I recently joined a company where the majority of my coworkers are from a neighboring country in a full remote position.
I learned their language a long time ago just by watching TV, since in my country we had only propaganda, but I don't have it in my CV since I can only speak, not write it and I have no formal training.
My teammates like to have a private zoom meeting before our daily meeting where they speak in their native tongue. I joined in by mistake a while back and got to hear a gross joke about my possible sexual orientation and nationality and other gossip. I kept joining early, mostly because the tool we are using is flaky and sometimes it takes some time get in, and the Scrum master is vocal about being late and I usually catch 1-2 minutes of their conversation.
It's usually gossip, but sometimes I catch technical discussions (which I can't really follow due to my limited vocabulary).
Should I let them know I can understand them, and risk embarrassing them or worse, and ask that technical discussions are kept in English?
Or should I trust that they will communicate relevant technical decisions?
Note: I realize that informing them first time would have been best, but it would have been very awkward
My goal is to make sure that the technical discussions are kept in English, so I can easily follow. I've asked for that and they told me that everything is in English. If I insist, I would have to reveal that I caught some technical discussions in their mother tongue! I haven't properly expressed myself, I'm not really concerned with the jokes and gossip, I'm more concerned with the fact that I risk alienating them further by putting them into a sensitive situation. I already fill that they don't think I'm really part of the team and the team lead has raised that issue. I'm afraid that revealing I understand their language would put them in a defensive mode if they remember that they talked trash about me and I could understand that. But as @Sidney suggested, if enough time passes, it might not be an issue.