• @[email protected]
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    924 months ago

    Went to a pub in Reykjavik.

    English Brother-in-law had finally decided to learn the language after like 15 years of living there. Had just about learned enough to order the drinks and have a basic conversation.

    He orders slowly. The barman looks increasingly perplexed. He finishes and looks up, proud of his first real test of Icelandic.

    “Sorry mate, I dunno what you’re saying” says the barman in a thick Australian accent.

    Honestly, just try English. Most small European countries speak it better than we do.

    • @Holyhandgrenade
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      204 months ago

      Lol I have a similar problem, I’m from Iceland but I don’t live there anymore, so whenever I go back I try to enjoy the novelty of speaking my native language as much as possible. Trouble is, almost every service worker downtown doesn’t even speak Icelandic lol

    • @acetanilide
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      64 months ago

      I remember this one. I love this story.

  • Transporter Room 3
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    844 months ago

    I never understood the “ugh you’re trying to speak my language, I don’t feel like listening to you butcher it” that some countries get.

    Like every time a coworker bitches about how they can’t understand a warehouse worker because of their heavy accent, the fuck do you expect them to do, not try to talk at all? (the real answer is usually “hurrrr go back tuh where dey came frum”) but you’re gonna sit there, butchering the language you use every single day by the way you speak and how you spell, while they’re in a country they likely did not grow up in, and are learning the language still. If they don’t converse, they have a harder time improving. If you truly cared about understanding them, you would talk to them more.

    Anecdote time: one of the forklift drivers was fairly new when I started last year. She’s a social butterfly. Comes over to ask how we’re all doing, asks how my wife is, how coworkers kids are, how our weeks are going. She moved here from Puerto Rico, and barely has an accent anymore. It’s definitely there and you can place it, but 0 problem understanding every word.

    A couple guys started just after I did, and they stand around the compactor all day where it’s too noisy to talk, and nobody voluntarily goes near. They still have very broken speech and heavy accents. They’ve been going out to clean things recently so I try to strike up conversations but they don’t seem too social when they’re working.

    I have no way of knowing what these people do outside of work, but if inside is any indicator, being social and talking goes a long way to improving speech in any given language.

    So maybe don’t go “that’s cute. Stop trying.” instead go “hey cool, but if you’re up for some constructive criticism…” and be helpful. Or shut the fuck up.

      • @Aceticon
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        4 months ago

        The top one might even be called an “expat” rather than “immigrant”.

    • @[email protected]
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      374 months ago

      I’m ethnically Chinese/Vietnamese but raised in the UK/Canada and basically have only had a really crap grasp of Chinese. So I’ve been actively trying to learn. The number of fucking Chinese people that tell me to shut up or that I sound stupid is insane. These aren’t even random Chinese neither, it’s my fucking friends. Some of these people speak English with a shit accent. I’ve never made of theirs and I just lightly correct their word usage (like if they’re missing a word or something). How the hell am I supposed to get better?

      Three years ago I said screw it and went with doing Duolingo with YouTube video support. I can now read and “write” (use pinyin) but speaking is poor because nobody wants to talk to me despite me having a lot of Chinese friends. Not gonna stop though. I’m starting to pay for tutors but this feels so silly because the point of me learning was to connect with my Chinese heritage. I should have picked up french instead.

        • @impudentmortal
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          74 months ago

          Objectively speaking, Vietnamese is much easier to learn for an English speaker too since they also use the Latin alphabet.

          Not sure how many Vietnamese speakers are in the UK though.

          • @Soggy
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            44 months ago

            I dunno about “much” easier, as all tonal languages are pretty rough for English speakers and many of the phonemes are totally new. Easier to learn to read and write for sure, but listening and speaking are a different beast.

            • @impudentmortal
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              24 months ago

              True, but I was comparing it to Mandarin and Cantonese (OP didn’t say which Chinese language but I assume it’s one of these). Both of them are also tonal languages from what I understand so in that way they are all different from English.

              However, Vietnamese is easier since the characters are more recognizable. Listening to movies/shows with subtitles makes it easier to understand and it’s easier to pick up reading Vietnamese than reading Chinese.

              The issue here though, is that for OP it seems like Chinese is the more practical language to learn since their “friends” also speak it.

          • @UckyBon
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            14 months ago

            I can help and start calling around.

      • @HeapOfDogs
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        114 months ago

        I wanted to share a quick story, but it’s intention is not to excuse bad behavior. I speak two languages very well. One of the languages is relatively uncommon and I have only ever heard it spoken by native speakers. Recently I was at an event and am American told me they learned this language. I’m like that’s cool as hell, let’s hear. What came out of their mouth shorted out my brain and my brain refused to answer them in anything other than English.

        I have no rational explanation of what occurred inside of my head. My partner actually asked me why I didn’t respond back in the same language and I had no answer.

  • SonnyVabitch
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    714 months ago

    French is too generalised, in my experience.

    Paris, they’ll pretend they don’t understand neither your English nor your 100 words of French.

    Towns in the country, you meet indifferent professionalism and you kinda get by in English.

    Rural areas, you encounter the greatest of enthusiasm for your knowledge of the local language, and just as well, because those 100 words are all you can rely on for the entire duration of your stay.

      • @joel_feila
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        124 months ago

        their still excited over that beach party we threw in the 40s

      • SonnyVabitch
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        34 months ago

        They’re just happy to sell their cidre and calvados to someone, anyone.

    • @supercriticalcheese
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      94 months ago

      Depends where you go and when and for what. For most part of things I got by with my 100 words of french and English, but I avoided the touristic areas at the minimum possible.

    • GreatAlbatross
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      64 months ago

      Towns in the countryside, you’ll get corrections, and often encouraged to repeat the word they just corrected you on.

  • @khannie
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    524 months ago

    Any attempt by a foreigner to speak “cúpla focail” (a few words) of Irish to me has been incredibly well received. It’s usually Americans actually and their pronunciation is terrible, because Irish sounds nothing like it’s spelled when compared to the usual latin alphabet sounds, but fair fucks to them. I appreciate it very much.

  • @[email protected]
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    484 months ago

    I once tried to order some drinks in a noisy bar in France. I thought I was explaining it ok but was not being understood by the girl behind the bar. It got really awkward and was making me seriously question my French (I’m English). Eventually it turned out that she was Irish and had equal but opposite holes in her own French. We had a good laugh about it and spoke in English thereafter.

    Had she been Scottish tho we probably would have still been better off speaking in French.

    • @[email protected]
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      134 months ago

      I backed into someone in a crowded bar in Sapporo and said excuse me in Japanese and heard the same thing behind me. We both turned around at the same time and saw we were both foreigners.

    • @TheControlled
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      64 months ago

      I, an American, once asked a person what language they were speaking… They said they were Scottish and was speaking English.

  • @doingthestuff
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    464 months ago

    Yeah I lived in Germany and speaking German was not encouraged. In France, they pretended they didn’t speak English and ignored you if you spoke in broken French.

    • Rentlar
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      254 months ago

      Hahaha this was my experience. I can hold very light conversations in Québec French like to ask directions, how’s it going, ordering tickets and food and the like. I’ve gotten a few stares like I’m a mythical swampbeast who just awoke from a 100 year slumber.

    • @Bye
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      144 months ago

      Also my experience in French-speaking parts of Belgium.

      I had a guy in a chip shop give me the nastiest scowl after ordering in french out of the phrase book.

      • @khannie
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        94 months ago

        Imagine being that much of an arsehole. Like he’s swanning over to Italy with perfect Italian.

        I honestly can’t understand people with that level of built in bad intent towards well intentioned people.

        • @[email protected]
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          54 months ago

          Like he’s swanning over to Italy with perfect Italian.

          That’s the thing: people like that don’t travel.

    • @Prancingpotato
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      44 months ago

      Maybe I am assuming a lot of things here but is this your experience with businesses or people in the streets ?

      In France we have a totally different approach than Americans for exemple regarding people we don’t know. Even between french speakers we will generally not be light chatting with strangers (exacerbated in dense populated areas like Paris/Lyon), as opposed (as I understand) to Americans who can talk to anyone anywhere.

      I often wonder if this sentiment of disdain for English speakers is not due to this misunderstanding of our habits.

      • セリャスト
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        14 months ago

        Wait is this a thing in the US? It would explain why they are so surprised that nobody talks to strangers in the street and ignore them, it’s just normal for me

    • @[email protected]
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      34 months ago

      Most Germans are just trying to be helpful when they talk to you in English. You can straight up tell them “Wir können auch Deutsch sprechen” and they will have no problem switching.

    • @[email protected]
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      4 months ago

      Interesting, that hasn’t been my experience. I found that French people appreciated that I’d made an attempt and then they’d talk to me in English if they spoke it. Sometimes they just replied in French as well and then I’d ask if they spoke English because my French sucks.

      • @[email protected]
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        24 months ago

        Interesting, that hasn’t been my experience. I found that French people appreciated that I’d made an attempt…

        That was also my experience in Parisian places of business. In terms of the streets, I agree with OP they were less motivated to engage.

        In terms of rural areas, I wouldn’t be surprised if dialectical française was the only thing spoken or listened to… kind of a different situation entirely. For example, one might be completely fluent at course-taught or Parisian French, and still have a devil of a time.

        @[email protected]

        • @RememberTheApollo_
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          44 months ago

          Thirded. Had zero trouble. Made sure the prerequisite greeting was in place and was able to ask if they spoke English, absolutely use the please and thank you, everything went fine. Never encountered anyone rude, even if English wasn’t spoken people were generally helpful or at least willing to figure out what was needed.

          Courtesy and understanding go a long way.

    • @[email protected]
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      14 months ago

      Just recently, I was in France and all the reactions were just lovely. Everyone replied in French to my French but asked if we should continue in English, when they noticed my understanding was incomplete.

      Some cashiers spoke really fast, so I just pretended I understood and nodded. But everyone was very accommodating and repeated sentences if I asked or explained with different words.

      Most people even spoke English with my colleagues, who don’t speak French, and French with me. Even one waitress, whose English was really at the beginner level, made it work.

  • @Godric
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    444 months ago

    The prejudice against learning French only applies to the French, not the lovely people they brutally conquered in Africa.

    I was once at a party with a group of gentlemen from the Ivory Cost, and saying “Côte d’Ivoire? Bonjour, je m’apalle Godriq, Comment se va?” after they introduced themselves made us best friends for the evening, even through they were initially surprised and very mildly disappointed I was not a Frenchman, as my grasp of the language was those few well-pronounced phrases.

    Still, a great night with them from what I remember, great people, great amounts of booze, and a great amount of French learned!

    • @BreadOven
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      284 months ago

      Even Canadian (Quebecoise) French isn’t received too well in France. Someone told my friend (Quebecoise) in France that they spoke “Barbarian French”.

  • @[email protected]
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    414 months ago

    Ive heard from a few different tourists who went to places like Italy and South and Centeral American countries, and aparently often times people there want to practice their english which can cause quite the funny scene where you’re both speaking each others language poorly at one another.

    • @PostingInPublic
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      254 months ago

      That’s actually one of the best ways to learn a language short of full immersion, we call it a tandem!

    • @PunkiBas
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      34 months ago

      This happened to me in Ecuador! Hah! It was nice for learning as each one can correct the other if they fumble any pronunciation

  • @cosmicrookie
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    364 months ago

    Nah… Germans won’t switch to English unless the German used is so bad that they can’t understand lt

    • @Wrench
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      314 months ago

      It’s been 20 years since I was there, but people would see me, an obvious foreigner, and approach me to speak English. It happened pretty much everywhere I went. Before I even said a word, I’d be addressed in English. If I responded in German, they’d respond right back in English.

      Not that I’m complaining. I only knew like 100 words in German. Just thought it was an interesting trend.

    • @mumblerfish
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      44 months ago

      Unless the one you are speaking to is like over 40, then they will just keep talking German at you independently of that you are trying to say.

  • @[email protected]
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    304 months ago

    With night mode active those colors all look the same. I wish there were more colors than blue and a bunch of shades or red.

    • @LixWindoz
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      64 months ago

      Yeah all I’m seeing is blue and red :( I’m assuming all the counties would rather speak English.

    • @[email protected]
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      24 months ago

      Bedtime mode completely monochrome here. Confused-and-should-be-sleeping gang rise up get that 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep!

    • @fruitSnackSupreme
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      14 months ago

      I’m colorblind and two of the colors look exactly the same. And I’m not THAT colorblind, I just think it’s a terrible color choice.

  • @ClamDrinker
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    294 months ago

    Dutch people’s reaction is probably more of a combination of blue and pink (“Congrats, that’s cute, but why’d you put yourself through this? We can just speak English”), but most people will actually appreciate the effort and go through with speaking in Dutch if you insist.

    • @Aceticon
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      84 months ago

      Works best if they can’t tell you’re from an English-speaking country by your accent…

    • The Menemen!
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      84 months ago

      If you are from Germany on the other hand it is mandatory to greet in Dutch. They will answer you in German then.

  • @[email protected]
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    274 months ago

    My experience in Germany is quite the oposit, they don’t wanna talk in english and will entretain your broken german unless they literally can’t unterstand you.

    Even in the street I am approached in german and “I do not look german” at all.

    • @Soggy
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      94 months ago

      Granted I was only in Berlin for two weeks, but all but two people I interacted with didn’t immediately switch to English if they had something to say beyond the transaction. (A bus driver and a currywurst seller, who seemed genuinely annoyed that I was a tourist)

    • @[email protected]
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      84 months ago

      My experience is this: In Austria they want to speak English. In Germany they want to speak German. On a Lufthansa flight it’s 50/50 whether they ask me questions in English or German.

    • @lorkano
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      74 months ago

      This happens that people approach and start speaking in German, but I never had a problem that they didn’t want to speak English once they realized I dont speak german

    • @[email protected]
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      54 months ago

      It probably depends on where in Germany you are. One time in Berlin I started on my broken German and they reacted with a big question mark, and then back to English.

      And 20-30 years ago you had to use German most places.

      • @[email protected]
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        54 months ago

        when my dad was stationed in germany all he ever learned to say was “which way to the train station?”

        • @[email protected]
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          64 months ago

          So he literally “only understands train station”.

          “Verstehe nur Bahnhof” is a common German expression to say that you have no idea what someone just said (because of jargon, or whatever), which supposedly comes from people that came to Germany and only new/understood “train station”.

    • @[email protected]
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      34 months ago

      Germany has a very big immigrant population, so plenty of people who don’t look German at all but speak fluently or even natively.

      About English, they are very self-concious and they often say that they speak “a little bit” when they are for all intents and purposes fluent.

    • @AnalogyAddict
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      We used to joke that most Germans don’t speak English until you get them drunk, and then they are more fluent than native speakers.

      • @[email protected]
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        4 months ago

        Do you speak english?

        A bit

        How much is a bit?

        You see, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have internalized the complex syntactic fabrics of the english languaje but I can make myself understood and even, under good conditions take syntactic liberties to stress my points, furthermore, although my vocabulary is not as extensive as my heart deasires, I have been making great strives to make it richer and fuller.

        Dude…

        Was denn?

  • @Carrolade
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    274 months ago

    Since youtube’s algorithm started feeding me videos of multi-linguists running around and speaking lots of languages in various contexts, this seems accurate.

    Here’s one of them: https://youtu.be/CGi5W-gG-vs

    Oh, and East Asia is mostly all colored red, especially if your pronunciation is good.

    • @Godric
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      34 months ago

      Love seeing that guy and the reactions he gets, it’s inspiring!

  • @cybersandwich
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    254 months ago

    As an American who learned German, this is very accurate for the krautistanis.

    • @AnalogyAddict
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      104 months ago

      Until you get to a certain point, and then every German turns into your 10th grade German teacher .

      I hadn’t spoken German in 9 years, and the help desk lady at the airport told me if I don’t practice I won’t get better. At the airport.