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There's nothing like a good moan to set you up for the day.
Is it only me who tries a helpline and gets through to someone at a call centre in Outer Mongolia, quite frankly I cannot understand a word they are saying.
That is not for family viewing I'm afraid.
I have difficulty understanding broad accents in the UK so it is not a foreign thing. It is worth noting that people in Indian call centres etc., speak English much better than I speak Urdu/Farsi/Maygar/Amaharic etc., and grammatically they are usually more accurate than me.
I know why companies do this (to save money)and I dare say that staff in foreign call centres will get better at understanding colloquial English as they gain experience (presuming that is that these call centres have more luck retaining staff than they do in the UK).
The IT manager of one of my Singapore clients is in London at the moment - he's Singaporean, and hasn't visited the UK before, so my client asked if I would meet this man and take him to lunch.
So, what do you think of London then? I asked. I watched him struggle to answer truthfully, and yet not offend me. The truth was that he couldn't believe how filthy our streets were - Singapore pavements are spotless - and how much graffiti there was everywhere. In Singapore you never see any at all.
What about the people? I asked. "they're fine", he said in his impeccable English, "But I have trouble understanding what they're saying a lot of the time".
Go to Spain, France, Italy, or pretty well any other non-English speaking country you care to mention and you'll see British tourists struggling to say "Hello" in the local language. Go to almost any country in Asia and you'll hear quite young children speaking almost perfect English with confidence.
Glass houses and stones spring to mind.
So, what do you think of London then? I asked. I watched him struggle to answer truthfully, and yet not offend me. The truth was that he couldn't believe how filthy our streets were - Singapore pavements are spotless - and how much graffiti there was everywhere. In Singapore you never see any at all. (Quote by FE)
He's not the only one....I can't believe it either!
I don't mind hearing any accent over the phone but some of them cannot actually speak English and that is rather annoying especially, I imagine, to the older generation. Life is confusing enough as it is.
I cant agree more.
Was in Greece, and thought 'Lots of litter about'.
Came home to Gatwick, and thought 'Lots of litter about'......
Pot calling Kettle Black.
I can only speak English. Can manage 'thank you' In Greek, no doubt with an appaling accent.
Yet the Greek people speak to me in English, when the next tourist walks in, off the same person goes in German, then French to the next customer, then in.....Etc.
I can put up with the accent that anoys me, it's the way they seem to have to run through a computer list of standard faults;
have you pluged it in?
is the front panel light on?
when all you want to do is tell them that you know a little about the prob and it isnt x y z.
Good post there FE, and watchful so is yours. I`m fed up trying to understand these folk and the problem is the TELEPHONE. When an Indian or a Pakistani is talking to me face to face I`ve no problems. I`ve been around our little bit of Rock about 6 or 7 times and have enjoyed chatting with what we call foreigners, a lot of them in English and a lot of them in their own language. I`ve always felt, and will not change, that it`s only a small courtesy to at least try to learn the language of the country you`re in. But, I have to agree with gedr about pronunciation. However you could always ask them to spell the word you`re having difficulty with. ( or words )
Although this is going to pain me, I agree with Gandolf!!,
how many times do the "brits" go abroad and expect the natives to speak english, we "funnily" try to speak the "lingo" such as el beero, mucho chips pedro etc, its the same in any chinese/indian/thai restaurant on any friday/sat eve. The brits are great are taking the mickey of others and feel that just because english is a universal language everyone should speak it, the only drawback being that a large percentage of the british cannot speak it as well as the "foreigners"
I can hold a simple conversation in spanish/italian/german and a pretty good one in french, have also made a point of learning simple things like please thankyou etc in arabic, turkish, greek maltese, only because we go on Holiday to these country's and it makes the whole thing better if you try, on the same lines of we always eat the local food, otherwise you may as well go on holiday to blackpool (no disrespect to b/pool)it is said that english is the most difficult language to learn due to the grammar etc, so well done to anyone from overseas who trys to learn!
That said I have had numerous calls lately (since being home all day) from sales people for BT calling from India, the line always seems muffled and it is very hard trying to understand what they saying!! seem to spend more time asking them to repeat than answering the questions, sometimes I wonder if they think I am taking the mickey,oddley enough the dialect I do have most trouble is from Glasgow!!
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