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Etiquette and manners

Social Etiquette – the etiquette of speaking a foreign language in front of others

Consideration for the rights and feelings of others is not merely a rule for behavior in public but the very foundation upon which social life is built.

Emily Post

Speaking another language than your native language gives you an advantage in life. And the essential aspect is that you can communicate and interact with other people from all around the world.

We live in a multicultural society, and when we meet people that speak our native language than we naturally start talking in that language. We feel that we can communicate better, and we can quickly create a conversation. But when other people around you can’t understand, then you should consider speaking the language that all the people use.

I experienced, on the first hand, coming from another country, the frustration of not understanding what other people are talking. Not because I didn’t speak English but because I couldn’t understand the Southern accent. But can you imagine how a person may feel when do not speak that language at all?

Avoid speaking a foreign language in front of others. Speaking a foreign language can create a perception of exclusivism, and usually, people become suspicious and irritated when they don’t understand.

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see how you would feel.
Use common sense and always remember the three qualities that stand behind all the social manners, as Emily Post very well pointed out:

  • show CONSIDERATION for people around you and make them feel inclusive, not exclusive
  • show RESPECT by using the language that everybody else can understand
  • show HONESTY by not hiding behind words but using words as a bridge to communication.


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