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When I was in kindergarten, there was a Chinese kid in the class. One time he said something to us in Chinese. I did my best to remember it, and then repeated it to my mom when I got home, demanding to know what he said. She wouldn't tell me (not speaking Chinese, after all). I got quite made at her, thinking she was holding back or that it was a bad word or something.
I believed that my father and I shared a secret language called English as my mother could not speak it (we are portuguese). When I went to primary school - I got the shock of my life - every one spoke English :( I was extremely upset that people found out our secret
I beleived as a child that French people thought in English and then had to translate it to French before they spoke
When I was a kid, I used to think that every single person in the world spoke English...since that's how it was on television. I was flabbergasted when refugees from central America started pouring into my school and started speaking English with an impenetrable accent. Turns out they were speaking Spanish ;-)
Brazilian Portuguese is my native language. When I was about 8, I had my first lessons of a foreign language (English). I thought it was difficult to translate a text from Portuguese into English. Then, it would get more and more complicated as you continued converting that text into French and then into German... up to a point when no one would be able to understand it.
I live in Canada, a bilingual country (French & English). I used to believe that there was a French and English for every language. For example, Chinese had a French and an English... Spanish had a French and an English... weird.
I used to believe that someone speaking a different language would translate it into English in their head, then think of what they were going to say (In English)then say it in their language. Ah, the mind of the child.
I used to think that adults spoke an entirely different language (not English) when kids weren't around.
I used to believe that "Auf Weidersen Goodbye" from the Sound of Music number was "Are we to say Goodbye".
I am from Norway, and when i was a kid I used to believe thet gay people talked swedish!
At five, I sat in the Chinese restaurant saying "ping, pang, pong" and thinking I was speaking their language. Then I thought the waiter got mad because I said someting bad.
My mom is from Finland, and as a kid I thought it was so cool that I used to talk about it all the time to my teachers. My first grade teacher finally asked me to do a presentation on Finland, complete with drawings of reindeers and Lapp people, and everybody in my class thought that I was making it up - that there was no such place as Finland! I made my mom come in and speak Finnish to everybody, but they thought she was just jibbering and "goo-goo-gah-gahed" at me for the remainder of the school year!
My mother once told me that Latin was just when someone in old times would stand up and blabber things that no one else understood.
From watching old WW2 movies as a kid I thought Germans (in Germany) spoke English with a German accent, Japanese spoke English with a Japanese accent and so on.
I learned a bit of Spanish growing up in Texas. In the fourth grade, I suddenly realized that people who spoke Spanish didn't translate it into English in their heads when they talked. It was a revelation that when they spoke, the words just menat what they meant without being translated back and forth.
When I was learning Spanish in school, I would always remember that Buenos Dias was in the Morning, and then that Buenos Tardes was in the afternoon. At school, the teachers always explained to us that "Buenos Noches is after supper," so that's what I'd remember. To this day, especially during the summer, I get looked at funny when I say Buenos Noches if I'm out somewhere after suppertime and it's still light! I guess I thought that you said "Buenos Noches" only during the hours following supper. Not when it gets dark!
When I was really young, I thought pop stars sang only in English, or else Spanish. (I'm from Texas.) I was in junior high when I started finding out about rock in other languages. Now I'm 26 and think that foreign-language pop is the greatest thing.
I used to believe you would speak in the country you were in. For example, I'm American, and spoke only english. But if I were to ever go to Russia, I would magically be able to speak russian! How I wish it were that easy.
When I was young, I though the actors and actresses should be able to speak in all languages, because I had seen the Dallas in Turkish, English, German and Arabic TV...
When I was about 5, I thought that English was the reverse reading of Turkish.