i used to believe

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I used to believe that english words were just like the greek, but without or different last syllable. For example: camila=>camel, syllavi=>syllable, athletismos=>athletics
democratia=>democracy

Giorgos, Greece
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I had a Mexican nanny when I was little who spoke some English but not much. Sometimes my mom would try and speak to her in Spanish, but rather unsuccessfully. I, however, had completely figured out how to translate anything English into Spanish by the age of three. My "translational" method (which I taught to my poor simple-minded mother) was that you just had to say "es" between all of your words. Example: "Felisa, es can you es es make es me es some es pasta es? Es thank es you!" I now understand the puzzled and worried look that she frequently gave me. Heheh, es silly me!

Coral Orchid
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When I was a kid I thought the body of a deceased person was placed on the top drawer of a large dresser and a king's crown was placed on top (in Spanish, my first language, coffin and drawer are the same word)

Maria
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When I was nine a boy in my class told me that "Frankenstein," mrant "Frank's monster" in German and I believed him.Later I got really mad at my sister and I thought the most insulting thinh hing to call her was a monster, and I could impress her by speaking German so I yelled "you..you stein" she was somewhat baffled but strangely my new insult caught on until a girl named Stein joined the class and the cunfused teachers put an end to "Steining" people.

Bride of Stein
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i used to believe that foreign languages consisted of swapping each letter of the English alphabet with another - so A in English would be F in French, etc then later I became a language teacher

yeah really

Katie
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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.

Arisu
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Sometimes, when roads were being repaired or constructed a barrier was installed bearing the words 'Val de Travers'. I thought this was French for 'No Entry". Why this should be used in England didn't occur to me - it was actually the name of the construction company.

Mike B. London
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When I was about five or six, I used to think that everybody saw and heard the world completely differently. For instance, one person might look at everybody else and see a bunch of green monsters, another person might listen to a conversation and hear it as a series of high-pitched squeals.

I was so disturbed by this theory, which seemed unassailable by any logical argument, that I would lay awake at night dreading that I might someday accidentally see things as someone else saw them, and abruptly find myself surrounded by awful noises and monsters.

Oddly enough, I was cured of my terrors when I finally grasped the concept of foreign languages. If it was possible to completely misunderstand what another person was talking about, then maybe perception didn't take place entirely in our brains after all. What a relief! :)

Erin
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ON my first day of primary school, i came home having learnt many interesting things. My teacher had a big poster that said "Everyone Smiles in the Same Language" I thought that this meant that there were many different kinds of smiling, not just the happy one that i knew. I figured that there were different ways of smiling to show each emotion, and that anyone in the world could understand them. I went home and announced to the family (we're Welsh and my grandparents, who lived with us, didn't believe in english in the home) that we could cut down on noise and everyone would understand each other if we all just used "smilese"

Bethan
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i used to believe that my parents can speak all the world languages... thatīs because when i was a little boy (and i couldnīt tell one form another) so whenever i asked them which language the actors in movies are speaking the always gave me answer... so i thought they can simply speak all that languages

Gurki
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when i was a kid i lived where people spoke both french and english...
i fully believed until i hit Jr High school, that the people who understood french were really hearing it in english in thier heads and i just wasn't given the translator

D Tomsn
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Used to believe that Spanish was just English with random o's and a's tagged to the end of the words (probably because there are many cognates that are formed in just that way).

Also believed that the written forms of languages were merely coded English, and if I could just figure out which letters/symbols stood for which English letters, I could read them.

Steven
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I did French Immersion (half day English, half day French) all through elementary school, and remember thinking that French was pretty much like English except with a different pronunciation. So art was art, science was science, musique was music, hygiene was health (it was just a more flowery term.) It took me awhile to accept that I was just learning plain old spelling and not the ancient and revered discipline of orthography.

Anon
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When I was little (and embarrasingly enough up until I was 21 yrs old) I used to think that everyone was born speaking English. If they lived in Japan, Spain, Austria, or any place where English is not the first language, the person then had to learn how to speak that language - like reprogramming themselves.

Anon
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I thought microphones were language specific... a French speaking person couldn't use an English microphone.

I thought speaking with the proper accent was the hardest part about learning a foreign language.

Gregg
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When I was little (1-5), I had a babysitter who would always write in these squiggly lines (now I know it to be cursive). I always thought that she wrote in her own different language, and was astounded when other people could read her writing.

Joe
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We once had an Austrian exchange student, Maria, stay with us. We were driving around her showing her the Aussie countryside and we passed some emus in a paddock. 'Look!' Maria exclaimed, 'Emos!'
This was met with much laughter. She didn't have any idea what we were laughing at.

AllyKat
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I once tried to convince people I could speak Chinese by talking random giberish and telling them it was Chinese

Anon
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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.

Ang
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I thought people who didn't speak English were just being difficult. I thought since words in other languages could be translated to english that people who spoke other languages could speak and understand english but just chose not to.

Kay
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