UCD Workplace Issue

Topics: Second language, Chinese language, Lingua franca Pages: 3 (774 words) Published: September 27, 2014
Kevin Yang
Megan Mcgurk
7/30/2014
Workplace Problem Solving
The company that I interned at was a small startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley of Europe composed of less than ten employees. Due to the fact that this was an area that consolidated the brightest individuals from all around Europe, many of the people came from different nationalities all over the world. It was common to hear at least four different languages excluding English while walking to my workplace. Although this can be a great advantage due to the unique perspective that people from different backgrounds bring, it can also be detrimental as well to a certain degree. This may become an issue because individuals may sometimes prefer to speak in their own native language which can lead to other colleagues feeling ostracized.

My company is composed of non-Irish individuals that come from different nationalities. The nationals span from Argentinian, Spanish, American, and Chinese. This creates a melting pot where our ideas are reflective from the culture that we were brought up in. However, when my colleagues are conversing with each other, they will often tend to speak Spanish whether it is talking about a topic related to the company or just friendly chitchat. Since the rest of the colleagues don’t speak Spanish, we end up feeling as if we are missing out on something. However, I have to admit that I am also guilty of this as well to a certain degree. Since I can speak Mandarin, I will sometimes converse with my Chinese colleague in Mandarin. However, we do not talk about work related topics. Rather, we converse about how our weekend went and talk about our hobbies. However, this can make other colleagues feel left out who are going out to lunch with us because they are not able to communicate with us because they do not speak Mandarin. There was an instance where my Chinese colleague and I spoke Mandarin during lunch and a colleague seemed to be confused and felt left...
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