries (JP, CH, US.) I found it difficult to keep the conversation when inviting them to my house (I live in the U.S.) Certain people do not like me ...
user avatar
  • 123
32 votes
10 answers
9k views

How can I switch a conversation from a language to another?

Being new in Germany (around ten months now), I am suffering from the language, and it is not that easy for me to keep the communication in German. Therefore sometimes I use English or even French ...
user avatar
  • 1,545
5 votes
4 answers
430 views

Interested in learning a foreign language and need to practice with natives, how do I not make them feel like I am using them as free tutors?

I am learning two foreign languages. I know that learning does not happen in a vacuum and that I need to practice with native speakers. Most natives in my area already speak English, and I have ...
user avatar
  • 51
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

Correcting non-native speakers’ language

English is my native language but I live in France and sometimes I speak English to friends who are non-native speakers. Often people will pronounce words wrong or use a word in a strange way and I am ...
user avatar
24 votes
6 answers
9k views

How can I explain to others that I'm not comfortable with the word 'queer'?

As an individual who is not okay with the word 'queer' being used to describe me, what is the most socially acceptable and sensitive way to communicate that to individuals who are? To rephrase - if ...
user avatar
  • 588
5 votes
3 answers
775 views

Should I speak in Japanese or English to the "foreign-looking" kombini employee? [closed]

I am not Japanese but I usually speak in Japanese with everyone, because it is the language I use all day long at work (I live in Japan). At the register of a convenience store in Tokyo downtown, I ...
user avatar
  • 1,225
2 votes
2 answers
823 views

Is it offensive for an American to use regionalisms when interacting internationally in business? [closed]

In my work, I spend a lot of time speaking with international colleagues from Asia and South America. I am from the United States. The English regionalisms I notice in these countries can be ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to phrase tactfully 'to escalate/to be referred above someone'? [closed]

How'd you diplomatically phrase/word a request to escalate you above someone specific (call him/her Jr. for Junior)? I to Jr: 1. I request to be escalated above you. I to Someone else (e.g. ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I get the point across that what people are saying are swear words in English and is therefore offensive to me?

Here in Israel, most people don't realize that what they are saying is offensive to English speakers. People will regularly drop F-bombs and other such words. It's in music played publicly. (The ...
user avatar
  • 4,375
3 votes
1 answer
341 views

How to socialise with large groups of speakers in another language

I am an English guy, teaching at an educational camp in Poland, which is hosted for Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. Everyone seems to be able to speak English well enough to have a ...
user avatar
  • 131
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do I decline conversation in my native language?

I often meet people who do not natively speak my language (German) but are learning it and would love to practice it by speaking German to me. General Situation The problem is that I talk in a ...
user avatar
26 votes
5 answers
11k views

Asking someone to use their native language without being rude

Sometimes, I find myself in a conversation with people who can't speak English (or some other language) with standard pronunciation. Of course, not everyone has good speaking skills to begin with, and ...
user avatar
23 votes
9 answers
11k views

How do I correct my daughter's teacher's grammar?

An email I received from my daughter's 2nd grade teacher has a grammatical error. The teacher wrote "your daughter can meet with Amy and I" where he should have written, "your daughter can meet with ...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
423 views

Are 'negatives' (e.g. wrong) really less diplomatic than 'negated positives' (e.g. not correct)? [closed]

The following argue in favour of negating positive words (e.g. This has not been agreed; allowed; correct; considered.) to evade single negative but polite words (e.g. This has been ...
user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to deal with people whose English is not good enough to be understandable

So I develop plugins as a hobby for just over two years now (nothing professional). I've posted one plugin online on a forum for everyone to use. Note that this forum has a rule stating you should ...
user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to share a flat with people who don't speak any language I know?

I am doing an internship in Tokyo and share my flat with two Chinese women. They speak only Chinese and Japanese, I speak only English and some other European languages, and my Japanese is not ...
user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it appropriate to adopt features of the dialect or accent of your ancestors?

My father is of Scots-Irish Appalachian-American heritage but I grew up on the East Coast of the USA and normally speak English with a Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey accent. I have been interested ...
user avatar
42 votes
7 answers
7k views

How do I respond to children slightly younger than me laughing at my accent?

I'm an American. I moved to Israel. My Hebrew is OK, but I don't speak it perfectly. I also have... quite a strong accent. I'm trying to work on it, but it's there and fairly noticeable. Sometimes I'...
user avatar
  • 4,375
20 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I communicate what I want to say in the language that the conversation is taking place in when I don't know the word?

I'm mostly bilingual - I speak (hopefully) decent English and I speak Hebrew that's passable most of the time (although I have a pretty strong accent that I have to work on). But sometimes I run into ...
user avatar
  • 4,375
20 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation?

How can I call attention to a casual acquaintance's mispronunciation? The individual is a native speaker, yet regularly misuses words like "antidote," when meaning "anecdote," as just one example. If ...
user avatar
  • 4,376
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Ways to deal with someone who uses expletives? [closed]

Expletives (swearing, cursing, cussing) are in far more common use today, than they were in the past. "Official" media censorship and other imposed controls have been softened, or removed all ...
user avatar
  • 4,376