Speaking native languages at work... - page 3

A Sacramento hospital this week passed around a questionare to its nurses. Here is the question... Diversity Council Needs You! To give us input on the question of staff members using their... Read More

  1. by   mario_ragucci
    Okay - I don't like my American English speaking classmates and friends who do not accomodate a non-native speaker by always talking in a speed-rap and using twisted words and sentence structure.
    Some folks talk to non-natives, in english, and get frustrated when they do not understand most venacular. Instead of using simple sentence structure and words, they expect everyone to speak and know english. I feel for the non-native english speakers who have to communicate with provincial Americans who can't imagine communicating in another language. I'm sorry :-(
  2. by   MollyMo
    Originally posted by SharonMH31
    As long as they're not speaking to me, it doesn't matter what language they speak. I worked in a hospital in El Paso where the predominate language spoken was Spanish and yet I never felt excluded or threatened.

    That makes 2 of us. I have to contend with Spanish,Tagalog, French, Creole, Yoruba, and British English. As long as it's English when you're speaking to me, say what you want how you want to each other. And I don't care if they're talking about me. If they don't have the brass to say it where I can understand it, no need to get my knickers in a twist.
  3. by   Mattigan
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    Okay - .
    Some folks talk to non-natives, in english, and get frustrated when they do not understand most venacular. Instead of using simple sentence structure and words, they expect everyone to speak and know english. I feel for the non-native english speakers who have to communicate with provincial Americans who can't imagine communicating in another language. I'm sorry :-(
    If someone is living in the United States of America I expect them to understand and speak English or to be making a concentrated attempt to learn. What language they speak at home is their business.

    If I move to - let's say Germany- I will not expect people to speak English for my benefit. It will be my responsibility to learn to speak and understand German.

  4. by   Scavenger'sWife
    I agree with NMA, and think it was an extremely well written response.

    It does not really bother me though...as long as I can tell it is a private conversation. It DOES upset me if there are several people talking and all of a sudden two of the people say a short "something" to each other in another language...especially if they then giggle! HEY! We ALL want to hear the joke, if you don't mind!

    I live in central Ohio, but we have a large and growing larger Hispanic population. I was recently on the elevator and two Hispanic doctors were the only other ones. They were having a conversation in Spanish. Now, my command of the language is weak, 5 years of it in high school in the late '60's - early '70's...but I still understood enough of the conversation to know it was about a couple of patients. (Breaking confidentiality) When I got off the elevator, I said, "Have a good day, and BTW...Yo comprendo espanol." Needless to say, they looked a little shocked! I absolutely do NOT look Hispanic (pale white skin, auburn hair), which is my point. If you (or others) are having a private conversation, be aware that you may be breaking confidentiality rules - and you never know WHO may understand you!
  5. by   zudy
    I have worked with many nationalities who spoke many different languages ( I now work in a hospital with people from 68 different countries) Somestimes when ther are a few people speaking another language and excluding others, I will walk by and say( in a joking tone) "Well, that's easy for YOU to say!" It seems say in a nice way to share with everyone, and everyone usually gets the point. I don't think it is acceptable to speak another language around pts. What if they are confused and disoriented? How scary could that be?
  6. by   Cherry Soda
    It is just really rude and insensitive

    Where I work they will go on and on and on in Phillipino or Tagalog or whatever and you KNOW that they are discussing you. They are "cliquey" enough without having to speak a foreign language too.

    bleh. I'm changing over to days where everyone speaks English.

  7. by   mario_ragucci
    Americans unintentionally have the worst diction, sentence structure and subject/verb schemes, and I sympathize with both english and ESL. We use heavy venacular here and thats fine, except when a person who is ESL can't keep up. Then communicating becomes a shmaze, which is why regaining structure in their own language is a given when they get the chance.
    I agree that all should speak english here, but i also think we American english speakers can improve our own language skills/set a better example. True: ultimately a person has to learn and adapt, but very few Americans can claim to be familiar with having to communicate in a second learned langauge. Love it, speak it, or leave it ! And thats that. I'm sorry :-(
  8. by   globalRN
    1. It would be rude to speak in native languages if you are not in a country where that native language is spoken and you are not in your own home

    2. It is also rude when other people are excluded from the conversation and #1 also applies.

    Exceptions are patients who are not fluent in English and require an interpretor
  9. by   apols_uk
    i am a foreign nurse and yes i agree its very unprofessional and rude because if two people speaks of another language ill be vey paranoid. i know it sounds un nationalistic but whenever im in a western countyr or elsewehere i speak in the best of my english
    even a co filipino nurse of mine tries to speak to me in tagalog i reply in english as to send her a message that we must be professional if she still doesnt get it i try to talk to her in private in a way thats not so bossy
  10. by   apols_uk
    nevertheless i am glad that my english colleagues are keen to learn the language. i have an english nurse in recovery and handed over to me completely in tagalog very impressive some of my workmates are slowly learning them that way they are less intimidated
  11. by   Scavenger'sWife
    I agree with Mario - Please speak English! And I also agree that Americans (I don't know how well this applies to other countries and their languages) speak very poor English and have poor understanding of sentence structure, a deplorable command of the language itself, and an extremely limited vocabulary. That is why I agree with including an English class in nursing programs. My son once complained about the need to take college English when he was striving for a computer degree. I said, "Well, it *IS* your native language and it would be wonderful if you knew how to speak it intelligently!"
  12. by   jnette
    Just a little bit of different perspective here... want to play devil's advocate for a minute...(although I agree with most of what has been said, especially around the patients and when discussing nursing assigments, etc.)

    BUT... imagine yourselves working in France, Germany..wherever, for whatever reason.

    You also happen to have several other nurses there from America. Would it not be the most natural thing in the world for you to "automatically" speak your native tongue with your fellow US nurses? And on breaks? Would you REALLY speak German or French with your US buddies? Must we always assume someone is talking about us when speaking another language? Why are we so paranoid?
    In Europe it is so common to hear other languages spoken at all times in the working environment and no one takes offense...
    They would never attempt to control your choice of conversational language in Germany if you happened to be from France, the US or wherever. When dicussing patient issues in the presence of a patient, yes.. otherwise no. Can't help but think it's rude and arrogant of US to expect others to ALWAYS speak OUR language at ALL times ! We have no right controlling anyone's choice of speaking their native tongue.. I feel it's wrong to do so. (again, I'm referring to personal conversations... which DO happen and should be allowed to happen even at work).

    Put the shoe on the other foot and just TRY to imagine yourself in a foreign country surrounded by a foreign language you had learned just to work there. Then finding yourself amongst "buddies" from the good ol' US ! I can't believe you'd never be speaking english with them at work...it would be the natural thing to do. Sure.. be concientious when discussing nursing issues with coworkers and make an effort to not appear to be alienating or "rude"... but don't tell me what language I'm allowed to speak or when... hey.. this IS America and part of its greatness is freedom of choice and freedom of speech.. in WHATEVER language!

    Just food for thought...I'm ready for the darts...

  13. by   Aussienurse2
    LOL! reminds me of when I was a student nurse in Sydney. I trained at a big hospital and in on of the wards we had a large group of girl from Hong Kong who gave handover in Chinese! But they then gave it to me in English, it was better that they give it in Chinese because it ment that they all knew what they were talking about and as I got it in English I knew what was going on. It never bothered me any.
    BTW, 'Strailin ( Australian) can be daunting to learn too!