I'm not a native of the country I work in. Although I have helpful colleagues, a few are sort of into discrimination and seem racist.

The company emphasizes its efforts against discrimination and racism but still there are those with hate in their eyes. They ignore me when I'm sitting at a table (like in the break room) and seem to pretend that I don't exist even if they're sitting next to me.

I don't have good english so instead of understanding, one colleague said "I'll pass", when I needed help.

How does one make a place in this kind of environment, like how do I deal with them?

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    The first step would be to stop assuming people hate you. The next step is to do everything you can to have a better understanding of the language, especially local usage. That might mean taking night classes or finding someone willing to coach you. – NotMe Jun 3 '15 at 19:52
  • If the question is "How do I get people to like me?" that is much too broad. – Myles Jun 3 '15 at 19:57
  • @Myles i have edited the question – user15704 Jun 3 '15 at 20:03
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    Nofel, I've made a pretty substantial edit (it will have to be approved before it's visible) to the middle of your question. Please revert or edit if I've misunderstood. – mkennedy Jun 3 '15 at 20:59
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    "e.g i was mentioning the tv serial to a colleague in order to start a chat and was asking about it and one women say, "Please, don't tell me. you will spoil everything", i was like shocked. " -- it's pretty common that when someone hasn't watched something yet, they don't want 'spoilers'. Perhaps you were misunderstanding the colloquial usage of the word 'spoil/spoiler' in this case? Otherwise, I can't see how this would be "shocking", or any sign of negativity. – LindaJeanne Jun 3 '15 at 21:47

There are always challenges when working with people from different cultures and languages, and it will probably help by realizing it's not easy for them, either. Most people do not try to be racist, but many people will avoid doing something that is hard, when they can do something easy instead. And they may find communicating with you hard, because your English isn't really good yet, and your accent is different from theirs.

There are ways to mitigate this, with time being the thing that will help you the most. Here are some other ways to bridge the communication gap.

  • Find an ESL (English as a Second Language) or other class or venue where you can practice your language skills outside of work.

  • Tell them you are trying to communicate better, and ask them for advice to make it easier for them, tell them you will accept corrections, and try hard to avoid being offended by their behavior.

  • Remember you are there to work, not to be friends. Some work relationships do develop into friendships, but many do not. Perhaps in the culture you are in now, people tend to keep work and their private lives more separate. If so, seek friends outside of work. But always treat co-workers with respect (even if, especially if it seems they are not being respectful to you!)

If you can avoid feeling offended, you'll find that most people are not trying to offend. With time, your English will improve, and they'll become accustomed to your accent, and it will be much easier for them to communicate with you.

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. I did mentioned it to boss about not able to understand and missing out something as British speak too fast. But he didn't replied, I wondered why (email reply), I can clearly understand American English as I watch serials made in states a lot and prefer English but Britons are too fast. – user15704 Jun 3 '15 at 20:27
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    Just trying to be less annoying to them as I accept my shortcomings. – user15704 Jun 3 '15 at 20:28
  • @Nofel - I can have difficulty with British English too, and it always takes me a bit of time to start understanding the cadence of an unfamiliar accent. And sometimes, I want to be lazy, and just skip talking to someone when it's hard to communicate. Or I pretend to understand when I really don't. But I know that's not fair to the other person, especially if they're willing to try. So be willing to patient and accept their shortcomings too: they are probably giving in to the temptation to be lazy. – thursdaysgeek Jun 3 '15 at 20:53
  • I hope they won't fire me on not understanding or speaking good english. How do i ignore the colleagues which ignores me like i don't exist? I feel bad – user15704 Jun 3 '15 at 21:03

When you move to a different country, you need to realise that the language that people speak is not exactly the language that you learned, and the way that people behave is not the way you expect them to behave. They don't react the way you expect them to react.

When you said "the tone and the pitch of her response was offensive" - it's quite possible that it would have been offensive if someone in your home country had spoken this way, but in a foreign country unless you are there for quite a while, you just don't know. Just assume that at this time, you don't understand the fine details how people speak and behave.