My high school graduation present from my folks was being allowed to join my French class trip to France for a month. We circled the country by bus to learn different dialects/accents and spent the final week in Paris. Which means riding the Metro (subway). A LOT. The group consisted of 15 girls, 16-18 yo, all American, all blonde (just coincidence), my French teacher, her husband, and their two kids. One day we were riding back into downtown with just my teacher and us students, and a couple of Arab men started really harassing us, trying to grope us, speaking Arabic and making a lot of lewd gestures and suggestions. My teacher just ignored them, spoke to us in French continuing the instruction about wherever we'd visited that day. When we got to the station, she watched until they were outside the (one way) barrier. Then she ripped them a new one in fluent Arabic, including some choice street language. They turned bright red and were obviously furious and embarrassed but couldn't do a thing before our train pulled out. My French teacher grew up in Paris and sounds Parisian but was born in Egypt, learned Arabic before French, and also spoke fluent Spanish, German, Italian, and Greek. She was all of 4'6" but absolutely fierce.




It was awesome. I miss her.


Do you have any more stories?


About her? Nothing quite as epic, but there was a point where we took a day trip under Mont Blanc (there's a tunnel under the mountain that links France to Italy, it's a little more than 7 miles long) to go look at a Roman colosseum (not THE colosseum, just a colosseum-- there are lots). On the Italian side we had to stop to do paperwork (pre-EU, I'm old) and the customs officer complimented her on her French and told her she didn't sound like a tourist. We were driving 2 rental buses so his assumption was understandable but she took *immediate* offense. "Mais bien sûr, je suis Parisien, moi!" ("But of course, I am Parisian!") He stumbled all over himself apologizing and excusing himself. She was terrifying when angry.


> complimented her on her French Japanese people compliment you on your Japanese all the time. I eventually took to returning the compliment and telling them that theirs was good too.


Your 日本語 is very は上手ですね


You know you're actually getting good when they stop complimenting you.


She probably said '' Parisienne''


Correct, thanks for the catch!




That's 24,640 baguettes end to end.


Heeeyyyyy, you're not the real useless converter bot!


I did the math


You did the baguette math


How did it pan out?


Did you actually?


You did the monsieur math!


Or about 53760 French croissants, give or take.


Take please - delicious!


But croissants are not straight, they are curved.


Just double his count and link them together like a barrel of monkeys.


8 mile is a movie


11,27 km


63,360 feet 316,800 toes


Haha! Nice


I miss her too. And I haven't met her.


I once knew a nurse who was born in Saudi Arabia, where her parents were long-term ex-pats. She initially spoke more Arabic learnt from her nursemaid than English. Much, much later she was at the departure lounge of an airport on a trip back to Saudi Arabia to see her parents. She overheard a group of Arab businessmen and recognised one of them as the father of one of her schoolfriends. They were, in Arabic, making some pretty lewd and loud comments about some of the women in the lounge. Just before it was time to board, she got up, went over to the father, and in perfect Arabic, said "Oh, how nice to see you again, you *must* give my regards to [daughter's name.]" and walked off with a big smile to all of them. (Supplementary story: During the first Gulf War, her mother, wearing a full face-cover as required to go outside theid compound, passed some American troops stood on a street corner. She overheard them expressing sadness about what beauty might be hidden behind the veils. She stopped, and said "Oh, you might be disappointed there, love!" in her best Cockney accent.


Awesome 😂


We had some sort of the same experience in Berlin, only more stupid. It was with a very small group, i think like 10 students max, accompanied by 3 teachers. We were on a bus going to one of museum and a group of youngster started heckling us but... in plain English. As we are from Belgium we totally understood them but just chose to ignore them and kept talking in Dutch. All until we were almost at our stop... Miss S. our english teacher waited till the bus stopped, signed the driver to wait to open the doors and started to tear these brads a new one, in perfect Oxford English. What a sight!


If you think nobody understands you, just because you speak English somewhere in Europe you are probably not the sharpest tool in the shed. It's the preferred first foreign language in most schools. Also most movies only get Dutch subtitles. Full dubbing is extremely rare. So many Dutch speakers will at least understand English and probably some German. In case of Belgium French too.


Yeah but Dutch people assume that other nationalities (Belgian/Flemish excepted ) don't understand Dutch. I was married to Dutch lady and am pretty good in Dutch. Was on a train in England next to two Dutch girls, one was giving the other a loud description of what she did with her boyfriend the night before. When I left the train I wished them a good evening and a pleasant stay in England, in Dutch of course. Their faces were a picture. My wife was in a train with our kids and two Dutch ladies were criticising the kids, their behaviour, clothes and parenting. My wife let them go on for a while and then let on she was Dutch. They just got up and hurried away.


LOL I live in NL and I'm from Brazil and half-Japanese, so I look vaguely Asian 🤷🏻‍♀️ If I had a cent for the times people assumed I don't speak Portuguese, English or Dutch I'd have enough money for a couple of beers and a portion of bitterballen 🤣🤣


Upvote for the bitterballen. Neem er nog een stroopwafel bij.


Oooooooh lekker. Kopje koffie?


Recent artisanale kalfs bitterballen gegeten, nu dat was een ervaring. Ongelooflijk lekker, dikke aanrader


I’m from the United States (Texas) and, sadly, only speak English and I understand “redneck” but don’t speak it. (I do understand some Spanish & can speak some very very basic Spanish, so I only really know one language). However, I worked with some South Africans for close to 20 years and I recognize “lekker”. So please excuse me for a few minutes while I parade around with my chest puffed out feeling very internationally savvy.


I'll translate my original comment loosely I recently ate some delicious deepfried handmade made croquettes filled with veal ragu (Bitterballs/bitterballen). They were absolutely delicious. In Belgium we have fry culture. Once or twice a week people eat fries. We have many fastfood places who specialize in it. I'm eating there now while writing this. Bitterballen are a traditional cheap but delicious snack to eat with your fries. Others at bickey burgers, curry worst, chicken fingers, mini loempia's, nuggets, boulet. Each fry places (called frituur/frietkot) has at least 8 to 20 different types of sauce for the fries. Including one called American sauce (which is not American at all). We're very proud of our fries and the culture around it.


Most of the time, that is also a save assumption, as Dutch is only spoken in a few countries, and it is not a language often learned by non locals (or even internationals living in the Netherlands). That said: you find Dutch people everywhere, so the 'experienced travelers' know that they are never 'safe'.


Another problem - a german will likely understand at least parts of what you are saying.


And a german that speaks german AND english will understand almost everything of whats being said.


You mean most Germans right?


> It's the preferred first foreign language in most schools. In Finland it's *an optional choice for a compulsory second language* ~~a compulsory foreign language~~!


Sweden too, it's our second language. When i was a kid we started in 3rd grade, now they start in 1st.


My friend has just been to Stockholm for her son's wedding. The service was in Swedish and English (his wife is an English teacher anyway) but apparently everyone she met spoke perfect English anyway. And quite a few were neither English nor Swedish. As Brit, I find my own lack of language skills (I speak a bit of several) a bit embarrassing, but with English being the new Lingua Franca (ho ho) we do get little exposure unless we travel, and a week in Portugal every now and again is hardly major exposure to the language.


It really is all about that exposure! As a Finn, I was taught both English and Swedish in school, with a touch of French in high school, but due to not really having French or Swedish speakers around me in my day-to-day, I have all but forgotten most of both :D Duolingo doesn't do it for me. English is a daily occurrence both in media consumption and communication (see: reddit) so there's no worry there.


Same here, i took french for my third language and spanish for my fourth. But since i didnt speak any of them they faded over the years. Now i cant speak but i can understand if they speak slowly. It annoys me, but my wife lived in France for 16 years and is of latin American decent, so she speaks all 4. Im guessing it's time to brush up again.


Don’t feel bad. My Mom, born here in the US but in a predominantly Finnish town, only spoke Finnish until she was 8 years old and only remembers a few words now. Without practice as an adult, you loose it. My Dad, with German, had the same result despite his parents speaking German at home until he left for military at 17. Home was the only place he heard it as his aunts and uncles rarely spoke German after WW2.


Upvoted for pointing out the sublime inherent irony of the term "Lingua Franca". I love contradictory terms like those. Another favourity is "colloquialism".


Yeah, same for us! It's technically our second too, since while Swedish is still our official second, we start learning English earlier :D


English is not required, but most do it because it is the most common. We have to study both official languages (Finnish and Swedish) and on top of that one another, but it can be other than English. Source: Finnish who did not study English as their A-language


German or French i might understand that you think tourists don't understand you. But English... it is so common in Europe to atleast have notions of it. Being pulled apart in Oxford English is a whole next level :) As I faintly remember this also was the biggest part of my teachers rant #TeachersGotToTeach


>As we are from Belgium we totally understood them but just chose to ignore them and kept talking in Dutch. Just for the record, the mutilated tongue twisting vibrations that come out of Belgian mouths is not Dutch. Alleez, zedde gij al bij den frituur geweest?


I take offence to this... You are not wrong though 😁


And now we know why Flemish people don't like Dutch people. My Dutch wife pretended to be English in Flanders, got treated a lot better.


Interestingly, my Dutch sister noticed she was treated better in Wallonia once people figured out that even though she spoke Dutch she wasn't Flemish...


We don’t talk as plat as you are describing :p


r/ispeakthelanguage Edit: proper sub name


Shit I know we dind't have the same teacher but she sounds like my HS French teacher. Woman was born in Ireland and Gaelic was her actual first language but she spoke 7 others including Mandarin. And was probably 100lbs soaking wet and so pale you could see pretty much all her veins. She also drank coffee like water like a whole 32oz mug per class.


Your teacher's description sounds like they're a human chihuahua. Short and fierce, and vicious with their bark


My wife is 4'9". Speaks 2 languages fluently and swears in 5. She terrifies most people when she is riled up. I of course think she's adorable when she's all fired up. Every so often I piss her off deliberately just for fun. Then she gets hotter because I'm laughing, which of course makes me laugh harder. It's a vicious cycle from there.


Dynamite comes in small packages. Do not fuck with women under 5' tall. They will find a way to destroy you.




She sounds like my daughters French teacher, except she's Turkish.


you may not know it but 4'6'' is the best punchline I've heard on the redd this week (and there's been some beauties)


A fine example in another post today: https://www.reddit.com/r/facepalm/comments/r7kgbi/a_guy_parked_next_to_this_womans_car_and_she/ from about 0:55, but worth watching the whole thing.


"Didn't you know speaking 2 languages when I can barely speak one makes you look unedumacated?"


Say you're racist without saying you're racist.


I was in a class trip to London and we were mixed up with a French class. Usually, groups were the Italians (us) on one side, and the French on the other, often saying...less than nice things about us. Then one day the whole group has to work together, and when they don't understand an English word I redo the whole sentence in French. Their faces were priceless as they realised I could understand them all along.


A woman I worked for once was about as Greek as they come, though born in the US. There was a phone call with some collaborators one day, and they just weren’t getting it that their request for our team just was not possible. Like at all. My very Greek boss was just beyond frustrated. Her next line was “you’re not getting this, shall I try it in Greek or French for you?” (She got her masters in Paris and her PhD in the States). The collaborators were just stunned when she broke out the Greek, then the French. They also agreed to our timeline. Cracked us up to no end, even if it wasn’t the most “professional” moment


Did you count the number of times the word Malaka or any variation thereof came up?


Someone scribbled "You are a malaka" in a bathroom stall in a bar I used to frequent all the time back in the day. I always chuckled whenever I went to pee in that stall.


"She's into malakas, Dino!"


Gary, Wyatt, and Lisa just being cool.


Don’t leave us hanging; what does it mean?


It means wanker


I'm the daughter of one German immigrant and the granddaughter of 2 ( the other 2 never left Germany). Basically, I'm about as German as you can get & still be born in the US. I've also inherited my late father's beloved 1988 Mercedes, which is now my daily driver. Not long after I got it, I made the cosmic mistake of driving it to get dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. I had just parked & gotten out to lock it when this old guy starts yelling at me about " 'Mericans should buy 'Merican!!" and similar BS. In a rare moment of inspiration, I just gave him a confused look and said, " Ach, Entschuldigung, aber Ich verstehe kein Englisch. Was sagen sie?" ("I'm sorry, but I don't understand English. What are you saying?" Old fart's jaw hit the floor. He never expected *that* response. Served the jerk right.


if he wants americans to buy american then maybe he should encourage them to buy japanese since so many of their cars are produced in america while american cars are produced elsewhere such as mexico.


No kidding... I've owned an American car, a Japanese car, and now a German car. The German car is now almost 35 years old and still extremely reliable. (1988 Mercedes). The Japanese car put up with 15 years of solid use and abuse with only 1 very, very minor mechanical problem that was so minor I never even bothered to fix it. (2000 Honda Civic). The American car was special-ordered from the factory, was broken in multiple ways from the moment we got it, and it took the dealer 3 months, 16 shop visits, and one hell of a verbal @$$-chewing from my Dad to figure out it had a cracked engine block. Even after the engine was (supposedly) fixed, the car still had one problem after another. Yeah...... I'll stick with German and Asian cars, thanks. (Although at the rate it's going, the dang Mercedes will outlive me as well.....)


1 million miles per engine, 2 engines per Mercedes.


especially if it's a van


Bugger off, I’m a 1988 model and not *nearly* 35! /s


I think you're emphasizing the wrong word there. As a fellow 1988 model, I'd emphasize the *not* instead.


Now I miss my 2000 Civic EX 2 door. Loved that car. Had to trade it in when we had our daughter and needed a four door instead.


German engineering is flat-out insane.


Not anymore, used to be up to the nineties or so. Especially in a car industry. Since accountants took over engineering jobs it is a different story. Modern engines are overcomplicated due to millions of environmental rules to follow and are not that reliable as they used to be.


Man, this is such a pet peeve of mine. I am german and I pride myself on said german engineering, but it seems chasing the bottom line and as such the bottom is becoming increasingly normal. Makes me sad. For the stuff I do I at least try to keep the spirit of it....


Im a big fan of Volkswagens. Bang for the buck you get so many more features and a nicer ride than any of their American competitors imo. Right now I have a Jetta, Ford doesn't even sell sedans any more. And the Chevrolet Malibu doesn't come close. And I plan on trading up to an atlas in the Future.I would need to spend thousands more to get a comparably equipped Tahoe, or Explorer. The payments were hundreds in difference when I looked recently. And honestly I would love to get my hands on an old Harlequin.


This. Certainly in UK car reliability surveys, the German manufacturers have been slipping down the rankings for a long time now, just average.


Yup. That's what our beloved M-Bs do! I have (sadly) had a couple or six of 'em totalled (never my fault, got the insurance settlements to prove it). BUT I have not yet been able to wear one out, and I've been doing my level best trying to! First one was....a 1988 Mercedes-Benz sedan. *chef's kiss*


Mine's a 260E (W124). My Dad (at first) mostly bought it because it was cheaper than a new Buick. The fact he'd been a Mercedes fan since he was a little kid in Germany had *nothing* to do with it, I'm sure..... (Ha!) My Mom was livid when he bought it, because she sent him to look at it and he ended up pretty much buying it on the spot. ( Yes, without consulting her.) She got over that pretty quickly, tho. I just love it to death. It's a delightfully cushy, very agile tank that likes to go too fast for the Indiana highways it's stuck on.


American cars are garbage. I extrapolated this from the fact that literally every single person I know who owns a car has bought Japanese cars despite having every opportunity to buy American cars instead.


It's hard to say. the 1991 Honda accord we had was made in Marysville, Ohio, and a lot of the steel was from Ohio too. It had more American steel and labor in it than the GM car we had in the 1980s.


I hear the f-150 is alright...that's about it


alter Schweinhund...


A guy I went to high school with in the late '80's spoke 7 languages, fluently. Both of his parents were born in other countries and grew up with the language. Mom spoke the and dad spoke 4, but not the same other than English. He would cuss you out in all 7 language... in one sentence. He loved fucking with the principal.


The amount of secondhand smugness I got just from reading this will keep me smirking for hours.




Some people just get so worked up when they hear others speak a different language. I guess their ego takes a hit and they need to feel superior? A German Karen tried to one up us once at a restaurant in Berlin. We were visiting my family there and my wife and I were at dinner with my German cousin and his wife. He spoke German & Cantonese, his wife spoke German & English, we spoke English & Cantonese so the conversation around the table was pretty wild. Karen and her family were only speaking in German up until I guess they started hearing our conversation. I caught her glaring at us a few times until she snapped at her kids and told her kids (in French) to speak French. Kids were obviously confused and started asking why (in French) and Karen snapped "Because it's good practice!" From then on she had this smug look on her face when she glanced over at us while speaking to each other in French. They were definitely talking about us as I heard "chinois" in their conversation. I had a hard time not laughing out loud, and told our table in Cantonese what was going on. Cousin had to whisper in German to his wife what was up. What Karen didn't know was my wife and I were visiting from *Canada* and can understand French. Granted, mine's pretty bad but my wife's French is passable, so we could understand their entire conversation. We had a good laugh about that. TL;dr: German Karen hears us speak German/English/Cantonese and tries to feel superior switching to French in front of Canadians.


My friend married a great woman from Beijing. She has a language related degree... One day we were sitting in a Chinese restaurant here in Berlin (called 369, it's awesome!), the owners kids were playing at a table next to us (or doing homework? Anyways...). My friend's wife says: "I've really been around on China, and I thought I knew all the languages from there. But I can't recognize what these kids are saying!" I started to listen. She couldn't understand because these kids were talking German in the thickest Berlin accent I've ever heard.


My wife is from Hong Kong and has family in Scotland. She has two cousins who speak English with the strongest Glaswegian accent I have ever heard. Their Cantonese also has a Glaswegian twang that I really like.


The idea that Glaswegian-inflected Cantonese exists tickles me to no end.


i would love to hear that in person. I’ve never heard of that kind of combination before


That's hilarious


I had a mate once who I rped with - his english was flawless, his american accent perfect. He was a german like me and him talking in german: it was horrifying XD I could barely understand him.


How in the living universe do you mistake German for a Chinese dialect?


I believe that China has not only dialects but different languages, so they can sound very different from one another. Berlin dialect is somewhat rare in this part of town... But I believe the main thing is: After not recognizing the first few sentences, she didn't expect the kids to speak German. I once made a similar mistake with (and that's gonna be embarrassing) Swiss language (which is fairly different sounding from German as in Germany), and...SWEEEEDISH.


Not even really that surprised. I often have difficulty deciphering people if I don't know what language they're speaking. Especially if it's an overheard conversation and I'm listening for a different language than what they're speaking. There's a surprising amount of overlap in sounds we all make.


German and Cantonese. Now that's a really rare combination.


Pretty strange, but given that the poster and his cousin spoke Cantonese, fair bet to say they or their parents are from Canton province. Just two branches of the family immigrated to different places.


I was thinking they moved from HK in the 80s and 90s. After all, Vancouver's nickname is "little HK" (poster's profile suggests he's from there). Also, Germany gets comparitively little Chinese immigration. So it's really rare that the cousin can speak German and Cantonese but apparently not English.


Yeah, cousin's family emigrated from HK to W Germany. In the 90s 'Hongcouver' was a term thrown around sometimes due to the increased immigration from HK pre handover in '97. People were wanting to get overseas citizenship in case China did what they ended up doing 20 years later. Now though, it's mainly immigration from mainland China so Mandarin is becoming more dominant locally. Cantonese speakers are the 'oldtimers' generally. I haven't heard any Van/HK references like that in years.


I imagine that -- at least few decades ago -- it was probably more common than German and *Mandarin*, considering all the international travel/expats/business in Hong Kong compared to the less-connected mainland.




Or that Venn diagram with "you can only choose two"


reminds me from a story from our local country sub. this guy had been in japan for years and spoke passable japan. he's in Helsinki, travellin in a tram when he tunes in to a conversation between two japanese tourists behind them. they speak so loudly that it's almost impossible not to hear them. the couple has a conversation about the people in the tram. they make fun of an overweight woman, comment on someone's hair etc. after a while the guy turns around and says to them in japanese: 'do you realize that a lot of people in finland understand japanese, but they're just being polite towards you'. they both went completely silent and they got off the next stop in a hurry.


Oh this happened to us in Quebec! My family had flown out of Montreal because flights were cheaper for a family vacation to Spain. My mom refuses to speak to us in except in Mandarin, so we're in the luggage transpo with this older Quebecois couple, chatting away in Mandarin like you do. The woman behind us starts making fun of us and telling us to speak French or go home, in French. Except.... My sister and I were educated here and we both speak French just fine, even Quebecois, and even my mom speaks a bit because of work. Plus you know, we have the passports and everything. I kept my mouth shut because my mom usually hates it when I argue with old people in public, but when I told her what they'd been saying afterwards, she told me I should've told them to "Tais-toi!"


It's great fishin' in que-bec.


Nice day for fishin', ain't it? Huh-huh!


Next time tell them René Lévesque has been dead for a while now and they need to move on an open up to the world. (Not saying Levesque was xenophobic. I'm saying that a lot of French intolerant people got validated by his love for Quebec and the French language.)


Aww, you should have switched to French just to see the look on her face!


We thought about it! But we had already had a crazy German grandma yell and repeatedly ram us with her walker on the U Bahn that afternoon until other passengers intervened. So we didn't want to antagonize more locals.


Wtf, Berlin is such an international city, they should really be used to people speaking different languages.


Once my great aunt and uncle who are Lebanese and Egyptian and living in the US, were visiting us in Germany, the conversation was a mix between German, English, French and Arabic, which everyone spoke in different combinations and levels xDD I only speak the first two so I missed a lot, my Lebanese Granddad speaks all of them I believe. That was the only time I ever saw them in person but I loved them a lot :D


Only in America does being bilingual (or quad-lingual in this case) make someone think you are uneducated.


I used to work with a sales team that included a woman born in Argentina (Spanish), raised in Italy (Italian), worked in the US (American English), and married a man from China (Mandarin). She was fluent in all and spoke English with an Italian accent. She was assigned an account and called the client to introduce herself. He (an American) stated that he didn't "do business with people who have accents." Epically, she responded, "Do you know what my accent means? It means I know one more language than you." Loved her. And he became her best client. (edit - spelling is hard)


How do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual How do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual How do you call someone who speaks just one language? American


Thats not really fair, I grew up in rural Australia 4h away from any city, and didn't meet anyone that spoke another language or get internet access until my mid teens, and still haven't had an opportunity to go overseas(was planning to go to 2020 TOKYO, but alas...) While I certainly don't feel a sense of superiority over the fact I only speak one language unlike some, if there is no opportunity, there is no opportunity. By the age of 12 I had read every (non-adult)book in our house and knew every country in the world([as of 2002](https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/203648792233?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=705-139619-5960-0&mkcid=2&itemid=203648792233&targetid=1278276341267&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9071929&poi=&campaignid=12502547496&mkgroupid=120033763182&rlsatarget=pla-1278276341267&abcId=9300512&merchantid=114842190&gclid=Cj0KCQiAnaeNBhCUARIsABEee8Xcn2xp7UgzFa3BBDcVLIeH6Oq_Q4JosGL-D9uWp2CNMKq4kToxTywaAu4lEALw_wcB), several years outdated when I read it, but read cover to cover dozens of times nonetheless, because it was all I had). To be honest, knowing languages is mainly a matter of circumstance, though people often judge others based on that very circumstance. Some people speak spanish due to have mexican heritage, but rather than judge them based on their skill, knowing another language, some will judge them based on the circumstance, their mexican heritage. Being American but knowing French, circumstance is probably wealthy private school education on the other hand, so it will be received positively. You can't always tell whether someone's situation is due to themselves or their circumstances, but the attainments that are due to better circumstances are often used as a way to gatekeep people from less privileged backgrounds.


>. Being American but knowing French, circumstance is probably wealthy private school education on the other hand, so it will be received positively. Random American cultural note: French is actually not that uncommon (my podunk high school in the boonies had French and Spanish). Something like Russian or Dutch is far less common, and would be a sign of privilege in a high school. That said, I agree with your sentiment.


Only if you're poor. If you're rich and white, it's classy.


But only EUROPEAN languages. Americans don't know about Spain.


Lmao. My high school Spanish teacher for 3 years was originally from Barcelona, white and blonde. Every year, there'd always be an exchange along these lines: Kid: Where did you learn your Spanish? Teacher: I'm from Barcelona. My family came to the US when I was in my teens. Kid: Where's that? Teacher: Spain. Kid: But why do you speak Spanish? Teacher: I *am* Spanish. Kid: But you're from Europe! Then she'd segue into a brief geography lesson of Spanish speaking countries. I'm white myself, and speak passable Spanish from a combination of school and living in California my whole life. You would think given we're in California that it wouldn't be a shock if any random person knows Spanish, but so many people are shocked I can speak it. I always want to ask if they're aware of why so much of the Americas speak Spanish in the first place. Hint: Europeans!


Isn't that where they speak Spainglish?


No, that's Texaco.


Just don't put in 1 gallon of gas in your car or you might be mistaken for Jack Benny.


God forbid anyone remembers Portuguese exists too


You mean the version of Mexican they speak in Brazil, right?


I'm Spanish and I spent a year in the US. Since I'm white and European, people thought it was "so beautiful" and "passionate" when they would hear me speak Spanish. Then my mom came to visit, and she is also Spanish but has much darker skin than me and doesn't speak English. People would shout at her in the street telling her to go back to her country. Someone in a shop assumed she was my maid. So racism definitely has something to do.


I travelled all over Spain ready with my trusty Mexican-style Spanish, but people spoke Catalan, Galician or Euskadi everywhere I went. (I never made it to Madrid.)


I always thought it was interesting that signs in Barcelona are in Catalan, then English, then Spanish (if there was space).


Hilaria Baldwin has entered the chat


Would you be referring to [this post, by any chance?](https://www.reddit.com/r/MurderedByWords/comments/r6l7j1/a_roller_coaster_from_beginning_to_end/)


In the uk happens too. I have an accent (north spain) but I don’t look stereotypical spanish at all (I am very pale and redhead). And I have so many stories of this morons trying to “humilliate me” for my nationality when I open my mouth...Or that I “stole their jobs”...yeah sure John, they are going to hire you, a person with no qualification whatsoever that smells like crap. Sure


Nah, there is something like that in most places. In the UK it used to be thought - not that long ago - that growing up bilingual hurt your intelligence. I imagine some still think that.




Nah, here in Germany there is/was also a stigma around speaking turkish. Being bilingual in german and french = good | being bilingual in german and turkish = bad


Speaking multiple languages makes you look uneducated and me uncomfortable because I only know one language and am very educated. -Karen


i'm sure their foremost thoughts are borderline or completely racist, like 'if you must come here and steal my tax money, you might as well speak the local language'. this is naturally funny when they do it to tourists who bring in money to the country.


I am convinced that people who object to other languages in public are just pissed they cant eavesdrop on the conversation .


Learning multiple languages just to eavesdrop rn


Fr/Sp/Ger/Eng/Por.... It's so much fun to eavesdrop




Reminds me of the one time some family was gossiping about me in German. Being half-German, but also half-African can be funny at times. After 10 minutes of gossiping I just turned around and reminded the family, not to forget their shopping bags: in German. It's the little things in life.


Oh this is great. I had a incident walking out of a grocery store. Bear with me. My son is an American kid. He was born at a US Navy hospital while I was putting warheads on foreheads. That’s as American as you can get. However comma space he’s lived in Quebec in an ethnically French suburb of Montreal. He legit has the Pepi Le Pew accent. Francais is his native language. I’m the only person that speaks English to him. We were walking to the car and we are going back and forth in my broken French. Some jabroni says you should teach your son English. My son, with out skipping a beat, tells this ball bag that he was born in a US Navy hospital while my dad underwater launching cruise missiles. Is that American enough for you? Bahahaha.


The first thing that comes to mind when I hear someone speak Spanish is "Oh, they speak Spanish" True story.


Then the second is, "I wish I could."


My partner speaks several languages, Finnish, Swedish, German, English, and passable Malay, and some Arabic. We were in London and she was chatting to our son who at the time is 2 and he understands English/Finnish very well and is slowly getting on with speaking Finglish/gibberish. They were talking in Finnish about the pretty cars (he's a car nut) and trucks that were going past and I was a few steps behind and I look quite Scandi (blonde hair and beard). Suddenly I heard some scouse screeching about how my partner and son should get back to whichever part of Russia they had come from and a bit more abuse... My partner looked at them a bit dumbfound and before she could say anything, I butted in and said my son was born in London, so he's got more right to be here than they do and that if you are going to be that rude and crass, that they should go forth back to Liverpool and multiply... They were a bit shocked that I spoke with quite a broad north Yorkshire accent and not Finnish/Russian, being Im actually a Northern monkey.


I've met a guy in my old Brazilian jiu-jitsu class in Chelmsford that fitted your description - massive blond & bearded guy, thought I was going to hear a Swedish accent when he spoke. But no, he was from northern England. Can't remember if he was from near Sheffield or near Manchester though - can't remember how exactly he sounded.


The US public education system basically denies students any chance at that kind of polyglotism unless parents step in, or the kid works very hard in high school and college. Schools require a couple of years of 1 language in high school. And the choices are usually limited. To get Russian, Or an Asian language, you have to be in a private school or a rich or magnet public school. And failing to provide that opportunity while the kids are young squanders an chance to exploit the development stage where their brains are very receptive to it. So it's not Karen's fault she only knows English. I was educationally privileged enough to study many years of two different languages and am not fluent, tho I could be if I made it my job for several months. It is her fault that she is a terrible person.


I speak fluent French and English. When I was a cashier, a woman and her mother came through my line and I asked if they found everything. The woman asked where something we didn’t carry was. I told her as much. She said, in French, to her mother, “What a lazy worker. She just doesn’t want to show us.” I responded, in English, “I’m not lazy. We truly don’t have it.” Both she and her mother we shocked and didn’t say another word the entire interaction.


Was visiting Miami Beach with a friend for vacationpurposes :) We walked down the Beachpromenade (Ocean Drive) and one of these Segwaybased "i want to sell you a tour"-guys tries to sell us something (Everglade-tour i think). I said "thanks but we already did that tour" and i thought this was it, he replies "you just dont want to buy from me because i´m german"... a dumb face later i ask "oh welch ein Zufall, woher aus Deutschland?" (what a coincidence, from where in germany?), he just vanished after that.... scary people there :)


Glad to hear that they could leave laughing without a Karen the world!


*I see what you did there*




*Very angry upvote*


Reminds me when I was on a train in the Netherlands with my Dutch wife and BIL. Some old lady was complaining about my wife and her brother speaking English, explaining it was "rude". My wife and BIL then switched to French and then German and eventually just speaking Dutch and saying "it is so rude when people just want to listen in on conversations that have nothing to do with them".


A friend of mine is fluent in Spanish and speaks some Japanese and French. He was at a Japanese restaurant where two men were speaking Spanish in a derogatory manner about the staff. Using racial slurs and the such. My friend called them out in Spanish. Some of the staff thanked him... in Spanish.


Why people do this is beyond me. You're not speaking in secret code there, chief, that's the fourth-most spoken language on planet Earth. If you want a secret code, go learn to speak Esperanto or toki pona or something else that's super-obscure


The sad part of this, is I reckon Karen didn't identify them as different languages from each other, merely as "not-English".


This reminds me about of an interaction my SO witnessed on a city bus. There were a few South Asian students talking to eachother in Urdu, not particularly loudly but in an enclosed space you can tell they were speaking another language. Some Male Karen yelled at them to "speak English". One of them casually walks upto him and in perfect English asked him why their personal conversation upset him so much and why is it so upsetting that they were talking in their own language. Male Karen says something along the lines of "I just don't like it", which was met with a "Sorry it upsets you but we're allowed to talk to eachother." He went back to his friends and they continued their conversation. Male Karen just whined to himself the rest of the ride.


This is just beautiful. I've tried something like this, but _never_ so perfectly!!


This story makes me so freaking happy. My better half with very brown skin (I am basically translucent next to him) is a brilliant blue collar guy....who speaks 5 languages fluently.


I took my oldest daughter to Paris as a college graduation present (she earned it, trust me). We were in Notre Dame and I noticed a flyer advertising a concert of Gregorian Chants that night. We bought our tickets and came back that evening ... late. We didn't judge the time well it would take from our hotel. We literally ran from the Metro a block to the Cathedral. Ticket holders were already inside and seated. There was long line of people who were turned away. My daughter ran up to the man at the shut gate and asked politely (in French) to be admitted. He shook his head no. They went back and forth. He became more stubborn and my daughter escalated the argument, shaking our tickets in his face. No idea what she said but he finally shrugged and let us in. We found our seats in a side nave, still breathing hard from the run. I whispered to her I had no doubt she was fluent if she could win an argument with a Frenchman. It was a magnificent concert. Maybe 6 - 8 (?) monks approached from the side chanting as they walked to the front. The acoustics made it sound like a grand choir. Definitely a highlight. She already spoke Spanish, added workable German, but is really fluent in Mandarin. Me, I can navigate a Mexican restaurant menu, but that's it.


I'm not fluent in Spanish but I know enough to get by. I was working at a restaurant and all of the BOH is Mexican. Cool, I'm part Mexican and mostly liked my coworkers. However there was one guy who constantly would talk shit about me in Spanish like I didn't know what he was saying. One day he said something really bad and vulgar about my mom and didn't think I'd understand. I called his ass out in English and then asked him if he wanted to discuss it further in the parking lot in Spanish. Yes we did end up fighting and he lost. I ended up quitting the job tho. Working as a dishwasher fucking sucks.


Whenever I start to think I am smarter than my wife, which happens less and less as time goes by, I remind myself that she speaks 5 languages fluently. That she didn’t study English until high school, and that she speaks better English that 98% of the people I know


I am a gay American man, and in college I did a semester abroad in a small city in Northern Spain. I am not a native Spanish speaker, but am fluent. The city is not very "cosmopolitan", and most of the population didn't speak or understand English. One day I was walking to classes, and I started hearing some guys behind me saying homophobic things in American English. I forget exactly what they were saying, but it wasn't about me. I am not particularly flamboyant; they couldn't have known I was gay. I turned around and noticed it was a group of Mormon kids on their mission. I ignored them and went to class. A few days later my friends and I took a walk to the mall. And what do you know, I hear the same voices behind me, again having a homophobia-laden conversation. (I still wonder why they were so obsessed with talking about gay people.) At that point I had enough. I turned around and told them that they are not the only people who speak English in the city and that their language was offensive, immature, and bigoted. They gave me the whole durr-dee-durr and then ended up asking if I was interested in the LDS faith and if I wanted to have an appointment with them. So I said sure, and made the appointment. (I was definitely not interested in joining the LDS church at all.) Some days later I arrive punctually at their office, but decide to only speak Spanish. I ask them to give me their hour-long spiel in Spanish, and I asked them highly critical theological questions, in Spanish. All I got was some more durr-dee-durrs with their much more rudimentary Spanish, and I said "gracias" and left. I have all kinds of stories like this.


Stories like these always makes me wanna learn more languages! I usually lose interest within two weeks though :(


When called too late at night (varies by mood/attitude), I'll tend to answer in Japanese (I'm a white American), but will also go with Korean, Chinese, or Filipino (Tagalog). No longer _fluent_ in any of those, but still remember **enough**.


This was from a post on Facebook about bilingualism being bad. “This morning, I was in a class when a professor said this: "Most kids in America grew up in monolingual homes. If they have more than one language, it should not have happened." Not only that is so wrong, it was actually proven that anyone who know more than one language is smarter. Then he asked the class, "I want to know how many people here who grew up with two or more languages." Three-fourths of the class (73 in total) raised their hands. Each of them know either Spanish, ASL, English, French, Italian, you name it. Then, one Deaf African male sitting next to me told the professor that he is fluent in five spoken languages (four of them are African languages) plus six sign languages. At that, the professor dismissed the class.”


Karen's only want them to speak english to know what was being said, not that it's their business, but they want to be part of someone else's conversation, even if they don't know them


Some people assume that anyone speaking a language they don't know is talking about them and get upset https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30708247


I would love to be multilingual but my linguistic skills are somewhat lacking in that area. I speak one language and even that one not great! When I deal with people at work who’s first language isn’t English I will go out of my way to Make that experience the least stressful possible. I can’t imagine moving to a country where you don’t fluently speak the language


We Singaporeans already speak English to each other even in Singapore (within and between the three main Asian races), let alone in Anglophone countries, so bigots have one less reason to attack us ;)


But we have Singlish ma. I can see Karens screeching about it already.


many people where I am from speak Franglaise. A wild and crazy mix of English and French and depending on what part of the Province you live in, there might be some Gaelic tossed in for good measure lol


Lmao Singlish is English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil tossed together in a salad.


that sounds so awesome!


If you ever come here you confirm cannot understand if we speak full on singlish to you one. I myself cannot consciously speak full singlish, only half singlish like the sentence above. But I can code switch easily.


I can confirm that. I was in a bank in Singapore about 35 years ago waiting to get a credit card cash advance, behind me were a couple of nice young ladies taking to each other, it wasn’t until I had been overhearing their conversation for more than 10 minutes that I realised they weren’t speaking any of the Chinese languages just full speed singlish.


Welcome to Singapore, how much of our sentences do you want rojak'ed? Rojak is a salad dish served here, and it means in singlish a clusterfucky mess.


Confirm lah. Can speak half Manglish (am Ang Moh though). Sometimes very confusing wan meh. I know Manglish (for those unaware - casual melting pot of Malay, English, Cantonese, Hokkien, and Tamil) is not exactly equivalent to Singlish but I guess got enough crossover.


Rabak sial these rojak languages


My brain automatically added 'lah' to the end of your sentence.


Casual racism is strong in this one.


i've always wondered why some people take it so personally when they hear a language spoken they don't understand. it's even more odd when the foreign language speakers are tourist couples or friends, who obviously have no point in switching to english or other local language just to communicate with each other.


Many years ago, I was working on the checkout lane at a mart of walls in a small suburb outside of Houston. I was checking out a family. All of the sudden the mother yells out in Hebrew “Where are my keys? I can’t find my keys!” Before anyone else could respond, I said (in Hebrew) “Your daughter put them in your pocket”, while I continued scanning their purchases. It did cause a bit of embarrassment as they suddenly realized this native Texan teenager had understood everything they’d been saying.


I love it! I would have done the same!!


> …and confrontations really aren’t something I’m looking for in my life. Besides, these two didn’t need to ANYONE’S help. Hey, that’s totally fine too. Many don’t realize that Karen-Owning *is* a spectator sport as well. It’s very effective in any of the variations of the game-the *IDontWorkHereLady’s,* all the levels of *Compliance’s* and all the confrontations with *-ists* and *-phobes.* When such stories end in, *”…And everyone cheered/clapped.”* it’s usually not considered factual. I vote we make it a real thing. If you’re averse to confrontation(which is totally ok as not everyone is comfortable to be put on that spot or quick with the wit/sarcasm), you can still participate from the sidelines.


Please please please...... If the multi-lingual couple is reading this.. elaborate what happened next! 🤣🤪😜