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Re: New Requirement #70527 10/11/06 06:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,454
Texas_Ranger Offline
Except for the fact you mostly get Croatians, Serbians and Poles here it's exactly the same.
My parents rented a basement office (in the house over at the Non US systems forum) and now the new owners (a big company that owns several hundred houses) have work done... usually two guys on the job speak German, the other's don't. And if those foremen aren't around... forget it.
Like the movers... a smallish company, the owner helping too. The owner spoke decent German, but none of his workers even understood a word. He talked to them in some slavic language (to my ear they're too similar to tell apart, I guess it was Serbian or Croatian, just because it's most common here).

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: New Requirement #70528 10/11/06 07:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Eddy Current Offline
I live in Ottawa a city that borders Quebec in Canada and is also the nations capital. To work in the government you MUST speak french but english is optional! If you call a government office they answer in french. Jobsites, all tradesmen are french. Electricians, plumbers everyone. Even where I work we have the "french connection". These guys are always kept together, work well together but if they need a hand I don't go. Nothing like sitting in a room for lunch where everyone is talking(probably about me) and you don't understand a word! Also someone living in Quebec can work here no problem but if you live in Ontario you can't work in Quebec? This has been a long fight that has no end in site. If you open a buisness in Quebec your sign MUST be in french. If you open a business in Ontario your sign MUST be biligual.

Re: New Requirement #70529 10/11/06 07:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 197
LearJet9 Offline
They also don't like english speaking Americans either. A long w/e vacation trip to Canada was quickly found to be a mistake. We were treated like illegals trying to take their fisrt born. I knew there was a reason I didn't like Canada!

Re: New Requirement #70530 10/11/06 09:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 36
Which part of Canada did you go?

Re: New Requirement #70531 10/11/06 12:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,454
Texas_Ranger Offline
I had that one last year... you just gotta LOVE being in a room with 8 people talking croatian!
Well, as I learned some words I quickly found out I was glad I didn't understand more... their gestures were easy to get too.
There were pretty much two topics... women and BMWs. The second year apprentice didn't even have his license yet, but already bought his first used BMW... and no, it's by no means a cheap car here...

Re: New Requirement #70532 10/11/06 01:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,382
gfretwell Offline
One thing I have learned with the latinos is if you attempt to talk to them in spanish their english suddenly gets better.
I guess murdering their language makes them more at ease murdering your language.
Most construction conversations revolve around a 20 or 30 word vocabulary anyway.
I do think the various trade/professional organizations should have some language classes, specifically aimed at builders. It should count as a CEU class. That may not set right with everyone but it is reality.

Greg Fretwell
Re: New Requirement #70533 10/12/06 06:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Eddy Current Offline
Quote:They also don't like english speaking Americans either. A long w/e vacation trip to Canada was quickly found to be a mistake. We were treated like illegals trying to take their fisrt born. I knew there was a reason I didn't like Canada!

Are you sure It's only the Canadians? If you were travelling anywhere else in the world do you think you'd be treated the same?
Put a Canada flag on your backpack, your treated like gold.

Re: New Requirement #70534 10/12/06 08:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,577
Admin Offline

I thought this thread was about how Language Barriers can affect the job site. Let's please continue along those lines.


Re: New Requirement #70535 10/12/06 09:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 156
rad74ss Offline
Our local college extension here at the industrial park has classes for conversational and workplace Spanish. I personally would like to know what the people I am working with are saying.


"Look out!"

"I hope he doesn't touch that wire hanging out of the wall."

"I think I left all the breakers on."

"There is a large snake in the closet."

"I think the gas pipe is leaking."

"The roof will not hold his weight."

[This message has been edited by rad74ss (edited 10-12-2006).]

Re: New Requirement #70536 10/12/06 10:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 349
Radar Offline
Here's a short section from a recent contract:

At all times, all contractor personnel on site must have sufficient knowledge of the English language to comprehend safety related directions and requirements. At all times the contractor shall have a lead representative on site who has sufficient comprehension of the English language to read, write, speak and understand all job related directions and discussions.

I guess the next obvious question is, do we enforce this during performance of the contract? I have no idea.

(The 3 G's of good government: Greed, Graft, & Gratuity)

There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
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