i used to believe

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My parents thought it would be cute to teach me the Chinese (Cantonese) word for milk instead of the English one. But they didn't really teach me any other Chinese words. So when I was really little, I thought "naai naai" (or something like that), meant milk in English. Unfortunately, the people at my church's nursery didn't know Chinese. They thought I was trying to say "night-night," and thus stuck me in a crib. They couldn't understand why I got even more unhappy afterwards!

Jennifer
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When I was in college, I took Swahili. When we came in the door of class the first day, the instructor started pointing to stuff and saying "Nini hii?" (Nina hee) Which later we found out meant "What is this?". For a few seconds I was convinced that if "Nini hii?" was the name for everything in the room, the class would be a cinch to pass. I still enjoyed the class when I discovered I was wrong, and went on to study it for 2 more years.

Anon
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When i was kids and learning to speak english, we used to recite the poems in our books one line at a time and make it look like we are conversing in fluent english to the kids from other schools. Funny!

active
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My father is Haitian and my mother is not. All the black people I knew when I was little were Haitian. So I used to think that all black people spoke French, and people would assume that I did because I was black.

a little mixed race gurl
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During the Viet Nam war, I was ten, growing up in Hawaii. I commented to my mom that P.O.W. was a fitting term for the poor guys caught by the enemy, because they were realy pow. She explained that the word I was looking for was spelled pau (Hawaiian for finished), not pow.

Anon
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I would speak in gidderish, convinced that it was some foreign language I had never heard of

Molly
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i used to believe in order to speak spanish, all you had to do was add an "o" at the end of every word

froggirl
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My early childhood was spent in Latin America. We moved to the US when I was 5. There I befriended a newly arrived Chinese girl who didn't speak English yet. My parents wondered how we communicated, and I said we just spoke Spanish. I honestly thought that if you don't speak English, you speak Spanish. There's probably some poor Chinese girl out there right now that's speaking Spanish thinking its English.

Anon
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As a young child I attended a Mexican run religious pre-school. The nuns there tried to teach us our colors by song, for years I sang it with their accent, "Red, orange, jell-o, green blue purple..." My mom still laughs at that one!

Fran
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My friend, who's nearly 13, recently exclaimed in a Latin lesson that she thought the ancient people (who actually spoke Latin as well as writing it) only wrote Latin but they spoke in English.

Jesi
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I used to believe that to speak spanish, you would have to add an O to the end of every english word. (Hi!=Hio!, I'm bored=I'mo boredo)

LiLTiger
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I used to believe that if someone from japan wrote something in japanese, It would look english to japanese people but japanese to everyone else

Jake
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I used to believe that since every country had their own language; everybody laughed differently.. Yea... The Swedes laughed different from the danish and so on.. I was pretty disappointed when we first went on holiday to Sweden.... Lisa-Norway

Lisa
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Since I couldn't make any sense of what babies were "saying" when they were babling, I was convinced when I was a child that American babies must speak Chinese. Likewise I concluded that Chinese babies must speak English.

Jared
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When my brother was about 5 years old, he came to me asking why people spoke other languages. He had just assumed everyone thought in English but translated it into other languages in their heads before saying things.
It was really tough to explain that many of these people didn't know any English, much less think English thoughts.

Jean-Bleu
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I believed that if you met someone that spoke another language, you could just write it down and voila, instant understanding!

Anon
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I used to think everyon ein the world spoke english in their head, i couldn't imagine anyone thinking in another language
I thought people who spoke another language (french, german etc) had to translate everything they wanted to say in their heads from english
I never understood why everyone couldn't speak english

Anon
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I used to think everyone in the world knew and thought in English, but choose to speak different languages.

Anon
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My first language is English, and when I was little I thought that everybody in the world could automatically speak and understand English, even though they could speak their own language as well.

I used to complain about only knowing English, that everybody else in other countries could speak it to and how boring it is having a language that everyone in the world could speak.

Then my sister finally explained the concept of languages... hahaha

Gabs
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When i was about 6 i though that english was a mix of all the languages in the world because in the US they spoke english and people in the US where from all over the world.

figbush
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