Because it’s rude….

I’ve been mentioning Robyn here a lot of late, and I shall do so again now.

Once, she said something that I’ve been mulling over since then. I wonder if she even remembers. Anyway, she said that it’s impolite, if you’re in the presence of others who don’t understand a particular language, to speak to someone in that language. (Assuming, of course, that that person knows the language of the other people.)

I found myself thinking, “But I do that all the time…” I speak Japanese with my Japanese teachers, regardless of whoever’s around at the time. Not to mention my random signing and Japanese in personal discussions with myself.

But at the same time, I remember one time when I felt slightly upset because of this very thing, or something like it. When I was working with a Deaf young man once, the hearing people who were around were saying something that eventually led them to say that it’s a good thing he couldn’t hear, so he didn’t hear what they were saying. That sort of irked me.

But… what’s the difference? Maybe it’s that I don’t like the idea of talking behind someone’s back in front of them. I mean, sure, if you’re with a group of people, it’s sort of rude to have private other-language conversation, but then to have private other-language chat-piipl conversation… That’s even worse.

Or maybe I just have a soft spot for Deaf?

I don’t know if I personally care if two people decide to run off into their own conversations in whatever language, though… It hasn’t happened to me enough for me to develop an opinion. And in the times that it has happened, I usually at least have some grasp of the language, so I use it as an opportunity to practise my listening skills.

So, maybe I’ll get back to you with my thoughts on it another time.

Fi chat piipl” means to talk about people behind their backs.

This entry was posted in JSL, Miscellaneous Language Issues, 日本語 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Because it’s rude….

  1. read.robin says:

    I think maybe you have a soft spot for the Deaf.

    But politeness isn’t necessarily about what offends you, it’s just what proper behaviour ought to be. I don’t mind when two people go off on their own tangent either.


  2. hearingless says:

    I get told all the time about how am rude for signing while there are hearing people around. I use to be told while i was at school by people just passing by that i wasnt allowed to sign at all. That we have voices and English for a reason. What i really dont understand is the kids who switched off from English to Spanish never got told this. It really bugs me when people tell me am being rude. What they dont understand is maybe they are the ones being rude. Since now i have to meet the hearing half by listening (with little hearing to use) instead of being signed to. Its the same thing with them not knowing what the Signers are saying. I (and other deaf or hard of hearing) dont know what they are saying as well. SO are they being rude as well?


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