“Speak English or I don’t answer you”. That was the phrase of the day yesterday. I think it’s probably one of the most arrogant, ignorant and discriminative statements,  I have heard so far in Second Life. What makes it even worse is that the person it was said to, was actually using a German – English translation tool. Of course those tools are less than perfect but at least this  person made an effort to be understood therefore I believe the other participant should have the courtesy to make an effort too.

Second Life is a very international community. It is not an exclusively American thing. People from all over the world from different countries, different cultures and people speaking different languages do populate Second Life. This is one of the things that makes Second life diverse hence interesting. And yes there are people that do not speak English.

I have actually friends in Second Life which do not speak English at all. That’s because I do not choose friends or judge people by their educational background hence I strongly disapprove this attitude of “if you don’t speak English I won’t talk to you”. The person this was said too, left our party shortly after, as he did not actually want to socialize with a person showing this kind of attitude.

What do you think about this? Is somebody who uses Second life somehow obliged to speak English? Is someone who does not speak English worth your time? How would you deal with above scenario?

Please leave a comment whatever your attitude is with regards.

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  • comment-avatar
    Johanna 5 years

    Of course nobody is obliged to speak English in SL. As long as you find friends with your own language, why should you!
    On the other hand… you can’t read manuals or get support for a whole lot of stuff that is created by English-speaking residents. So… I’d say, it comes extremely handy to know at least some English.

    Your article reminded me of the bad reputation of Germans on vacation in Italy, Spain, Turkey and especially the Balearic Islands (Malle for Germans ^^).
    It’s said about Germans that they just expect to be understood in German by everyone in their holiday destination.
    “They get a lot of money from me, so they should at least bother to understand me!”

    According that guy you described – I’d say “Talk to my hand!”

  • comment-avatar

    Sadly, bigots are present in every culture, ethnicity and nationality. The scenario you described does sound arrogant and dismissive…(perhaps intentional, perhaps sounds intentional though, doesn’t it?) You can attempt to educate this type of ignorance or you can walk away. I have met many fascinating people with the help of the translator and Google Translate and had some very amusing conversations, some times purposefully and some times not, with the wonder that is literal translation. While talking with someone who speaks your language fluently is easier, it can be very rewarding to step out of your “box” and make the attempt to speak to a person in his/her native tongue, both for those that speak English and those that don’t.:D
    Now having said that,there are a few scenarios that might require that someone use only English, such as certain appliances for someone who is hearing impaired, lacks a certain degree of proficiency with a computer and of course…laziness;) (to name a few)
    Generally, i would hope if this were the case, they could frame that request in a more polite manner than “Speak English or I don’t answer you”.

  • comment-avatar

    “Hallo the forest fairy, I think you have not more all cups in the cupboard!”

    A common German expression, translated word by word!


    • comment-avatar

      Oh I
      love it! XD I will be randomly tossing that out to see if people think perhaps *I* am missing some cups from my cupboard;)

      • comment-avatar
        Johanna 5 years

        You could also try “I think you haven’t all the lathes at your fence!” with Germans.

        In fact there are whole books about German phrases directly translated in English. One title I remeber is “English for runaways – Englisch für Fortgeschrittene”. ^^

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    I can’t imagine being so obnoxious or rude. I do think it can be hard to really get to know someone if they speak none of your language, and language translation tools have the potential to cause trouble. They don’t always translate accurately. My favorite example is my mother working on her Spanish homework, trying to translate a phrase she didn’t understand. It was supposed to be something like, “of birthday memories I have many,” but instead translated as “of anuses and memories I have many.” We still have a good laugh over that one whenever it comes up.

    So while I think you CAN be friends with someone who doesn’t speak another language, I also think at some point you need to start to learn each others’ languages, in order to communicate more effectively. Language will otherwise be a bit of a barrier to a deeper friendship.

    But there is no excuse or call for being so rude to someone for not speaking English. Some people are just jerks.

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