DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was at a restaurant with friends, and we were served by a waiter who spoke my native language. We had a quick conversational aside in our language, just a friendly exchange.
As a rule, I never have conversations in my native language in front of people who don’t understand it because it’s rude. But in this case, because of the way the conversation with the waiter came about, it just felt like a friendly gesture between two people who were surprised and happy to learn they had something in common. In doing this, was I rude to my friends?
GENTLE READER: No. If you were worried that they felt left out -- or thought they were missing out on international trade agreements -- you could have briefly translated afterwards or just given them the general idea. In the future, however, Miss Manners will not betray you if you choose to omit any “untranslatable” juicier bits.