I am from Galicia a region in Spain that speaks a language that is very similar to Portuguese and my girlfriend is from Barcelona, which is in Catalonia. She speaks Catalan. We live in Madrid and study here in university. Everyone in Spain speaks Spanish (except for foreigners) pretty much on a native level from education, media, and exposure.
There is no such thing as a Spaniard who only speaks Basque, Catalan or whatever unless they're 90+ years old from some small village and even then they would still know the basics of Castilian Spanish. I know I'm going to get some comments about this.
Ok so here's the conflict, people from Catolinia are often very nationalistic and will sometimes refuse to speak Castilian. I was in Valencia and some b said "SPEAK PROPERLY SPEAK VALENCIAN" (a dialect of Catalan) when I asked her for directions in Castilian Spanish.
My girlfriend invited me over to her parent's house in Barcelona. They talked amongst themselves for a bit in Catalan, I understood like maybe half or 2/3s of it. They greet me in Catalan and I say in Castilian I don't speak Catalan, I'm from Galicia. They say something in Catalan to each other which I think was negative.
We eat dinner, her sisters and their husbands are there, and are discussing things in Castilian and they would often say things to each other in Catalan which I thought was rude but I let it go. They kept switching to Catalan during our conversation and I politely reminded them like 5 times I don't speak Catalan.
They would go back to Castilian but then switch back to Catalan. I go outside to take a breath of fresh air, girlfriend joins me, and I ask her what is her family's problem, why do they keep excluding me from the conversation and she says they hate speaking Castilian.
I told her that's bs, I heard her dad speak in Castilian to someone in Peru during his zoom meeting (he took a 30 minute zoom call while I was there and the mom was preparing food) and not once did he switch to Catalan.
We join back and they start asking me my opinion about things, i respond, i ask them questions and they just respond back in Catalan and respond to each other's responses to that in Catalan and I jsut had enough and said "I'm leaving now, the food was good but I just can't stand the rudeness, I told you so many times I do not speak Catalan.
I don't feel welcome so I'm going, goodbye" and the father says "how rude, we prepared such a good meal for you and you are leaving it unfinished, we spent hours on this" They made an entire goose and like 5 side dishes. I said "I told you I don't speak Catalan, why should I be here when you can't even respect me enough to speak in a common language?
I never spoke to you in Galician, Portuguese English or Romanian, f you aholes" I grabbed my stuff and left. 15 missed calls from GF last night, stayed at friend's parent's home nearby. Haven't talked in a day, idk what to do now.
This is just flat out rude. Deliberately so. Out of some sort of parochial pride they switch in the middle of a conversation with you to the local language they know you don't speak rather than speaking the common tongue they know everyone present can speak and understand.
It would be one thing if it were limited to asides to each other, but to switch right in the middle of talking with you in order to cut you out is just them being needlessly aggressive in their parochial BS. It is rude.
You aren't speaking your native local language, but the common one in order to communicate but rather than meeting you halfway and doing the same they would rather play games than put that aside for a day so they can get to know you. You don't get to give someone the finger repeatedly then get all offended when they aren't willing to put up with it anymore. NTA.
NTA if you can all speak a common language, but they refuse to. I’m Australian and can only speak English, my husband is Belgian and can speak Flemish, has a good understanding of Dutch and German also. His Belgian family came to Australia to stay a few weeks and while English wasn’t there comfort zone, that’s what they spoke so my family and I were included.
There were many conversations in Flemish when drinking but they switched back to English when they realised I was just smiling and couldn’t follow along. My MIL Skypes each Sunday, we start off together with a quick catch up in English, then I leave my husband and her to chat in Flemish together.
In my experience, if you are deliberately leaving someone out, yes, it’s incredibly rude. If there’s a common language, though not fluent, that shows inclusivity. NTA matey, and I’m sorry they couldn’t see it.
NTA but your girlfriend certainly is. It sounds like she didn’t stand up for you even after you reminded her family politely multiple times that you don’t speak that language and you even spoke to her about this and she still did nothing. She put you in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. She absolutely could have stood up for you and told her family to knock it off.
On a separate note, your outburst was unbecoming of you. Just because they were rude didn’t mean you had to be even ruder. Making a scene and stomping off like that wasn’t the best option and two wrongs don’t make a right.
You should have taken the high road or at least calmly mentioned in leaving that you were frustrated by the fact that the purposely kept speaking to you in a language that you don’t speak.
NTA, but your delivery could use some finesse. Communication is key in any relationship, and that extends to familial interactions. It's understandable to feel isolated and disrespected when a common language is available yet not utilized, particularly in a social setting meant to be inclusive. Their persistent use of a language you can't speak seems to reflect a lack of consideration for your presence.
That said, while your frustration is justified, the effectiveness of your response is diminished by the "f--k you" at the end. It's easy for things to get heated in the moment, but staying calm and articulating your feelings without resorting to insults would have likely been more productive and perhaps even led to a more empathetic understanding from your girlfriend's family.
Moving forward, it might help to address this issue with your girlfriend first, so that she can help facilitate a more inclusive atmosphere in future family gatherings. Remember, it's not just about the languages spoken - it's about building bridges and feeling welcomed in a family dynamic.
NTA. I was going to go with ESH, until you said explicitly that you would ask a question and they would respond to you in Catalan. It would be different if you were just upset they were having side conversations in Catalan without you, but they did keep trying to talk only Catalan too you.
I do think the relationship is over, I don't see a way for you to salvage your relationship with her family and that is likely to be a deal breaker for her. Not responding to her phone calls, swearing at them, and other things are red flags in regards to you. While they were in the wrong, you took it too far instead of just politely excusing yourself.
ESH. You are a right that they were being rude. Whether it was intentional or they were just being lazy it is still rude. I don't think you are wrong for how you feel. The way you responded though? That got a little escalated and too far. They may be rude, but do you want to be rude too?
You can say thank you for the food. Continue to repeat that you are leaving because you don't feel welcome. Unless they are willing to include you in the conversation then you would rather go elsewhere. And feel free to offer to pay them if they really want to make a show about all the work they went to in order to kindly invite you to their home etc.
Because fair enough they did go to all of that work. Unfortunately they just didn't realize that human needs are more than just food and shelter. It's belonging and connection too. Maybe they will be better hosts to someone else. Your rudeness was not an acceptable response. Though fair enough that you walked out.