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Author Topic: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?  (Read 2169 times)

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Offline Malina

Re: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2010, 11:30:33 AM »
Oh, yes, absolutely possible, very likely, actually. My French is night on deplorable, and still helps me to get a minimum understanding of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese. There, my Latin might help, too, though it's even worse than my French and hasn't been used actively in - over a decade. Well, and most people fluent in one of these languages will understand quite a bit of the other. Just as, after some time, German and Dutch people will be able to converse to a degree with little to no prior knowledge of the other's language, as these languages are closely related.

Offline Noelle

Re: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2010, 07:31:35 PM »
I had a very interesting time mixing French and English during my time living in France, especially when I'd travel to the UK -- I had become so accustomed to public manners in the metro, that I was bumping into people and mumbling pardon in pubs and such, and often couldn't remember words in English or would blatantly forget how to translate some things. I remember writing an e-mail to family and not being able to remember the word for 'suitcase'. I kept writing 'valise', and then kept trying to say 'briefcase'. I was using words like 'directrice' and even phrases that sound similar in French and English, but I don't typically use in English started to creep into my speech, such as saying "pose a question" more often than "ask" (because you would say 'je pose une question').
Even today, there are certain city names and the like in English that I encounter that give me trouble in terms of anglicizing them because if I've never heard them before and they look French, that's my first guess -- like Terre Haute, Indiana :) It's 'terra hote' instead of 'terr-oat' like I want to say.

I also latched on to 'oh-là-là' in surprise/exasperation, a habit that took me about a month or two to get rid of back in the States.

Offline Caeli

Re: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2010, 09:49:33 AM »
I don't tend to mix up languages when I'm speaking to someone (in the middle of a conversation) or when writing (prose, essays), but on occasion, I'll think of a phrase in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean and then find myself completely at a loss as to how to encompass all of the cultural meanings of the word with an English equivalent. Sometimes, it's impossible to do; there are a lot of Chinese proverbs, for instance, that just don't translate as poetically or perfectly into English.

Once in a while, when I can't find the English word to express what I'm trying to say, I'll say it in the other language - but usually, only if I'm in company that would understand it. If not, I'll try to explain it (with mixed results), and bluster through that part of the discussion.

Offline Nico

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Re: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2010, 10:02:26 AM »
I sometimes mix stuff up, trust me. I was raised bi lingual (English/German), and I DO mix stuff up, trust me. ~laughs~ Or when I talk German, it's here and English word and there, and vice versa. When I speak English, I often mix it with German words. It just happens.  ;D
Drives my Brit father crazy, though. ~snicker~

Offline HockeyGod

Re: Bilingual People! Does this happen to you?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2010, 01:34:30 PM »
I still get confused over some words in English that I only know in Russian - they just sound more right in Russian. They aren't even special words. The two that happen all the time are:

In my opinion

I also run into the problem of foreign countries - especially the former Russian Republics. It's very hard to say them in English  ::)