How to “trick” your subject into speaking English.

So you have a person who claims they don’t speak English.

Maybe it’s a witness. Maybe it’s a victim. Maybe you caught this person committing a crime. (My followers in Loss Prevention can relate to this one.)

Let me make two suggestions to you…

First, many times a person truly wants to be helpful but they don’t want to look foolish with their language skills. If this is the case, simply ask them to write down the information you need. (Lo escriba por favor.)

Many people are way more comfortable writing in a foreign language than they are speaking it.

Second, if your person does speak English but is playing dumb, try asking out loud, maybe to the other Private Investigator with you, “What time is it?” without giving any visual indication as to what you just asked.

If the person does understand English, they can’t help but to look at their watch or a clock. And that’s the “tell” you’re looking for.

Watch the video for some more subtleties on this idea and how to use it if it’s only you and the bad guy in the room.

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