January 16th, 2011

  • saaniaa

Switching over to a minority language - eg. Welsh speakers who meet in English-speaking contexts

Hi, everyone!  I thought about asking this in one of the language comms, but it's not really about linguistics,  so I hope this is the right place...

Anyway, let's say a native Welsh speaker, who prefers to speak Welsh to other Welsh speakers, meets another Welsh person in an English-speaking context. And say they had good reason to suspect the other person is a native Welsh speaker as well, but didn't know for sure. Would they eventually ask the other person about it and attempt to switch to Welsh, or would they just not mention it at all and always talk to the person in English? 

I guess what I'm asking is, do native Welsh speakers who meet in an English-speaking context usually switch to Welsh eventually (when not in the presence of non-speakers, of course)? And if so, how? Or would they simply continue to always converse in English?  Hope the question makes sense. I'm most specifically interested in Welsh speakers, but if anyone has any similar or comparable minority language etiquette to share, I'd be very interested in that too, no matter the language. Basically, just trying to get a feeling for the minority language dynamic.    

teenagers booking hotel room; credit card; extreme weather by Lake Eerie

time/place: Ohio, USA, 2010, winter/spring

googled: hotel+teenagers, hotel+age policy, credit card+auxiliary, ohio+geography

situation: two sixteen year olds, one male, one female, (they're not boyfriend and girlfriend, but they're both straight with UST all over the place) are on what was meant to be a one-day trip, but some kind of extreme weather/natural disaster means that it would be dangerous to drive home, and they're stuck for the night. Since it's not a good idea to sleep in the car, they decide to get a hotel room. Problem is, all my research says that you can't get a hotel room if you're under 18, and need a credit card. However, the girl's an adored only child of rather liberal parents (they trust her to stay home alone frequently) who know about the trip and who she's with.

1) is it possible that she could have credit card for emergencies, if her parents asked for it from the company? Would it have her father's name on it, or hers?

2) If it was her father's name, could she use it to pay for the hotel room at all, or would the clerk need to call her father to check that it was okay? (either could work, but I need to know if I have to write the phone conversation)

3) even with the credit card, could they still check into a hotel, given that they are both 16? (I could give the boy a fake ID, if really necessary, but it wouldn't match the name on the credit card) On the other hand, the natural disaster's drastic enough that warnings have gone out on the radio, and these two aren't the only ones checking in unexpectedly, so it isn't an obvious booty call. Would they need to find a dive that accepts cash, or could they manage a 2- or 3-star place? (I can make the town small enough to only have one hotel, if necessary)

4) this is supposed to take place in a small town on the banks of the Ohio border of Lake Eerie. Would a really bad storm be enough to keep my characters in the town overnight? Is any other kind of extreme weather likely, or do I need to invent some kind of disaster on the main way out of town?