Q: Quite a few of my friends and I often start talking in our native language (which is not English), when we meet each other—even in social settings. Can it be construed as bad manners if others present within earshot or within the group cannot understand our conversation? Is it okay if my spouse talks to me in our native language in the presence of our friends?
A: You are correct. It is impolite for two people to speak in a language that the third person doesn’t understand. Doing so excludes the third person from the conversation. If you and your spouse want to speak in your native language and your friends don’t speak the language, the two of you should excuse yourselves and speak to each other privately.