The walls have ears

One of the particular thing I love working with Murex is the cultural mix. Often you meet people of different background, different culture and different language. That’s a very enriching experience and a great opportunity to learn more about the world.

But back to different languages and where I’m trying to get this post to: it is considered rude to speak a different language if a person in the conversation cannot understand/speak that language. The problem is that often the 2 people revert back to their language, especially when it’s native, when:

– A presentation is going the wrong way (“Merde, ca crashe, comment je vais leur montrer ce truc” google translateĀ is kinda your friend)

– They don’t know how to say the word in another language (“Comment on dit deja xxxx”)

– They try to pick up girls. Ok, I’m getting off topic here. Moving on

– They believe they’re by themselves.

And the latter one is the one I wanted to focus on (I know it’s probably the longest introduction ever).

Often you have people who want to discuss something privately and when you are on customer site, using a different language gives a bit of privacy and you also get the feeling that using a more native language is more accurate.

The problem is that there areĀ people who can understand your language (except if you speak esperanto, then finding someone to talk with is quite an achievement!). Add that and whispering voice and you get the perfect recipe for letting some information out.

So as a rule of thumb only discuss with people around what you are comfortable for them to hear and understand (even if it is in a foreign language). If the conversation is more private, then discuss it really privately.

Did you have any experience (be it on either side) of something like that happening? Or did you start learning other languages just to understand what other people are saying?