I’d like to begin this inaugural blog entry by stating that I personally do not have an issue with languages other than English being spoken in chat.  We have a right to communicate with whatever words we have.  If my failings as an English only speaking person prevent me from understanding what is typed in a chat room that is my own problem. 
 
When you flash your mouse over the ‘Chat’ bar, it is clearly written that only English is to be used in chat.  What are the consequences for disobeying this rule, I wonder.  Has anyone called in a Chat Moderator or complained to PokerStars regarding infractions to this rule?  If so, was anything said or done about it?  Because we all know the infractions occur.  Maybe not in the PSO league games so much but definitely in many of the other tournaments and tables.
 
I had a chat with a player who had a real issue with non-English being spoken in chat.  His concern was that these people were colluding somehow by talking about their hands.  I’m not sure if this actually happens but if I felt this was happening I would simply use google translator to find out for sure and take appropriate action.
 
On the other hand, I don’t see this being an issue.  With the shoe on the other foot, on a table with mostly English speakers and a couple non-English speakers, the English speakers don’t normally share card information in an attempt to dupe the others.  That would just be silly…. we’re all competing against each other out there.  Language, gender, age (as long as it’s above the age of majority), location … these things are all irrelevant in an online poker game.
 
I’m sure I’ve been verbally abused in a variety of languages but really, it’s easier to ignore when you don’t understand it to begin with.  On a whim I once translated someone’s rant at me.  Roughly translated he said that he wiped his ass with the leaf of my flag. Which of course I found wildly amusing because we stopped using leaves for t.p. ages ago.  I told him that sounded painful but I doubt he bothered to translate back.
 
Personally I think the English only rule for chat is out of place on an international site of this nature.  More often than not, I’ll find myself at a table where I’m the only North American.  I seem to play with many Russian and Eastern block players with some Brits and Aussies thrown in for flavour.  Depending on the time of day, my fellow poker players will be all from South America.  If there were a poll conducted, we would likely find that English is in the minority of first languages spoken with Spanish/Portuguese and Russian being the dominant ones.   
 
Perhaps it’s time to eliminate the English only rule and realize that there is a big wide non English-speaking world out there.  After all with the American players no longer participating in money games we don’t need to hang onto this ethnocentric attitude.