dragonmaster_x (dragonmaster_x) wrote in linguaphiles,

Language Barriers

All the people described are together in a social gathering:
My mom and her friend don't understand English very well. The three of us usually communicate in Taiwanese. Mom's friend's husband understands Chinese, but not Taiwanese. So because he's around, we have to switch to Chinese(which feels weird, 'cus the 3 of us ALWAYS communicate in Taiwanese) so as to not isolate him from the conversation. My two friends understand English, but don't understand Chinese or Taiwanese. Uh oh, should I talk in English now so as to not isolate my two friends? But if I do, I'll isolate the 3 other people. What to do? I end up switching between the 3 languages, which feels awkward

Anyone been in a similar situation? I guess these kinds of situations come up a lot if you marry someone whose friends and family all don't understand your language, so whenever you spouse is talking to them, it feels like you're left out of the conversation?

I've a friend who speaks English with his wife, Spanish with his parents. The wife speaks Chinese to his parents. Their son is the interesting case, the son is spoken to by the parents in English, Chinese by the grandparents, but he gets to hear his father talking in Spanish to the grandparents. That must be awkward at the dinner table... (the wife doesn't understand Spanish, the husband's understanding of Chinese isn't too good)

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