My girlfriend is French and wants me to spend a week with her, her brother and his girlfriend while her parents are away. They all speak French of course, as well as English. I speak English with a very small amount of French (I could get by living in France but not have social conversations in any way really).
I would feel awkward going to their house and forcing them all to speak English, which I mentioned to her. She said it wouldn’t be like that and her brother especially would not speak much English. Sometimes they’re visited by my girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend (who doesn’t speak French) and she said they only speak English “when it’s important for him to understand”.
Now that sounds even more awkward to me, especially since I’ve already heard a lot of stories about how her brother seems to dislike a lot of characteristics I have (it’s not personal, he just dislikes things which apply to me) so I’m going to be wondering what they’re saying all the time (which I admit is more my own fault and insecurity).
I wish I were the kind of laid back person who could just go into that situation with a smile but I’m sure it’s going to bother me and I’ll feel uncomfortable a lot of the time. My girlfriend isn’t the type to recognize this and try to minimize it either - I fully expect her to be chatting away in French with little thought for me.
What do you dopers think? What would you do in this situation? To me it seems wrong for me to expect them to speak English but even more wrong to be just left out. Am I wrong to be a bit irritated at the idea that they would only speak English when it’s something for me to understand? Am I just being stupid about this? I wanted to go before, although I was quite apprehensive, but with this new information I feel really put off.