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What's my 'more' native language?
Thread poster: Ulvija Tanovic
Ulvija Tanovic
Local time: 05:40
English to Bosnian
+ ...
Sep 21, 2003

Hi, I'm new here at ProZ, still setting up my profile, and can't quite figure out what to put down for native language.

So, here's my life story (in brief):

I was born in Bosnia, my parents speak Bosnian, but actually it was called Serbo-Croat back then, still never mind that, because my real problem is still to come. My parents are native Bosnian/Serbo-Croat speakers, but I was educated in English since I was 8. I've lived in both the UK and the US (among other places), I spoke both Bosnian and English at home (Bosnian with my parents and English with my sister). I have a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and a Diploma in American Studies from Smith College, USA. I've been living in Bosnia for the past 6 years (on-and-off, call me a 'globe-trotter' or a 'gypsy' whichever you prefer), so I've become reacquainted with my, very technically speaking, native language (and not just by living where it's spoken but also by taking appropriate courses). I used to feel more confident translating into English, but now I feel equally confident with translations into both English and Bosnian.

So, what would you say is my native language, or my 'more' native language?


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
French to Spanish
+ ...
Bosnian. Sep 21, 2003

If you say:
"but I was educated in English since I was 8", I don't think English is your "native" or "mother" tongue: those are the ones you grow up with from the very begining, I think.
Good luck to you, and welcome in ProZ.
Juan Jacob.
Mexico.


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:40
English
+ ...
What language do you dream in? Sep 21, 2003

I find that this is a pretty good indicator but you sound bilingual to me:) Welcome to ProZ!!

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mrippa  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:40
English to Italian
Bosnian Sep 22, 2003

Ulvija Tanovic wrote:

So, what would you say is my native language, or my 'more' native language?


Very interesting, but I think that we all have to be concise.
Have a good day


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In the case of a person who mixes languages Sep 22, 2003

as a matter of everyday life, pay attention to your manner of mixing the languages concerned.

The language that provides the grammar is considered likely to be dominant. The language that simply provides the vocabulary is recessive (vocabulary is a "filler" and does not necessarily indicate mother tongue).

Note that under this system, you may still be perfectly bilingual.

[Edited at 2003-09-22 01:07]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
If... Sep 22, 2003

...you are perfectly comfortable in all kinds of situations using either one, then forget the question. There is no need to reply.

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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
Bosnian to French
+ ...
Bosnian and English Sep 22, 2003

In your case I would put both, Bosnian and English.
As a matter of fact linguistically speaking you have two mother tongues. The reason for that is your assimilation of the languages (meaning that you didn't make any effort to learn them). No matter in what language you dream, count or swear, in your case you will never have only one mother tongue but two.

That's the good news. The bad news is that your vocabulary will always be more limited in both languages than someone who has one mother tongue. This does not make you worse nor better translator.

I have the same case with French and Bosnian. And when I am tired I can feel that actually I don't have a mother tongue at all. Or should I say, one doesn't go without another.


Cheers,

SARAJ


U tvom slucaju stavio bih oba, bosanski i engleski.

Cinjenica je da na lingvistickom nivou imas dva maternja jezika. Razlog tome je asimilacija tih jezika (sto znaci da ti nije bio potreban ikakav trud da ih naucis).
Bez obzira na kojem jeziku sanjas, brojis ili psujes u tvom slucaju uvijek ces imati dva maternja jezika, nikada samo jedan.

To bi bila dobra vijest. Sto se tice lose, znaj da broj poznavanja rijeci oba jezika ce ti uvijek biti ogranicen u odnosu na osobu koja ima samo jedan maternji jezik. No, to te ne cini boljim niti losijim prevodiocem.

I ja imam isti slucaj s francuskim i bosanskim. A kada sam umoran osjecam da u stvari nemam maternjeg jezika uopste. Ili bih mozda trebao reci da jedan ne ide bez drugog.

Zivila,

SARAJ

[Edited at 2003-09-23 00:25]


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
Bosnian to French
+ ...
bring it on Sep 22, 2003

You can talk about it in the Bosnian forum too. It is a good subject.



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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
Member
English to Turkish
Both Sep 22, 2003

are your parent languages: one mother, the other father... and they can swap roles according to the needs of each situation However, as your schooling has been in English, this parent could be your mother tongue, professionally speaking: your "native working language", that is.

I don't think dreaming, swearing and other things we are supposed to do without the intervention of conscious choice are good indicators of "mother tongue". I am often reported to dream in English -which is a foreign language to me at any rate- especially after a long day's work of translation. As for swearing, well it certainly changes according to the target audience

You can enter two native languages in your profile, in any case.

Welcome aboard, and all the best wishes...


[Edited at 2003-10-08 10:29]


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Ulvija Tanovic
Local time: 05:40
English to Bosnian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, and concerning dreaming... Sep 22, 2003

Thanks, everyone, it's great to have some feed-back so soon!

I forgot to mention in which language I dream/swerar/etc. Well, I dream in both languages, really, and sometimes (I think I mentioned this in another thread somewhere) I even dream with SUBTITLES. Dreams are funny things. I've even dreamt in unknown/non-existant languages and I would actually wake up with some gibberish phrase still on my mind. Maybe dreams aren't such a great indicator...
As for swearing, I must say that I exhibit an equal passion for swearing in both English and Bosnian, though admittedly, Bosnian allows for much more creativity when it comes to obscenities. However, somewhere deep down, I am probably ashamed of my terrible swearing habits, so I usually reverse languages, i.e. I swear in English when I am in a Bosnian-speaking environment and vice versa.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
Member
English to Turkish
Of course! Sep 22, 2003

Ulvija Tanovic wrote:

Thanks, everyone, it's great to have some feed-back so soon!

I forgot to mention in which language I dream/swerar/etc. Well, I dream in both languages, really, and sometimes (I think I mentioned this in another thread somewhere) I even dream with SUBTITLES. Dreams are funny things. I've even dreamt in unknown/non-existant languages and I would actually wake up with some gibberish phrase still on my mind. Maybe dreams aren't such a great indicator...
As for swearing, I must say that I exhibit an equal passion for swearing in both English and Bosnian, though admittedly, Bosnian allows for much more creativity when it comes to obscenities. However, somewhere deep down, I am probably ashamed of my terrible swearing habits, so I usually reverse languages, i.e. I swear in English when I am in a Bosnian-speaking environment and vice versa.



I've just checked your profile. It sounded very interesting to me that you were dreaming in subtitles But what else could you have expected when doing subtitling?! (I was once talking to the whales in English - after a yachting translation which so overwhelmingly stimulated my nostalgia for the sea )


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