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Okies dokies, when I was SUUUUPERR little, I would run out in the backyard and scream "Chinese"; which for me was "CHONG CHING!" OR something like that; and I assumed everyone in China could hear me and would shout back something in "American".
I was so cool. =]
I used to be 100% positive that everyone in the world thought in English. I did, so why wouldn't everyone else, right?
So, I'm at the store with my dad one day, and we stop next to a Hispanic lady who's talking to the guy with her in Spanish. I said "You think in English, so just talk in English, duh." (I was 5 or 6 at the time)
Well, the lady did understand English, and it took my dad some serious explaining to escape that situation!! :)
When I was little, my mother convinced me that putting 'el' in front of a word made it Spanish. (El I el was el easiy el fooled!)
I thought that the word 'chicanery' was a racist slur against Mexicans until I heard it pronounced. Then I looked it up and realized it was a French word.
Until about 2nd grade, I thought they spoke Spanish in China.
When I was little my father wanted to teach me Cantonese, I refused to learn because I thought "Oh no, nobody is going to understand me. How will I communicate?"
Sometimes i would hear my mom speak German while talking on the phone with someone, since she is of German ancestry. The only languages I knew were English and Spanish(my dad is Mexican), so I thought she was just speaking in a made-up "secret code language", because she was talking about something secret that she didn't want me to know about.
I used to belive when my parents talked a foreign language over our heads, it was actually just a "coded" version of my own language. I thought I just had to do something with my ears to understand it.
I beleived as a child that French people thought in English and then had to translate it to French before they spoke
My mother is Dutch and when I was little she would occasionally teach me words. For some reason, I was convinced she had told me that "perpendicular" was Dutch for dinosaur. I even had my own little song for it.
I used to belive that english was the "default" language and that all other languages were made up for fun. I used to think people with British accents were speaking a new funny language!
When I was 4 or 5 I read or was told that Adam gave all the animals their names (elephant, monkey, etc.), way back when in the garden of Eden. Then when I realized that other people speak different languages and don't use the same words we do in English, I wondered where they got their animal names from-- since they didn't speak English, they wouldn't use the "official" names that Adam had invented!
i used to think that all foreign people were actually english people, but that their government had come up with a secret code for everyone to speak so that we couldnt understand them
As a child, I was always confused seeing anywhere "SOS" (Save Our Souls) sign, because in my language "sos" means "sauce" - I remember I often asked my mom, why the hell the sauces are so popular on the ships since they mention so often about it!
When I lived in Brasil I thought that everyone in the world spoke Portuguese and that all the TV shows were Brasilian... When i moved to the U.S. at 5 y.o., little did i know that 'Pica Pau' was really 'Woody The WoodPecker'... I was devastated to find out that he was a fraud...
My sister and her friend used to believe that there was no such thing as the language 'English', they thought they spoke 'American' and 'English' was some kind of gibberish.
When I came to the States, I was learning English in ESL English as a Second language) Program, and all the other students in the class were from different countries too. I couldn't hear the difference in pronounciation and spelling of the words 'shit' and 'sheet', 'ship' and 'sheep', and the worst of all 'skank' and 'skunk'!!! So I was using this words very wrongly among other students. Since they didn't know better, I kept on missusing the words until I asked my teacher a "shit" of paper in order to write the story of how I ran over a skank w/my car!
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.
I used to believe that if you lived in America you spoke "American", and if you lived in England you spoke "English", so everytime someone said we spoke english I always said "No, we speak American!!"
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 ... ^_^;;