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Is it illegal to speak foreign language at work?

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  • Aug 1st, 2012 11:54 am
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Member
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Dec 26, 2006
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Is it illegal to speak foreign language at work?

I have heard and seen many people speaking different language at work place. I try to avoid my self speaking foreign lang at work unless we are all speaking same language... Do u know if it is illegal or...
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Newbie
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Feb 20, 2012
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OTTAWA
Of course it's not illegal. Why would it be?

It can be considered rude though if you are around people who do not speak the language. A little common sense goes a long way.
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Aug 28, 2007
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I don't think it's illegal as it will get very messy with human rights. It is generally an understood rule at work and most employers stress to use English as much as possible, but I can't imagine anyone being imprisoned or fined for speaking another language.
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Dec 31, 2011
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Happened two times at my workplace last week.
Portugese and Cantonese.
Funny, both were on the 'phone (personal call) and lasted a long time. They kept shouting into the phone, attracting attention to themselves.
Just a caution, you think your coworkers can't understand but don't be too sure.

I picked up parts of both the Portugese and Cantonese phone calls. So I have a good idea about both conversations
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Feb 16, 2010
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No but common courtesy

If you are out with your coworkers and, lets say, 90% of them are Chinese and you start talking in mandarin/canto the 10% is going to feel like a 3rd wheel
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Sep 18, 2011
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AURORA
What about if in the job posting when they were hired they need someone with a specific language?

There were many job posts that I seen which I liked, but they swayed me out because you needed to speak either a Chinese based language or Spanish. Had all the right credentials, just not the language. Job is based in Toronto ofcourse.

Another thing, some companies always say that they DEMAND that the candidate have 'Excellent written and spoken English"
many people who dont have english as a mother tongue would feel sorta left out because they came to Canada just recently and their language is not up to par with their fellow peers.
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Nov 15, 2004
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Kappa21 wrote:
Jul 23rd, 2012 8:13 am
Another thing, some companies always say that they DEMAND that the candidate have 'Excellent written and spoken English"
many people who dont have english as a mother tongue would feel sorta left out because they came to Canada just recently and their language is not up to par with their fellow peers.
Most Canadians born and raised here have terrible English skills, so don't let a posting like that sway you.
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May 25, 2009
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Not illegal but there is some sense of professional courtesy that you do not have a side-conversation with someone in another language when there's a co-worker present who don't understand that language, as it is considered to be quite rude.
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Winkle wrote:
Jul 23rd, 2012 9:11 am
Not illegal but there is some sense of professional courtesy that you do not have a side-conversation with someone in another language when there's a co-worker present who don't understand that language, as it is considered to be quite rude.
this.

i find it to be pretty rude when we're all colleagues and all of the sudden some people start speaking another language.
Newbie
Feb 11, 2010
16 posts
I have heard of call centre jobs that require you speak english (or your assigned language) when on calls even if you could speak the native language of the caller. The rationale was quality assurance people can't score non-english calls nor can tell what was actually said when they listen to the recording.
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Oct 23, 2006
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Illegal???? As you mean they will get arrested? What do you think?
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Nov 12, 2006
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So speaking a foreign language is rude if everyone spoke English / French?
What about speaking legalese? What about medicalese? Accountinglese? All of these are foreign language to me, therefore, these people are rude!!!
Member
Nov 30, 2010
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Toronto
When speaking legalese etc at least you have some idea what they're talking about (or more some idea of what they aren't talking about) but its considered rude to speak other languages because others don't have a clue what you're talking about (also rude to eavesdrop).
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