When you’re standing near someone who is speaking in a language you don’t understand, do you ever wonder if they might be talking about you? I used to tell myself that I was just being a bit paranoid but it turns out that I wasn’t so paranoid after all. From intimate confessions to rude comments to thinly-veiled threats, bilingual people have overheard plenty of things that others assumed no one else could understand. If it’s really something you shouldn’t be saying, it’s best not to say it, whether or not you think the people around you don’t understand.
Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t try to hide it by speaking another language. I think that’s the saying.
32. It’s Too Early For This
I speak English and French and I live in Quebec. Everyone knows how some french Quebeckers don’t take too kindly to the English. So I’m at a café ordering in English because I’m in between classes and screw it, it’s 7:30 a.m. and latte is pretty much the same in both languages. The cashier looks at me like I had puke all over myself and walks over to her manager and says in French, “Take care of that Anglo, when will they understand that it’s French in this province?,” at which point I turned bright red and I said in French, “Pardon? Can I not order a coffee without having to have a political debate? Would you not serve travelers or immigrants?”
Free coffee for a year.