Questions tagged [language]

To be used for questions related to language and communication in the workplace. This is not to be used for questions about programming languages.

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149
votes
18answers
23k views

Trouble understanding the speech of overseas colleagues

All of my development colleagues (software development company) are based overseas in India (I'm in the UK). I'm in a junior position and a lot of my development relies on being taught how to do ...
91
votes
10answers
17k views

Project lead refuses to use English though it's the company language

Large company based in continental Europe. How to handle a project lead who refuses to use English in meetings, even though there are engineers in the meeting who are known to not speak the local ...
86
votes
4answers
19k views

How should I tell a customer about typographic mistakes?

I am working at a company which sends millions of SMS for all sorts of customers. Many banks are among them. For some customers, we have stored message templates in our database. Every once in a while,...
73
votes
7answers
15k views

Application process has been in German (native tongue), should I inform the candidate that the interview will be held in English?

I've recently received the task to coordinate and perform a job interview for an internship position at our company. I've no experience at all at this, so please excuse my (maybe stupid) question. So ...
69
votes
9answers
22k views

How to help a co-worker who wouldn't be able to get promotion due to lack of English skills?

In my engineering organisation I have one employee (machinist) having 25 years service at same set up. He is the most skilled and dedicated worker with an exemplary attitude who can be assigned to any ...
64
votes
6answers
15k views

How to politely ask someone to use Google Translate instead of their own non-native english

When communicating with colleagues and/or suppliers from countries like India one will occasionally communicate with people who write emails such as this: Dear X Let us know payment. If you ...
36
votes
7answers
11k views

How can I get my co-workers to have conversations with me in their native language instead of English?

I want this post gone. I shouldn’t have posted it to begin with and I’m not allowed to close it. This issue is a cultural phenomenon in Taiwan. It doesn’t belong in a western work culture discussion ...
31
votes
6answers
8k views

How to deal/remedy to foreign co-workers isolating themselves

My company, a start up, has recently hired 3 new people to work in my team (I am a part of the team, not the boss or even a team leader, I've simply been there for longer and integrated quite fast). ...
31
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it unprofessional to talk around an interpreter?

English is my first spoken language but I have an understanding of a couple of others, as well as a good knowledge of sign language (though the chances to put this to use have been rare). It came up ...
27
votes
9answers
6k views

Is it unprofessional to reply in another language to an email written in English?

Background Recently, I have been having some issues with a product. To sort this out, I sent an email from my company account (I live and work in an English-speaking country) to the manufacturer's ...
19
votes
5answers
950 views

Wanting to apply in Germany, how to write cover letter with B1 German?

I am wishing to seek a job in Germany but my native language is French. I am semi-fluent in German, B1 level and I can do a conversation if the other person is comprehensive. I am not 100% fluent, and ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

I can't understand my foreign born colleague

This colleague I'm sure is very technically proficient, however their very thick accent makes it hard to follow them when they're giving presentations or when they're trying to speak with authority ...
11
votes
8answers
5k views

How should I handle mispronouncing words in a coworker's native language and feeling like I'm embarrassing myself?

Similar questions have been asked here before, so I'll try to provide enough detail to explain my specific situation. The situation I am a junior software developer in the United States working on an ...
6
votes
5answers
805 views

Is it ok to ask your employer for English lessons?

I have recently moved to an English speaking country and started working at a software company some months ago. We are at that time of the year (apparently, since it's my first time) where we provide ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

I’m a decent coder but not a native English speaker, can I get a job without having job experience nor being fluent?

Is it possible for me to get a job in web development while I’m a decent coder (by decent go read notes on Update) even though my English is not perfect (Is not my native language), and there so much ...
5
votes
5answers
782 views

How to find English-speaking science jobs in Germany and Netherlands?

I am looking for English-speaking science jobs in Germany and the Netherlands. I already speak three foreign languages, and I guess I can learn these new ones, but I can't wait until I am fluent to ...
5
votes
2answers
790 views

Should I mention in my cover letter that I could learn a language mentioned in the job ad from my significant other?

I am currently preparing documents for applying for a job within my own country of residence. The job ad says that knowledge of a foreign language, Russian in this case, would be a plus. The problem ...
5
votes
2answers
480 views

English or French resume for Software jobs in Montreal?

I'm applying for lots of jobs right now, one place I'm looking is Montreal. I'm seeing some job postings in English, some in French, some in both. Most or all jobs list being bilingual as a ...
5
votes
3answers
250 views

Basic proficiency in a language make you a better candidate for a job/internship abroad even if they will be speaking English in the workplace?

Would having basic proficiency in a language make you a more attractive candidate for a job/internship abroad even if they will be speaking English in the workplace? My degree allows for a year in ...
4
votes
3answers
474 views

CV Question regarding languages and military service

I have two questions. Where should I include my military service (compulsory in my country) on the CV. Would you put it under work experience? Should I include so-called "dead" languages (ie. Latin) ...
4
votes
3answers
602 views

Greeting someone in their native language

I recently received a large amount of help from someone in our Canadian office. I want to send him a quick thank-you email and am wondering whether or not I should greet him in French, I'm far from ...
4
votes
2answers
424 views

How to leverage my knowledge of foreign languages to seek more opportunities, while not completely changing my job field? [closed]

My situation: 28, a French engineer (from a "Grande Ecole") and currently doing a PhD in Computer Vision / Deep Learning. I have always been passionate about learning languages, and I am fortunate to ...
4
votes
2answers
309 views

How do you access English recruiters and jobs in a location that is not primarily English speaking?

I'm currently residing in Hong Kong. I know there are English speakers everywhere, and there are employment locations that are purely English speaking, and I know English-only employees exists ...
3
votes
4answers
556 views

Multiple languages in our small team

A little bit of a back story; I work in an international company in Hong Kong where the main languages are Cantonese and English. Our team in HK is only 3 people (4 if you include one temporary person ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Coworkers mocking my dialect [duplicate]

I work in a company where most of my team members communicate in the local language. It being my mother tongue, I can speak the language too. But, I prefer to speak English. Also, this local language ...
2
votes
2answers
428 views

How to overcome a language barrier at work

My company recently took on 4 new staff. All of them are foreign, and i'm finding it hard to understand them. My 2 other existing co-workers are also foreign, and I have similar issues with them, but ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

Did my colleague use a racial slur, or is this use of the word acceptable?

I heard a conversation near me at work where a manager told her colleague that one of the female colleagues have chinky eyes. The manager, the colleague and the female colleague are all not Asian. I ...
1
vote
2answers
298 views

How to deal with difficulties of understanding a colleague (in person conversation)

Over the years every now and then I end up working with people whom I have trouble understanding in English. I am not a native English speaker and usually they are not either. Here I want to indicate ...
1
vote
2answers
448 views

Should the provision of year end bonus in a job be mentioned in the Job contract?

Rephrased the Question for clearer understanding So after a series of successful interviews with a German company in Munich. I was first communicated a job offer through email with Salary = X Base ...
1
vote
2answers
534 views

Correcting boss's English?

My boss is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, but English is not his first language; he often misuses English idioms or misunderstands background American culture that we take for ...
0
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I highlight mistakes in an email [closed]

I work in France for a multinational company, in a worldwide department. A new hire joined the team, so an announcement has been issued (pdf, to print and display in our offices around the world), ...
0
votes
3answers
494 views

The value of being bi-lingual from an employer perspective [closed]

I am thinking of learning a second language purely due to personal choice. My job has a talent profile where we can give information and talk about our talents and at any point in my career should I ...
0
votes
2answers
413 views

Are Use Cases real projects or just examples?

When looking through the portfolio / references of some companies, I sometimes notice the term Use Cases being used to describe projects. Judging by the way these use cases are written, i.e. the tools ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

“Responsible for official written communication” in resume?

I'm debating whether or not to include in my resume that I frequently prepare and send out official public communication in my organization, to show both language and responsibility skills. Is this ...
-1
votes
3answers
383 views

How to communicate with a colleague with poor English?

I work for an international company. We all communicate in English although for most of us English isn't our native language. As far as I know we are all expected to speak English to work at the ...
-2
votes
4answers
378 views

How do you balance the work you love and the work that pays better? [closed]

I'm a software developer. In my earlier years I worked as a Java developer for 5 years. At first I liked the challenge but then I was not able to keep up anymore, for me it kind of got too complicated....
-3
votes
4answers
592 views

Professional language: Is “she” still the cat's mother? [closed]

I grew up in Yorkshire with the saying "She is the cat's mother", implying it is rude to use the feminine pronoun "she" in the third person. A rebuke especially directed towards children for having ...
-9
votes
2answers
409 views

Is there a word for “trying overly hard to appear efficient”? [closed]

A coworker always adds way too much to everything she does, in (what I think is) the effort to appear smarter and just oh-so efficient. Using multi-syllabic words when one syllable will do. "...