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Language problems and anger


johanson

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Lakeside has, arguably, the largest English speaking population in a non English speaking country in the world. TelMex is one of the largest monopolies in Mexico, not a mom and pop tienda. How about a little customer service, TelMex? One or two full- time dedicated English speaking customer service employees would cost virtually nothing for this huge company. The population here warrants bilingual service. It should be provided.

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I second Xena's comment about the index cards. I lived in Aisa for 11 years, and only learned a few words. Never planned on learning the language.

What I did was type out many important questions and phrases in English, written in such a way that they could often be answered Yes or No, or with a specific Bus No. or a date and time.

Underneath that I had it written in the local language, usually Japanese or Thai. 

I lived in Japan, and in my very old fashioned Japanese neighborhood we had many restaurants that had menus only in Japanese.

A number of us, teachers all, decided we would have them translated and a few copies made for the restaurant. The restaurants were delighted, we had a free drink every time we came in, and they all had more business.

Perhaps TelMex could have some of the FAQs, the various plans, pertinent information, etc translated into English and the documents laminated and available to customers and staff who are having communication issues.

If they do not have the $$ (which I doubt) , or the bureaucracy is just too cumbersome(most likely)  to get it done in a timely manner, there are many of us who read, write and speak Spanish well enough to help.

However, I concur with the above posts that perhaps the female customer is having issues with modulating her emotions, is beginning to suffer dementia, has a substance abuse issue, or is perhaps, just not a very nice person.

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Years ago a good friend who often used the southern phrase "cut it off" was having a problem with Telmex. When I went with him and reviewed the issue that term made the employee very nervous. A few words in spanish cleared up the problem

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When you buy something at Sam's  that you need delivered they hook you up with folks in the front of the store. They are independent people who do deliveries and you make your own deal with them. Sounds like an opportunity for a bilingual person who also has a decent knowledge of Telmex issues. Could be a win-win situation.

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You know, each side has logical and valid points to their position but here's what sticks in my mind. When you cross the border into Mexico it's up to you to make it work. Sometimes you get help and sometimes you don't. But when you cross the border into the U.S. they have Spanish speaking agents and in fact most of them ARE Spanish. The signs are in English AND Spanish. That tics me off. I like Mexico and like living here but I don't like it when people  act as though it's perfect and all wonderful. Be realistic, there are things that could be improved. There's a large population of English speaking people living here and it wouldn't be too difficult to accommodate them. We're probably their best customers. On the other hand I'm not rude or unfriendly if there's not.

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The OP asked for suggestions he could take to the telmex office. So many have been mentioned in this valuable thread that has allowed me to think about how difficult it can be for all types of people to navigate services.

The Telmex office could construct a little hand out sheet in English that listed some available translators in the community. Or suggest to come with a Spanish speaking friend/neighbor. They could also have a little policy card in English that had their bottom line for limits of "behavior" tolerated in the office before you'd be asked to leave. It would be a support for workers there, and a relief for other customers who are being hung up in line due to folks like the lady mentioned. 

I'd be willing to stop in there in Sept. when I arrive to get my own telmex services. I am an English teacher. There may be folks in there who would want a class or private lessons. It's worth checking to see if I can be of service.

As far as speaking Spanish,I have been working in languages intermittently in GDL since 2006. I have been in unique immersions situations and academic settings, and I don't claim fluency only functionality. My problem is not so much formulating Spanish as much as understanding what is said back. I can get anxious but have a enough skill to joke my way and that helps. I do not find languages easy, but I have little pockets I'm good with, and it is motivating. I keep studying and experiencing. 

People had good reports on how they go about navigating, and to keep in mind someone who is rather infirm may be in there doing that. I usually go directly to thinking they are mentally ill and it may not be that.

 

 

 

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Guest bennie2

there are 2 excellent english speakers who are helpful. you have to go when they are back from lunch, otherwize dont bother. now, wasnt that easy?? mind your own business, dont go there w/your bs suggestions. 2 staff people are enough. btw, there are entire towns in the US where even 2nd generation mexicans (& others) do not speak english. its is UN necessary to learn much english in the US. (unless you are attending college & need a professional job). there are 3 or 4 phone options on most business phone #s. there are interpreters working in schools hospitals courts, almost all nationalities are accomodated. (especially spanish arabic chinese). new law in NYC: taxie drivers do NOT have to learn english. (this is why private car services are popular). i paid visa fees, property taxes, i am not a guest. (a guest when i stay @ a hotel). stop pandering, you are a customer. you dont need to patronize or have graditude. growup & go to telmex when the 2 people are working there. harry, you have a nerve talking about police. get a grip, seriously?? it is legal to be nervous, & excitable & yes rude. stop controlling people. 

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43 minutes ago, catbird said:

You know, each side has logical and valid points to their position but here's what sticks in my mind. When you cross the border into Mexico it's up to you to make it work. Sometimes you get help and sometimes you don't. But when you cross the border into the U.S. they have Spanish speaking agents and in fact most of them ARE Spanish. The signs are in English AND Spanish. That tics me off..........

Please do not be “ticked off“.  The facts are:

1. The official language of Mexico is Spanish. However there are several other indigenous languages spoken & some folks are bilingual or multilingual.

2. The USA has NO OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, but Spanish must be provided by treaty since the USA took the northern half of Mexico, including its people & culture, which must be protected.  Many native-americans are bilingual, but few european-americans have any interest in others, insisting that the others speak English.

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I know a couple of the posters in this thread so I can´t help but find the obvious hypocrisy in their comments.  Some posters on this thread who are Americans insist that all residents in the US speak English or leave the country.  These same posters who have moved to Mexico now insist that the Mexicans speak English here?    It is their country not ours, it is your responsibility to figure out a way to live here not theirs.  The people of Mexico do not owe you any special favors, it is their decision alone to add bi-lingual staff if they choose to.  Also, there is no comparison to the politeness and kindness shown by most Mexicans here when these language difficulties arise, when compared to the reaction Mexicans receive North of the Border. 

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Guest bennie2

RVgringo, cut the politics. its all about business, not social justice. i owe mexico nothing, they owe me nothing. its all about knowing when i can get the best service. the employees @ telmex work for a major corp. it's foolish for an elderly school teacher (virgogirl) to bother the local office. go to corporate if you have something to say. otherwize leave people alone. fine to make suggestions to a small business. learn how the world works before you bud in. just saying.....

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Guest bennie2

the telmex corp makes millions of $$'s. they dont care about a few people living here w/out language skills. i was there over a month ago & yes it was frustrating. then i went back the following week & the 2 people i mentioned were there & one was free. very easy, very fast. the only suggestion i would make is have them go to lunch @ different times. face it, mexico is basically a resort, its not a place for political migrations. they dont need us to live here for a voting block. thats why they dont care. they want your money for fees. leave the "flashcards" @ home. 

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15 hours ago, Hud said:

I don't see where the OP said she used abusive language. Some of us have a problem with reading comprehension, no?

Not unless you are talking about yourself...

Like I said, "In my book, sounds like her tirade was "rude and/or insulting and/or offensive and/or disrespectful and/or pejorative". Meets my definition of abusive language. Sounds like we see that differently... and that's OK too.

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I've seen it happen even with people I know. They go into a hardware store where no one speaks English and if they don't understand him he starts getting angry and talking loud. Needless to say don't go anywhere with this person any longer. What is it with some of the older gringoes here?

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4 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Please do not be “ticked off“.  The facts are:

1. The official language of Mexico is Spanish. However there are several other indigenous languages spoken & some folks are bilingual or multilingual.

2. The USA has NO OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, but Spanish must be provided by treaty since the USA took the northern half of Mexico, including its people & culture, which must be protected.  Many native-americans are bilingual, but few european-americans have any interest in others, insisting that the others speak English.

Can you provide a link to the provision of the treaty guaranteeing the status of Spanish in the part of the U. S. that once was Mexico? 

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A couple of thoughts about this thread. One: It's interesting what triggers off a thread  that everyone gets involved in.  In the past I've seen it happen with some unexpected subjects.  Two: The person in question (in my opinion) does not have a language problem.  She has an attitude problem and most likely had it before she got here.  Three:  There was an interesting and I think useful comment in the thread that I would like to address. The poster said to bring your cellphone with a translation program on it.  Excellent suggestion.  Think about it. You type in your question which gets instantly translated.  You hand them the phone, and they type in an answer. There is a program out there called  "Word Magic".  Unlike some programs, it is only Eng/Span.  It has various price ranges, but one is a home edition for $25.  For $100, they have a version that is very powerful and has a very large dictionary. That would most likely let you go places in comfort, especially dealing with officials.  I am surprised most people who have the more powerful phones don't do it already.

 

 

 

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Official language of this country is Spanish.  I always appreciate it when they accommodate us with some English but it is presumptuous to expect it.

I've never had the smallest problem with TelMex when I went in there looking for help.  A nicer, more courteous and friendlier group of people than these would be hard to find.

Not easy to learn Spanish at my age but fun.  Also good for keeping the brain young.

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Guest bennie2

there is no way i could have a tech talk from a google translation. cant even understand these things in my own language. people get crazy people have attitude problems & bad days. so & so what?? mexico is not the holy grail. in general, best to have the telmex people like you, then you get treated better nexttime around. :D

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Barcelonaman says:.........We are not guests here. We decided to come to mexico . no one invited us .........   

And Lexie follows with    ".... We are not guests here. We are not guests here. (We're guests when we visit a friend's home; we're guests at the Hilton, if we can pay for the room.) We have the Mexican government's stamp of approval if we qualify by their rules of residency, and we pay for it. We all do, or we're not here legally........"

Being a guest or not is NOT the topic of the OP, but since you each raised it, I respectfully have to disagree with you.

B'Man:  .....We decided to come to mexico........  I have news for you. Try from any other country in the world to "decide" to go and live in the U.S. and see how far THAT idea gets you!

Lexie:  Yes, you pay the fees imposed for and rules of residency. But how is paying the fees for legal residency different from paying for a hotel room.... as a guest?

 BOTH of you (and yours), and others,  still fall under the fact that Mexico graciously  allows foreigners to reside within her boundaries as long as they play by the rules. Then they set very reasonable rules to be followed. But you are still here at the government's pleasure, and that makes you a "guest".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carcamal, if it is that important to you, find the evidence that disproves it. If you can't or don't want to put in the effort then let it go. You can go on believing or not believing anything you want -- and so can Fred. Clearly, the issue is not as important to him as it is to you, so why expect him to do your homework for you?

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On 8/25/2016 at 8:16 PM, johanson said:

bigd at least where I lived 10 years ago north of Seattle, most all of the Mexicans I ran across spoke much better English in the greater Mount Vernon area than we speak Spanish down here, What contact did I have? Each summer I would make contact at the local Catholic church where they had Spanish mass as well as in English and I would hire Mexicans to come to my/our summer home/cottage to help me with my many maintenance tasks. My goal was to better learn Spanish. And I was very surprised how almost all of those who I had contact with, were learning English much faster than I an most of my friends down here are learning Spanish

I thought Telmex had a phone number one could call to speak to someone in English.  Why doesn't the person at the local Telmex office call that number and let the client speak with the English speaker and thus have that Telmex employee be the go-between with the English speaker and the local employee?

I

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