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When i was about 7, i went on holiday to France with my family. After an overnight stay in a hotel, we were saying goodbye to the receptionist. My parents had been teaching me bits of the language on the journey over (because i thought one holiday would result in fluency. heh) so as we left i said "au revoir", and the French lady laughed. I was so embarrassed, under the impression that i had done something terribly wrong, that i refused to speak French again until i had to at secondary school. It was only about 2 years ago that i realised she was laughing because i was a 7 year old English kid trying to speak a foreign language. bless.
In the third grade (age eight) I began French classes at my elementary school. Every season we got some vocabulary to study and some worksheets to do (example: Easter we learned 'lapin', 'eouf', and 'printemps') from our teacher Mme Luc. We also did oral exercises to help us with pronounciation.
By Hallowe'en (still near the beginning of the term), I was terrible at pronounciation. When we did the oral exercise, we were given simple Frech sentences to read ('the flower and the cat', 'In my house', etc.).
Mine was 'Mme Luc et le bougie' which means: Miss Luc and the candle. I said,
"Madame Luc eats bogeys"
When I was little (about 5) my parents were friends with a spanish speaking woman and a german speaking man (married couple) I only understood German and English so I use to think if I spoke in any gibberish sounding words (that didn't make sense to me) that the woman would understand because anything I made up just had to be spanish since it wasn't English or German.
My Father used to call my mother "Viega"
pronounced "Vi-eh-ha", which means "Woman" in spanish, and I used to belive my moms name was "Vieja"
Whenever I heard someone speaking Spanish, it sounded like giberish to me, so I'd speak random giberish and say it was "Spanish"
When I was 6 yrs old my parents bought me "Muzzy in Gondoland", English-teaching book for children . There was a glossary at the end of book, one of terms was exactly "Gondoland", translated as "Gondolandia" and with explanation in brackets "(imagined realm)" Of course it meant Gondoland was only imagined and didn't exist in real, but I thought, since I already knew what does "land" mean, that in English "gond" means something like "to imagine" :)
I'm Russian. When I was 5 my family moved to Germany cause my father worked at the embassy there and I had to learn to speak German at the kindergarden. So when we came back to Russia and went to the seaside in the South on holiday I assumed that whenever you travel somewhere you have to learn the language they speak there. So naturally I decided to start with the basics and asked my father what the 'southern' for 'thank you' was.
It was only at the age of 5-6 that I understood that to translate a verse into a foreign language you have to reconstruct it completely and it's impossible to translate word for word
I used to believe that if I spelled Norwegian words backwards, it would be English. I don't anymore...
I thought that kids who lived in other countries thought in English like we did and had to learn to speak their other language fluently by the time they were five or they'd be sent out of the country. I used to think how amazingly smart they must be to be translating their thoughts from English into a different language every time they said something.
I grew up in the South of Germany, so we watched a lot of Austrian TV. Most of the time the reception was very bad, and I figured out that the different accent of the TV speakers was not due to their Austrian dialect but some result of the bad TV reception.
Not mine but my friend thought for a long time that if you're not speaking English your speaking Spainish/ Mexican (the Spainish from Spain is diff. from the Spain is Mexico).
i was about 8 when i was at a party with family friends. While listening to my dad talking to other adults i overheard him talking about eating a "carnero" (we were all spanish-speaking).
I thought hard about this unknown animal and came to my conclusion.
"Dad? what kind of bird is a carnero?" i asked.
He burst out laughing and explained that a carnero was a lamb
When my Dad was young he thought that when you studied English at school, it was just the name for your own language. So when French people studied French, they called it English.
I used to believe that everyone thought in English, regardless of what language they spoke.
When I was maybe eight or so, I found a piece of paper that had instructions for something in English, and the below that in Japanese. I decided that each one of those Japanese symbols must be the equivilent of an English letter, and I was always mystified as to why the Japanese words had so few "letters", even if the English word for it had ten letters.
I used to think Japanese people had funny ears, and that when we said something in Japanese they heard it in English...I also thought their mouths were deformed or something, so that when they spoke Japanese they were actually trying to speak English.
My mum is from Austria and she never taught me German, I'm embarrassed to say that I thought Austrian was a language and told me teacher that it's a very different language to German, I was about 10, how stupid
I used to think that when everyone was born they spoke english and had to be taught the other language by their parents.
I legitmately thought that my mom wouldnt be able to read my diary if I wrote it pig latin!