i used to believe

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foreign languages

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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.

Lyssa
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top belief!

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.

Stefan, Germany
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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).

Anon
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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
whoops!

Abigail
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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.

Anon
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I used to believe that everyone thought in English, regardless of what language they spoke.

Samantha
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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.

Anon
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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.

Anon
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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

Anna
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I used to think that when everyone was born they spoke english and had to be taught the other language by their parents.

Anon
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I legitmately thought that my mom wouldnt be able to read my diary if I wrote it pig latin!

Ashley
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When I was little, I just couldn't get my mind around the concept of people from other countries speaking anything other than English. Yet I knew it had to be true because I personally knew people who spoke Czech, Italian & German. My solution to this dilema? I was firmly convinced people spoke other laguages, but thought in English!

Diane
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When I learned there were foreign languages and seven continents, I thought each continent had one language. Then I thought that I could form my own language, but I'd have to find new land first.

Jessica Aspra
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top belief!

My grandmother's native tongue was Japanese and she pronounced English words very poorly. Up through college, my mom would say and even write in papers "asuna" as a word, not realizing that that's how her mother pronounced "as soon as."

nihonjin
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When I first got elected to student government in my first year of university (so, I wasn't a kid then, I was NINETEEN years old, lol), whenever we talked about moving "in and out of camera," I kept looking around to see if I could find an actual camera hidden in the ceiling or something. One day, I asked this one really nice older guy where the camera was, and, fighting back the urge to laugh at me, he explained to me that it was just a Latin term to distinguish private, closed-door discussions from matters where we didn't have to worry about confidentiality so much.

Emily (still looking for that camera!!! ;) )
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top belief!

When I was younger (8 or 9), I used to believe that only people who spoke English could write songs or poetry because when you translated the English words into any other language they didn't rhyme anymore.

Scott
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top belief!

My young son (now 23) when asked what language they spoke in Turkey, stated most seriously "Gobblish" (gobble, gobble)

Joe W
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I used to believe that words that rhymed in English would rhyme in every other language as well. How else could a song be translated and still sound like a song, right?

Anon
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When I was in fourth grade, I became fascinated with the life of Helen Keller. I read every book I could find. I taught myself the alphabet and numbers in sign language. In 5th grade, our chorus director taught us a song in sign to sing and perform. It must have been around that time I realized some people do actually communicate this way. I believed that if I continued to learn more sign language, that I would have children who were deaf and would be able to hear me when I spoke to them. I stopped learning more about the language at that point.

Anon
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When i was little, i used to wonder why people who spoke foreign languages had such weird accents.

i was like why dont they just speak with a "normal" accent, which was american for me. i wanted to see if i could make out some of the letters they were saying. i then found out that each language had its own accent and english style sounded not normal to a spanish speaker.

chris
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