View Poll Results: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

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  • No, they should not be here if they can't already communicate well in English.

    1 2.22%
  • Yes, of course. As long as the person is trying, we should cut him some slack.

    39 86.67%
  • Not sure

    0 0%
  • Other (explain)

    5 11.11%
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Thread: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    In general, yes. I would say that there are factors to consider, including length of time in the country, age of the speaker, etc. If they've been here 20 years and barely speak rudimentary English, they're probably pushing it.
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    It is always the right thing to do to be considerate of people. But it is equally important for them to be doing the right things as well. If you know you don't speak english well, you probably shouldn't be doing a job that requires you to speak english well. And certainly shouldn't be getting mad if you aren't given said job until you do.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Tick View Post
    I speak three languages: English (my native language), German (fluently as a 2nd language), and French (on a rudimentary level). I can tell you that it's hard to learn another language. It's not something that you accomplish in easily in 30 days, despite what some marketers of language courses may tell you. I feel for people new to the country who are struggling to get up and running with English, but are not always treated respectfully.

    Hence, my question on whether it's important to be considerate toward people who aren't good at speaking English yet. Note: The poll is not about people who come to the US and never bother to learn English. It's about people who come here and commit to learning the language, but who have not yet reached proficiency. They may speak with a heavy accent, use bad grammar, use poor word choices, or lack the vocabulary to say what they mean. But they're trying.

    By being considerate to them, I mean speaking slowly to help them understand or sticking to basic vocabulary, or defining a word for them if they say they don't understand it. It could mean speaking in their language if you happen to know it.
    And that's all I want. If someone is trying to learn English, I'll work with them. I know it's difficult, I learned as much Korean as I could when I was stationed there, and I never got fluent, even after two years. The ability to speak another language also greatly diminishes if you don't speak it for a while.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    I started learning English more than 20 years ago an still... Mother tongue is mother tongue.

  5. #25
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    I respect the effort. Learning another language is hard, especially if they started as an adult. If they're trying, I'm all about helping. And let's not forget, some of us don't speak the easiest dialects of English.

    I remember one time I was conversing with a French woman and a Cockney English man. I myself have a very neutral midwestern accent -- almost kind of news broadcaster-ish. If it could be said that anyone doesn't have an accent, it's me.

    There were several times when the Cockney guy would say something, and the French woman would turn to me to translate for her.

    I can't fault her. Even as someone who is exceptionally proficient in English, some English accents are challenging.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 03-28-13 at 05:46 AM.

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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    It's important to follow the golden rule.

    That should answer the above question.

  7. #27
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    If you're here legally and are actually trying to learn English then I'll be patient with you. If you're illegal and/or you expect Americans to offer school and more in your native language then all I have to say to you is "go back where you came from."
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    If you're here legally and are actually trying to learn English then I'll be patient with you. If you're illegal and/or you expect Americans to offer school and more in your native language then all I have to say to you is "go back where you came from."
    My position exactly

  9. #29
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    I selected "Other". In my mind it's a matter of time and intent. When you decide to come to a new country, I would like think that one of the first things you would do is to learn the main language spoken in that country. Even if you're not fluent in it when you arrive, I would suggest that it should be a main priority until you speak/read/write the language reasonably well. For a period of time (I'll say 18 months as a guess) there should be some accomodations made for these people. Those accomodations should be people to assist them in filling out the english-language forms for whatever they may need. After that 18 month period, they would need to find someone on their own to assist them in filling out forms, dealing with government agencies, etc....
    I think it should also depend on geopolitics. There should be permanent accommodations for Spanish speakers because Puerto Rico is part of the United States (I hear they speak English fairly well there, though) and because the southwest US is ex-Mexican territories.
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    Re: Is it important to be considerate to those who can't speak English well?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    I think it should also depend on geopolitics. There should be permanent accommodations for Spanish speakers because Puerto Rico is part of the United States (I hear they speak English fairly well there, though) and because the southwest US is ex-Mexican territories.
    Puerto Rico and the Southwest have been US territory long enough for the population to convert from Spanish to English.

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