I've been using the Internet / Call Center in Siena to phone home. It is owned by a nice Bangladeshi family. (The only south Asians I have laid eyes on in the city in five days -- it must take some chutzpah to make a move like that, hey?) I just stopped by to see what time they will close tonight. There, in one of the phone booths, is a bovine American woman, shaking the phone receiver at the Bangladeshi woman, saying loudly and slowly, "Stateeek. Toooo much stateek."
Now, I have spoken with the Bangladeshi woman, and she speaks lovely, fluent English. And her Italian sounds damned good to me. Naturally she is going to know Bengali, and perhaps a couple of other languages from the subcontinent, and I bet she knows at least some Arabic. So she has the American woman beaten in knowing languages perhaps six to one, and yet the American woman is addressing her as if she is a mentally defective five-year-old.
And what do you think the "theory" is behind using the funny accent? Foreigners speak English with a funny accent, so they will understand you better if *you* speak it with a funny accent as well?
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