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Guy Livid After Girlfriend’s Family Excludes Him At Dinner By Speaking Language He Doesn’t Know

Head shot of an man shouting to camera against purple background
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When someone is a guest in a person’s home, it’s been said that common courtesy is the basic tenet a host can provide.

When people enter a home for a gathering, communication is key.

Maybe everybody doesn’t share the same opinions.

Or may not even speak the same language.

Isn’t it up to the host to bridge the gap and make everyone feel comfortable?

Case in point…

Redditor Puzzleheaded-Owl4052 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for leaving a dinner with my G[irl]F[riend]’s family because they kept speaking in a language I didn’t understand?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“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 at 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**ch 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, my girlfriend joins me, and I ask her what the f**k 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 bulls**t. 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 just 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 f**king 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 five side dishes.”

“I said ‘I f**king 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**k you a**holes’ I grabbed my stuff and left.”

“15 missed calls from GF last night, stayed at friend’s parent’s home nearby.”

“We haven’t talked in a day, I don’t know what to do now.”

The OP was left to wonder:


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“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 crap. 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 shit 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.” ~ kurokomainu

“Exactly. I get how hard it is to speak a language that isn’t the native one or to struggle to stick to a regional dialect, and sometimes you slip, but that’s wildly different than just switching back to English because I prefer it, regardless of whether the person will understand me or not.”

“Or when I’m speaking Spanish, my Spanish is largely Mexican influenced, but I do a lot of work in a region of El Salvador that speaks differently.”

“They know I’m a mediocre Spanish speaker at best, so they’re pretty forgiving when I’m insultingly informal or use a word that isn’t what they would use.”

“But I still don’t just think ‘F**k ’em, this is what’s comfortable for me.'” ~ lestabbity

“Not to mention nationalistic sentiment in Calaluñia was exacerbated by Russia with Russian funds, as a quick Google search with the terms ‘Catalonia Russia funds nationalism’ will tell you.”

“These people are a**holes, and doubly so, and OP is NTA.”  ~ okaterina

“All of this, OP NTA but I’m petty, and would have started responding in the 4 other languages I spoke and gave them a taste of their own medicine.”

“Since OP didn’t do that, I would want an acknowledgment from a girlfriend that her family was AHs.”

“And an apology, if not I would end the relationship.”

“OP sounds like you will not be accepted by the family, and now you have to see what your GF is going to do about that. If she doesn’t recognize and apologize, the relationship isn’t worth pursuing.” ~TemporaryWise1420

“Agree. NTA The girlfriend also had an obligation to shut her family down.”

“Why didn’t she speak up when they kept rudely speaking in a language her B[oy]F[riend] didn’t speak?”

“Why didn’t she get up and leave with him or threaten to leave with him if her family didn’t stop acting like AHs?”

“Instead she just sat there and condoned their behavior.” ~ dragonsandvamps

“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, and 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 their 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 realized I was just smiling and couldn’t follow along.”

“My M[other]-I[n]-L[aw] Skypes each Sunday, we start off together with a quick catch-up in English, and 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.” ~ Haunting-Juice983

“This is my thoughts.”

“I have no problem with people speaking to one another in a foreign language in front of me if I’m not involved in the conversation.”

“I get that speaking to someone outside of your default language is kind of weird.”

“My husband’s first language is Spanish, so that’s what he speaks with his family normally.”

“I speak it well enough, but it I’m certainly not fluent.”

“I don’t expect them to only have conversations in English because I’m present.”

“The members of the family that speak English will usually use it when they address me directly.”

“Refusing to speak to someone in a common language is rude as hell.” ~ the-hound-abides

“This is exactly right.”

“I’m American, married to a Swedish man.”

“Most of his family speaks excellent English, but there are a few who aren’t comfortable doing so.”

“When we visited, there was always one of them making sure I knew what was happening in the broader conversation, and even the few that didn’t speak good English would step away with me to communicate as best as they could so that we could form a connection.”

“Now, they ARE exceptional people (boy, did I luck out in the in-law department) but this felt like a common courtesy for them.”

“OP, you’re NTA.” ~ CCH23

“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 they purposely kept speaking to you in a language that you don’t speak.” ~ JudgeJudyScheindlin

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You were offended as a guest in their home.

Maybe you could’ve exited without course language, but you were in your feelings.

This is a tough situation, especially if you want to stay in this relationship.

We hope that you can find a resolution you all can stomach.