WOW! This is a pretty well debated topic!
I thought I might toss my hat into the ring just because I have a unique perspective. After leaving the Army back in 1991 I decided to stay in Europe, Germany to be exact. I had taken German as my foreign language requirement in high school and became more fluent while working on fishing boats on the North Sea. I was also exposed to the languages of many other immigrant seafarers/fishworkers including Poles, Serbs, Croats, Portugese, and Spaniards. The ports of Europe are very diverse! Eventually I realized that a life of fishing wasn't for me. So, I used the opportunities that the german social government system provided, and went to nursing school. Not an american school in Germany, but a real, live German school;). I was actually accepted to two schools, and was asked at my first interview in very condescending and heavily accented English " Mr. Keener, we would consider having you attend our school, but do you understand German at all? " To which I answered in perfect North Sea dialect that yes I understood perfectly and that I was also no longer interested in attending their school! I studied at the Krankenpflegeschule Zentralkrankenhaus Reinkenheide in Bremerhaven, Germany for three FULL years, no spring break, no summer off, no trips to Panama City ( that would have been awesome! ) During which time I was required not only to speak and write the German I already knew, but to also learn medical/nursing German as well. My English knowledge was considered an asset at my work place, and many of my colleagues and patients enjoyed practicing with me, but in all professional situations I always spoke German out of common courtesy and mostly just to avoid plain old confusion!
About nine years ago I decided to return to the U.S. As a nurse educated in a foreign country I was required to follow the procedures needed to attain my licensing here, including the TOEFL! I worked as a PCA for nearly two years while the wonders of american beauracracy ( AKA CGFNS ) continually misplaced paperwork, changed procedure, and made my life a living nightmare! That would have never happened in Germany! Those guys are crazy about being organized! But I survived, passed the CGFNS, and the N-CLEX ( 76 questions in 1.5 hours, I thought I failed horribly at first! HAHA guess my german education was pretty damned good even after being out of school for almost six years! )
As someone who's been out and about, my only advice would be to step back take a deep breath and roll with whatever comes your way. Yeah, it sucks to be left out of a group, and that group shouldn't just be leaving you to fend for yourself! But I think it was some smart guy like Ghandi who said if you want to change something, start with yourself. I'm not saying learn the language, unless you really want to, but you can use the language that you share to make a friend, and become a member of the group maybe. Use your strengths and knowledge to create the environement that you want instead of reacting to the environment that you're being confronted with. Since I got out of the Army ( where I served proudly as a tank driver in Iraq! HUA! ) I always say to myself every day is a good day as long as no one is shooting at me!
I'm proud to be an American, but I'm fully aware of how small the world is becoming and how harmful it will be for us all if we are unable to work outside the confines of our own invisible borders.