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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.
When I was about four I was OBSESSED with Egypt for some reason and I would never shut up about it. I remember saying I could speak Egyptian but it was really just random made-up nonsensical words but I kept saying it was Egyptian. I misheard "quiet" on a movie as "quegion" (pronounced like equation without the e) and I kept saying "quegion" was the Egyptian word for "quiet."
I used to believe that the whole world uses my linguage (I am from Croatia). I used to believe that everyone think in croatian. :) And then translate it to their linguage. How stupid, ha? ;)
When I was younger, I used to think that just by saying any random word that one of those words was bound to be a real word in some country.
A variation on the substitution theme: my family moved to Japan from California when I was seven. In Japanese class, they handed out a pronunciation chart for Hiragana, so I thought if I wanted to write in Japanese I just had to use these new characters instead of the latin alphabet.
When I was younger, I would listen to English people talking on TV [My first language is French] and then tried to immitate them...but I didn't know how to speak English and I noticed that they put lots of "hmmmm"s in their sentences, so I thought that if I say random stuff and pretend to speak English and put "hmmmm" anywhere I wanted, I would be able to speak English. So it would sound like "asdfkjanskjnfaen hmmmm....faoinweofinasdf hmmm....asldfoaind hmmm..." and on and on. I feel stupid now that I think about that.
i used to be confused about people who grew up ijn a different country, learning to speak another language fluently to live in that country. I wondered if they were amoung english people whether they'd think in english, or their native language
When I was about 5 my family went to Puerto Rico where they speak Spanish. I saw these signs that said "No Fumes" everywhere. I though this was short for perfumes and women there weren't allowed to wear it.
It wasn't until I learned Spanish that I realized it was simply Spanish for "No smoking"(pronounced no foo-mace)
I was shocked when I found out that dogs in foreign countries didn't know English commands.
i used to belive that in everyones head they understood english, like if they heard a different launguage and inside their head they changed it to english to understand it, thusfor all other languages were just made to confuse people, and i thought that i was super lucky to understand and speak english. my mum never did get why i kept asking "why is it that people have to speak other languages when brains speak english??" to this day she doesn't understand it.
WhenI was a young boy I belived that after the Normans conquored England, English completly transformed to become a Romance language. This theory persisted until I was 9 when upon looking at a Linguistic table, I learned that it [English] was a Germadic language.
i thought that japanese words were exactly the same as english words only they used characters to write them out instead of letters. if only it were that easy ... ^_^;;
when i was little my dad taught me some german .. i learned the word for red which is [sorry if i don't spell them right] "rot" [roht] and the word for bread which is "brot" [broht] . since they rhyme in english and german i thought you just had to know the endings of words and you could add the same letter as in english to the front! like head would be ''hot'' or said would be "sot" etc!~
I used to believe that there is not only one english or one french language but that they're mixes.
Only German would speak german german but not the english english but german english.
Hm it's hard to explain. :)
When I first took spanish, I thought "Yo tengo una pregunta" meant "tanto with a pregnant woman"
Until i was in high school I always thought that sign-language was a language that was spoken (or signed) in a country some where, and that's what all spoke (signed). I always wondered how they got the attention of people that weren't looking.
When I was little (and embarrasingly enough up until I was 21 yrs old) I used to think that everyone was born speaking English. If they lived in Japan, Spain, Austria, or any place where English is not the first language, the person then had to learn how to speak that language - like reprogramming themselves.
I used to believe that the word "english" was a universal word meaning "your language" so therefore i would assume that the subject english at school meant we are learning to speak and understand our own language better. So I therefore assumed that when people from another country (eg. France) were taught French at school, they were being taught their English.
My friend Alex went on exchange to America (from England where we live), and upon arrival in the US, he was asked by one of the students, who knew where he was from, "Do you speak English?"
Hmm.. English... England... no connection there?! Obviously not.