Questions tagged [language-barriers]

Questions for where a person lacks the required proficiency in the language to communicate effectively in a situation. For more general questions, please use the [language] tag instead.

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9
votes
1answer
584 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
389 views

Dealing with language barrier in social gatherings

I moved to a new country last year for the end of my studies. The local language is English, which I can read, write, speak and understand without too much effort... at work. I have absolutely no ...
4
votes
1answer
417 views

How to deal with a classmate that can't speak your language or understand the teacher?

Back in seventh grade I was the new kid: no friends and very nervous. The first day at school, so far, was going quite well. But then, when I chose my seat in Science, an even more nervous-looking kid ...
18
votes
5answers
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
229 views

What is a language that Swedes will prefer to use with Copenhagen hostel personnel? [closed]

When I was in Copenhagen (Denmark), I was impressed by the dialog of some other tourists with our host. They both spoke their native Scandinavian languages (noteworthy to say I understand no ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some other ways to speak to a deaf person without ASL?

One of my friends online is deaf, and we met on a game and made friends through in game communication. We've set up to meet, but I realized I may have made a critical misstep in that I don't know ...
1
vote
2answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
8k views

How to ask roommates not to use so much of common spaces for personal meetings

I live in a large shared house with with several roommates. The company that owns the house tries to rent it out to international people (however I am not international myself). Many people I live ...
2
votes
2answers
399 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 ...
53
votes
8answers
12k views

How to remark politely that you are not an idiot, just not fluent on english language?

As a foreigner in an English speaking country, I meet people in several situations, business and social. As you are introduced to conversations, you sometimes get lost because of lack of fluency in ...
20
votes
4answers
6k views

Best way to tell colleague that chat is not a channel for direct response?

Me and colleague X communicate in English, but we're both non-native English speakers from very different countries. X's English is not very great and we sometimes have trouble understanding each ...
7
votes
3answers
685 views

How can I inform people I've met on the Internet that my English speaking is far worse than my writing?

Occasionally, the people who I meet on the Internet ask me to hang out. But my English speaking is far more terrible than my written English, and some people look quite disappointed to hear my poor ...
7
votes
1answer
572 views

How to overcome nervousness while welcoming English-speaking clients? [closed]

I'm from China, currently doing my internship in an art gallery founded by a French art dealer. Our gallery exhibit artworks from a variety of countries and have broad social relations abroad. As an ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I get Americans to speak more slowly after I've already asked them once?

I'm from East Asia so my English is not good compared to people from Western countries who use English or its Indo-European siblings as its native language. In most cases, it is fine to talk with ...
1
vote
5answers
454 views

How do I get people to speak to me in their native language instead of mine? [duplicate]

I have this one friend who constantly speaks in English. I tried to speak to him in his language; sometimes he replies in that language and sometimes in English. I am an intermediate-level speaker in ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I talk to someone through a translator?

I am a private piano teacher. I recently accepted a student who has only been living in the US for a couple weeks and does not know English. Her mother sits next to us during the lessons and ...
27
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
643 views

Is it rude to post on an English site when my English needs a lot of improvement? [closed]

I've been learning English on the internet for many years, but it is still very difficult to understand me sometimes. I know that using English daily is best, and especially on Stack Overflow. I've ...