Lady luck was not playing on my team, and as a risky Poker player I was out of the Poker tournament at the English Room, and my ear pricked up at someone exclaiming:
“you should try to make the effort to learn their language, it is like just nice”
Sometimes you overhear someone expressing something you agree with or have been thinking about a lot lately. They may be too engrossed in their argument that to dive in is difficult. But it reflected what I had been mulling over of late.
As English speakers we do suffer the association with what I used to term the “passing through” ex-pats.
These are defined in a few ways:
- The one who after over a year has made no attempt to really learn the lingo.
- The one who complains and whinging constantly about the differences to their own culture, and all nuances and aspects of their new abode.
- The one who only mixes socially in ex-pat circles. Even a sub-sector who only have ex-pat friends.
- The one who has a beau (gf or bf) who does most things for them, so they do not need to engage with the lingo.
Do you fall into any of these categories?
I have I guess in the past, when I did not think I would settle in Germany. But that has changed with some effort, funding German lessons, as well as deliberately trying to have close German friends. The latter comes with any natural attempt at settling or integration.
But what astounds me is the demographic change of these “passing through” ex-pats. No longer can I call I say they just pass through because Leipzig is becoming more international. And in this melting pot you can hide your lack of integration more than before. The people I have met over the last few years really opened my eyes, in that they can live here over three years without really engaging with the lingo. I guess this is a down side of a slow progression to becoming international.
You see this in many places all over the world I am sure.
Even back in ole blighty Brits complain of the ethnic communities that have not integrated into society. It is I guess easier to do in those places with an international flavour.
However due to the post imperialism and the growth of English as a lingua franca the Brits, and Americans can be the worst culprits of this divisive factor in society. Especially the ESL/EFL back packers in the teaching profession. But that polemic I will leave for another day, and let you muse on a humorous take on the peculiarities of the English
What is it like where you live, and has there been a demographic change to integration?