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foreign languages

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English was my first language ... but until the age of five or six, I thought that everyone spoke it. The first time I heard someone speak a foreign tongue, I stared at them in disbelief until my mother told me about languages. But the idea of someone not speaking English was so alien to me - because the languages I overheard were utterly incomprehensible to my ears - that I figured that everyone speaking a foreign language simply MUST be at least thinking in English. They must be translating back and forth in their heads even as they speak German or Japanse or whatever, because how ELSE could they understand that strange gibberish coming from their mouths?

I immediately felt bad for them and thought I was lucky because I only had to think and speak English instead of worrying about translating words from foreign languages into English in my head.

Anon
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top belief!

I use to beleive that because oui (which sounds exactly like wee) mean yes in french, that poo meant no.

Toby
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top belief!

In Spanish Class in kindergarten, the Spanish teacher taught us a song about "Up and Down". The lyrics were simply "ariba... abajo...", but when he said "abajo", I thought he was saying "a bottle". I raised my hand and told the teacher that my little brother drank from a bottle. He ignored my remark, clearly having no idea what I was talking about.

Megan
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When I was younger, I asked my mom why all of the people in the Japanese restaurant were speaking french, and then asked the waiter for some mashed potatoes.

Kylie
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When I went on my first trip to America aged 6 (I'm from England), on the plane ride there, I flashbacked to a previous trip to France, remembering how everyone spoke a different language and I couldn't watch the TV as I couldn't understand it. I paniced, I asked my mother 'What language do they speak in America? What if we don't understand it?' to which I was informed they speak English, like us, and that many of the cartoons I enjoyed such as Rugrats were in fact American. I always wondered why they had funny accents.

Anon
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i used to think that franch was actually swearing !!!! until i realised it was just like english lol :P

anon
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top belief!

Our French teacher always reminded us that "poisson" (meaning fish) had 2 "s"s. If we only put one "s", it was "poison". I took her literally, in that I thought if I spelled the word with one "s", the word would somehow turn poisonous. I never worked out the logistics on that.

Poisson d'Avril
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top belief!

when i was a kid i lived where people spoke both french and english...
i fully believed until i hit Jr High school, that the people who understood french were really hearing it in english in thier heads and i just wasn't given the translator

D Tomsn
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i used to believe that every1 had there own language. so if i talked to my m8 they wuld hear wat i sed in there own lanuage but i relized every1 spoke english.

Bethnay O'Donovan
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I used to think that people laughed in different languages. That English was Ha-Ha...and other languages had their specified laughter, and you would have to translate it.

Karin
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In kindergarden, my friend told me American was a seperate language from English. He started claiming that he was bilingual because he could speak both.

Anna
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when i was younger, I U T B (i used to belive) that english was the first spoken languedge, and ours was the "right" one to speak. everone else took ours and messed it up. when ever i heard someone talking another languede i used to get really mad, and mumble " u stole our languge "

olivia
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When I was little, I moved, and started at a new school. My new french teacher, Madame Emmanuel, was really scary (at least to a 7 year old). We'd begin every class with her saying "Bonjour Classe!" and us responding "Bonjour, Madame Emmanuel!".

Me, not having much instruction in French, simply assumed that her name was "Madamy Mannuel", and wondered what kind of name Madamy was.

Amanda
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I grew up speaking French and English equally. At first, I didn't even realize they were different languages! But when I figured it out, I decided everybody must know one or the other.

At a restaurant one night, I decided to tell the people at the next table about my stuffed bunny rabbit, who was very smart, and had figured out how the desserts were made. (I think it involved bicycle pumps for the meringues.) But they didn't understand me, so I tried it all again in the other language, which only confused them even more! My mom came to get me, rescuing the poor Germans from the weird kid babbling at them in English and French.

fey
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Before I went to school, I used to believe that what ever marks I made with a pencil or pen were words written in another language. I used to scribble on a page in lines from left to right, and then look at it, wondering what in the heck I had just written.

Sharon J
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when i was an innocent youth, i thought that foreign lagnguages all sounded enlish to forieners. so when french people spoke to eachother, wat sounded like forien to me, sounded like english to them.

charl
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I used to believe that, no matter what language other people spoke, that everyone thought in English

Anon
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English is not my native language, I started learning it when I was 10. Until high school, I used to believe that there was an English word "ough", which meant insufficient, and "enough" was its negated version.

memo
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top belief!

I used to believe that when people wrote in cursive, they were writing in Spanish.

Ellen
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top belief!

As a child I knew that in Israel the language spoken was Hebrew. Since my exposure to Hebrew was limited to the chanting I heard at Synagogue, I assumed that in Israel people went around chanting to each other all day.

Alex S.
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