Learning Article : No English, Please!

Discuss the Article : No English, Please!

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Have you ever found yourself unable to get native speakers to talk to you? No matter whether you're trying to practice French, English, or any other language, reactions by native speakers will be similar, often causing us to be frustrated. Learn how to correctly assess each situation as well as when and where to attempt practicing a language.

Dec 28, 2015 12:00 AM
Comments · 21

in Paris you can see that often - they switch to English whenever they can hear a slight accent and that <em>even</em> if you are an advanced speaker of French. And often, you can actually speak better French than they can speak English. I agree that showing confidence is a good way to prevent it. Also, what we did with one my students was pretending like he could not understand English - instead, we would tell each other a few words in an obscure unknow language (acting like : "what is this person trying to say?") and the French guy at the cashier would switch back to French.

Great article!

January 3, 2016

This was a really interesting article with good tips that will help beginners get over that awkward period where it feels strange to insist on speaking the local language.  I literally never have this problem, even when I'm quite certain that I'm butchering the language I'm trying to speak.  After reading your article I think it may be because I'm absolutely unafraid of looking like an idiot.  Not because I am brave, but simply because I've been doing it for long (living in non-English speaking countries and speaking/learning the local language).  Often people ask me, ''Do the French/Spanish/Italians speak English so that I can get buy when I go there on holiday?''.  I honestly don't have a clue, as I never speak English in those countries.  


But I had a surprise a couple years ago: I was living in Germany (where I still live) where no one had ever spoken English to me, even when I'd been nearly reducing to crying over tying to communicate in German.  A friend from Ireland came to visit me and of course we spoke English together.  Suddenly people in restaurants, shops, etc, are talking to us in English.  Wow! I had no idea!  Even a German friend of mine spoke to my Irish friend in English and I had no idea she spoke any English at all...after knowing her for two years!  So I guess I'm trying to say that the whole ''which language shall we speak'' question is even more complicated than we think.  :-)


January 2, 2016

This article made me smile for many reasons.  I've recently moved to Spain and it's clear that some people in shops, cafésand restaurants want a chance to practise their English. 


A few months back I stopped a couple of men in the street and asked in Spanish where the train station was.  One man looked at me and said, 'You look train?' and started to say something that didn't make sense.  His friend asked him in Spanish why he was trying to speak to me in English, as he didn't speak much English. 


I've learnt not to get too annoyed by these situations, the real opportunities for speaking are with friends, workmates and language exchange partners. 

December 28, 2015

I really enjoyed this article and the thoughtful way it was written. English is both a blessing and a curse. Now when I book lessons in languages I want to learn, I prefer to learn from people who speak very little to no English. It's too much of a temptation for both of us to resort to English when I don't know a word otherwise. With monolingual speakers (or at least people who don't speak English as one of their languages), there's no other option but to push myself and it makes me a smarter learner.

September 5, 2016
I heard these rumors from many people, that people in foreign countries will try to speak with you in English and not in their own language. When I went to Russia, I was pleasantly surprised. There have been situations when I asked if anyone in an area speaks English and people all say "no," (or, um, "нет"). Of course, people in service industries like hotels and in really touristy areas will speak English, but in day-to-day life you're forced to use Russian. I think even in countries like Italy or France, if you went the countryside rather than the city, you might experience similar results, but that's just my hypothesis.
October 1, 2018
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