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In the city where I grew up (In the Unites States) there is a golf course named Bonnie Brae Golf Course. I eventually learned that "Bonnie Brae" is Scottish, meaning "lovely hillside", and that it is a common name for golf courses, reflecting the fact that golf originated in Scotland. But before learning that, I went through quite some time thinking that Bonnie Brae must be some prominent local person, and that the golf course was named for her.
My parents thought it would be cute to teach me the Chinese (Cantonese) word for milk instead of the English one. But they didn't really teach me any other Chinese words. So when I was really little, I thought "naai naai" (or something like that), meant milk in English. Unfortunately, the people at my church's nursery didn't know Chinese. They thought I was trying to say "night-night," and thus stuck me in a crib. They couldn't understand why I got even more unhappy afterwards!
I believed that if you met someone that spoke another language, you could just write it down and voila, instant understanding!
My mother language is Malay and English is the second. I wasn't good at it through my childhood and kept making my british cousins laugh when I say 'vegetable' or 'their'. I didn't know that I'm not suppose to say them literally as in the written form.
Well my family is Portuguese and one day my grandfather was driving and left his signal light on i said papa " your blinka! your blinka!" he said "heeeyyy dont ever say that again". Comes to find out when i said " blinka " it is almost the same word in Portuguese for a mans private part.
When I was younger I had this book on how to speak arabic. In the book it had the english alphabet and what letters they would be in arabic along with how to say that letter. Using an english word like "cat" I would go to the book, look up the "c", "a", and "t" and then put the arabic letters and how they sounded for that. I would then go to my step-dad who speaks arabic and speak in this sad made up language. He would look at me like I was crazy. One day he asked what I was doing. I said I was speaking arabic. I explained to him how I had got the sentance. He spent at least five minutes strait laughing.
I used to think in other countries they said it in their language but thought it in english.
My mother used to teach (she's a teacher) at a school in Greece. A graduate from the school went to a university in America and when he told some girls he was Greek, she asked him something along the lines of, "So you speak Grecian? And do you still wear togas? Those sheet things?,". I wonder where she got that from.
When I was a child I used to thank God for the fact that I wasn't born in another country, because then I wouldn't speak the language.
I used to believe that other languages were like codes and to learn a language you just had to work out what the code was (i.e. every English J translated to an French U, or something) and then you'd be set.
What a surprise I got when started leaning French when I was 11!
I used to beleive that Spanish was just English spelled backwords.
i grew up speaking spanish. and when i was little, i used to think that english words were the same spanish ones, just spelled backwards.
As a French, when I was young, I thought every body spoke French at birth, and that people in other countries had to learn another language very early. I felt pity for them, and I was so proud for myself! This belief was supported by the fact that the first language the speakers use in the Olympic Games (on tv) is French : it's why I thought it was the first language at all.
i used to think that people who spoke foreign languages or had different accents had something mentally wrong with them.
One day in history class my friend tell's me she is going to spain and i said "oh yeah the place where they speak spanish." and then i said "so that means that people in mexico speak mexican right?" my friend says no thats not right. She tells me that mexican is not a language. This happened 3 weeks ago. Im 14 and in the 9th grade. YOU WILL HAVE TO FORGIVE ME I'M BLONDE
I used to belive that the whole world spoke english. When i would see other people speaking something that was not english I thought that those people were just retarded and had no brain.
as a child i firmly believed that accents counted as languages. so for the first eight years of my life i spoke Derby and if anyone asked me if i spoke English i would deny it compleatly! i was always amazed at my cousin who could speak both Derby and English lol
I used to believe that the Pakistanian was a joke. Like some kind of language to be laughed at. I thought you could speak it by saying gibberish. Me and my friend used to talk to eachother in 'Pakistanian' all the time.
"Bugoober globbity blooboo beefeefeem buh glah?"
I used to think that people only heard different languages differently, but didn't speak them differently. I thought all of the same words were coming out of our mouths, but my ears just couldn't hear the words right if they were coming out of a foreign person.
I used to think that if only you listened closely and intensely enough you would be able to understand any language automatically without learning it. I remember on holiday a German girl came up to me and started talking. She ran away after I had spent a few minutes leaning towards her , hands behind my back with an intense look of concentration on my face.