Being honest about the languages you speak

In the slat month I had two unfair experiences with guests (all from the same community) with whom I had severe problem of communication.
They sent the request in a language, when I replied in the same language it looked that they were completely unable to answer on that language and at the end we had no language in common (even i speak the first and fourth most spoken languages in the world). In one case we could make arrangement in another language but it was really hard. Both ahd said that they had sent the request in a langhuage they were unable to understand “just to help me”.
Well, it is not helping me. What is a way to say "if you send the request in one language it is clear you can speak that one, failure to do it is an automatic no, and if you come an automatic negref for lieing ?

hi csmbs,

First of all, the guests (surfers) wanted to be as kind as possible, even tough it did backfire for them and in the end wasn’t that helpful for you.
What you could have done is read their profile, in what language was that profile, what languages did they say there they did speak, …
That way you know if they are a “match” in the way that they have common interests or something.

I don’t want to say that you are guilty of making mistakes. Obviously those people did make a mistake as well and guess they did learn that the hard way.

I have seen profiles in a language that they did not even speak, people that wrote in the profile languages that just could use to greet a person.
People that admitted that the profile and correspondence had been writtem by a colleague, people that had not in the profile their mother language.
Using a language on which you cannot go ahead with communication is lying, not being kind, since at best you caused a loss of time, having to answer first in one a language and only after realizing the other party cannot understand, turning to another language, if you are lucky.
So in general i do not take in account what people write in their profile about languages.
If they write in a language that I think acceptable I will call them, if they cannot understand me in that language, sorry, end of contact.
There are also the other cases, people that did not say they could speak certain language and you have a surprise when they arrive, because they did not feel that their language proficiency was enough (I had once a person that said “it is only C1, so I did not put in the list”)
I prefer people that is sincere, even if a bit rude, than people that is “kind” but lies.

I agree on that and if I did understand right, they want to implement an option
Native language
Languages I know really well
Languages I know the basics

Guess that will solve a little bit of the issues.
You can never completely prevent people from lying, but I guess, they harm themself the most, since they will get bad reviews in the end about it and probably a host which declines them.

But just as a reminder, like in my case, I do speak and understand English really well, but when I am on a phone call with some one, it’s kinda terrible.
The way you communicate and sometimes dialects will make communication really hard despite people who still speak the same language.

An other thing for you maybe, I have seen people on CS putting some stuff in their profile to see if people do understand the language, like put x or y in the request you send to me.

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Thanks for sharing these experiences. I’m sorry you had these awkward situations.

I haven’t been in this situation before, but I think it is completely understandable to reject someone when you realize you won’t be able to communicate well enough with them. Leaving a reference about the experience is a great way for everybody to learn from it and hopefully prevent it from happening again.

Things can be messy when people from different cultures and languages get together. And of course people have different thresholds for what they are willing to tolerate. For me personally, as long as someone has good intentions, I think the question to answer is, “How can I best help this person be a better guest/host?”

Maybe we could add some guidance in the “handbook” about this where it talks about how to send a good request? Unfortunately I suspect the people who need this guidance probably won’t read it, but maybe a few will and at least it gives the host something to point to in case they are worried about getting a reactionary bad reference from an upset guest.

And if this is indeed something that seems to be happening more than once, as you suggest, I agree with richee that there is probably something you could write in your profile as a host to try to prevent it.

I had a surfer once that once meeting, I realised had little to no ability to communicate in any of the languages I speak. It didn’t occur to me that their messages had been Google Translated, but upon arrival it was like this. It made things really tough, although not impossible. If it wasn’t for Google Translate, I dunno what we would have done.

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I agree. Surfers weren’t doing you any favors or being “kind.” They just want to get “free” housing.