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Dear Egyptian Castle

Dear Egyptian Castle,
First of all let me say that this is a very informative site. I am from the U.S. and I was seeing an Egyptian man. We seemed to be very much in love and we always respected each other's differences. We had plans together to get married. However all that has changed......and I will tell you why. I frequently take him to visit a friend of his at work. This friend also is his roommate. All the time they speak in Egyptian in front of me and I never appreciated it. I spoke up in a friendly way once in a while so maybe he could get the hint, but they never turn to English. After several accounts of this I told my boyfriend one day on the phone that I really feel left out when he does this. It would be different if when he was speaking to this particular individual that he would translate a little bit but that doesn't happen. He gives me a two word reply to what the conversation is about and when I ask a little more he accuses me of not trusting him which is not true. It is just common courtesy. Mind you, both of them are fluent in English. As polite as I tried to be, he got mad at me and said that it is my problem and I better get used to it. I am a very respectful person and believe me I am not trying to change him or his culture, as that would be wrong. I even have been starting to learn Arabic, but until I am pretty proficient I have begged him to at least reply in English or say a little English if his friend insists on talking Arabic. I have gotten the chance to speak to his friend on a one to one basis when I am waiting for my then boyfriend. The main topic that he talks to me about is girls and one time I found pornographic magazines in my boyfriends car. My boyfriend told me that they belonged to his friend, which I believe. Now just because I brought this plea for a minor change out of respect for me, he has broken up with me. I am devastated over this because of his unwillingness to work it out, but I guess I just need and would greatly appreciate some insight/advice from Egyptian Castle.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Sandy

Dear Sandy, 
Speaking in Arabic while another party does not understand the language is present, could and might happen if you are living in Egypt, but in no way it is done intentionally but most likely just getting carried away with a heated conversation and once realized all parties would  correct the situation immediately..   Having said that,  as Egyptians ourselves living in USA there is absolutely no excuse for this to take place here and to answer your specific question, yes it is rude if you speak Arabic in the presence of someone who does not understand it.  In your specific situation we can say that you should not be broken hearted over him, he simply does not deserve you.  You should be grateful that this happened before you got married, as we assure you it would have only gone worse after marriage.   If he did not have the decency and common courtesy now to translate to you what was said, or make an effort to speak in English in front of you, you can only imagine how it would have been  like after you actually marry him.   We regret that this individual gave us Egyptians a bad name, however this is definitely a behavioral problem by someone who thinks that he can just do what he wants and get away with it. Consider yourself blessed that you did not marry him.  We wish you all the best. 
Our honest opinion
The Egyptian Castle

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