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Poll: When speaking, do you mix your working languages?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:19
SITE STAFF
Apr 7, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When speaking, do you mix your working languages?".

This poll was originally submitted by lizette britz

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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María José Domínguez Camba  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
other (mainly only in my head) Apr 7, 2009

I gave this answer because sometimes i mix them verbally, but most of the time only mentally, managing to correct myself before uttering a word in a different language.

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Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 04:19
Portuguese to English
Not sure what is meant.... Apr 7, 2009

Maybe because it's still Tuesday morning...but..

Not quite sure what is meant by this poll. Do you mean I mix up my languages - that I confuse English with Portuguese and vice versa? Or that I deliberately borrow words from Portuguese that sound better or have no equivalent in English?
Or maybe both of these..

Thanks


[Edited at 2009-04-07 12:40 GMT]


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Elin Davies  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
English to Welsh
+ ...
Much more than I used to... Apr 7, 2009

My partner's first language is English and mine is Welsh so we speak quite a lot of Wenglish, switching languages mid conversation or phrase. He's also trying to improve his Spanish, so we sometimes have spells of speaking Spanish that inevitably turns into Spanglish at some point. I think it's laziness more than anything on our part - we use whatever word or turn of phrase comes into our heads first rather than trying to stick to one language.

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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 23:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Most of the time Apr 7, 2009

Yes, my husband and I speak different languages (Spanish v. Dutch) and we both are proficient in English, so we use this language to communicate quicker with each other. And English is one of my working languages.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:19
Member (2008)
English to Italian
always Apr 7, 2009

I hate it, as it seems I just want to show my knowledge of English. The fact is that I start translating at 6 am, and in the afternoon I teach English with other teachers, so we speak English, and I am trying to teach English to my children, so my day is 95% in English, and when I am with my friends I usually miz Italian and English.

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Anna Katikhina  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:19
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
No Apr 7, 2009

Although mentally I do, but when speaking - no, and I think in my case it's because I strongly feel the difference in pronunciation. I mean I wouldn't switch from one to another without noticing it

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Anita du Plessis  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 06:19
Member (2008)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes, mixing most of the time Apr 7, 2009

I must confess, I mix my two languages (Afrikaans and English) a lot. I speak both on a daily basis and sometimes I am just too lazy to look for the "correct" word in Afrikaans. Afrikaans also does not exactly have many technical words, and we sometimes have to create terminology. Therefore it is the easy way out to use the English counterpart.

When writing I really try to keep my home language as pure and correct as possible. There is a modern trend among our writers to mix Afrikaans and English as that is the way our people speak.

My Afrikaans teacher used to correct us whenever we dared to mix our language, and I still feel guilty in doing so!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes, but... Apr 7, 2009

Here on the border it is virtually impossible to get by without mixing English and Spanish, it is a habit so many people have. In dealing with others you just have go go with the flow. But I know the difference, so they are kept separate in my own mind, and in practice whenever possible. Plus there is no question of "not knowing something" in the other language. If you do not know it, you find out. In that way you learn something new every day.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 05:19
English to French
+ ...
Sometimes Apr 7, 2009

I used to do this more often when I was a child: we had one language at home, another at school and outside of home. Everybody in the family knew both, so when a word was missing, we switched. Never did it away from home though.

My husband made me aware of this and trained me not to do it.
Getting older, I tend to do it again when I get (very tired), especially when different languages are spoken with different people in the same room - I forget what language I am supposed to speak with which person...


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Paul Kachur
Germany
Local time: 05:19
German to English
+ ...
No gemixt pickles, please! Apr 7, 2009

I make an effort to keep the languages at least confined to separate sentences or put in indications like "The thing the Germans/English cal xyz..." in sentences to keep them from running together.

I am just as happy to switch languages entirely when discussing a matter that does not go down in the other language.


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Make it a point not to! Apr 7, 2009

I make it a point not to, and am very careful avoiding combining languages... In particular as I work as an interpreter and do not want to have it accidentally happen!!

Depending on the person I am talking to, I might use a word in the other language when there is not a word for that concept in the language I am speaking.

I studied in a bilingual school, and it was awful hearing people use 3 words in Spanish and 4 in English in the same sentence! We call that in Mexico speaking "Pocho".

I now live in Puerto Rico, where it happens a lot; or even worse, where false cognates abound all the time (facilidades = facilities, delincuente = delinquent, utilidades = utilities...).


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Joice Costa
Brazil
Local time: 01:19
English to Portuguese
weird wording world Apr 7, 2009

I spend the whole day translating from English into Portuguese and I feel I speak or sometimes just think of words in a different way.

I think I do not actually mix the languages so much, but sometimes I can feel the words just come out in a strange way when speaking my native language, Portuguese. It happens in particular when I do not think so hard before speaking.

And I've noticed that this has happened more and more since I started to learn German.

Also, since I started to learn German, when speaking English people have noticed I seem to have some strong German/British accent... which is really weird!


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:19
Italian to English
Moi? Giammai! Apr 7, 2009

Perish the σκέψη!

Giles (en broma, por supuesto)


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends on the person I'm with Apr 7, 2009

If I'm with a bilingual person, we tend to mix a lot. We also go back and forth for long stretches. When we jockey back and forth, it feels like a respect thing, each trying to speak in the other's language.

With monolingual friends I rarely have lapses, though sometimes when I was with my mother and my husband I would turn to my mother and speak Portuguese to her without realizing it.

Henry's border experience is very different from mine. I live 20 minutes from the Mexican border, and Spanish is never used by US citizens. Immigrant workers speak it among themselves, but that's the extent of it. "American" San Diegans make it a point to mangle Spanish place names - e.g. Jamacha Blvd is ha-ma-SHAW. I meet many San Diegans who have never been to Mexico, some who have lived here all their lives. It always amazes me how San Diego seems to be oblivious of its next-door neighbor.


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