Speaking Spanish Amongst the Poles in New Jersey!

by Ron
(US)

One time I was with my bandmates in a club in northern New Jersey that was mostly filled with Poles (I think it was the Cricket Club for anyone who knows the area). Our drummer was Polish, so we had lots of Polish-speaking friends and fans. It was not unusual for us Americans to be surrounded by people speaking Polish.


At one point, we needed to have a conversation that we didn't want to be heard. Rather than go outside (not worth the effort for a 2 minute conversation) or speak quietly (difficult to do in a club), we started to have the conversation in Spanish. There may have been a few people around who could understand Spanish, but it was unlikely.

The interesting thing was that this attracted attention from the Poles. It was normal for them to speak Polish to each other, even when we non-Polish-speakers were around, or English to us. But, when we started speaking in Spanish, they started looking at us wondering what we were doing! They must have realized that we were excluding them, even though they routinely excluded us by speaking Polish in our presence.

It was not anything that really bothered us, just an odd cultural habit that Poles living in America seem to have (among many other immigrants, I'm sure). It just goes to show that living anywhere in the world, even in America, having a second language at your disposal can be very handy. It can be used in ways xenoglossophobes (those afraid of foreign languages) don't usually think of!

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Russians too!
by: Anonymous

I know a lot of Polish people in New Jersey and New York. In Greenpoint, Bay Ridge etc. Yeah, they definately talk to each other in Polish a lot, even when other people are around.

There are a lot of Russians in the New York and New Jersey area, too. Brighton Beach is all Russians. They do the same thing, talking to each other in Russian but feeling left out if other people speak in a language they don't know.

I think it's an Eastern European thing. Thats cool, though. They mostly speak English pretty well, and they'll teach me curse words in Polish and Russian! That's fun!

worked there maybe at your show
by: Frank the light man

dont feel bad i worked there for years and they used to do that to me as well .. i got em back with italian .. WOOOOOOO! god bless Les and the rest of em though .. a great bunch of guys when ya got to know them .. and Danny's wife .. MAN could that lady cook !!! .. WOW

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