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Poll: Do you live in a country where your target language is widely spoken?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:43
SITE STAFF
Mar 23, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you live in a country where your target language is widely spoken?".

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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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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
English to German
+ ...
Not at all. Mar 23, 2007

Nobody speaks German here, not even in my household.
I get to speak my native language once a month maximum when I am on the phone with friends or folks.

However - think about it! I can mumble to myself whatever I want))))))


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Lubain Masum  Identity Verified
Bangladesh
Local time: 10:43
Member (2006)
English to Bengali
+ ...
All around me speak my mother tongue Mar 23, 2007

My mother tongue is Bengali (We pronounce 'Bangla'). I was born, raised and now live in Bangladesh. All around me are Bengalis. We speak, think, sleep and dream in Bengali. Unlike many countries, Bangladesh is single-language dominated country and so we only hear people speak in Bengali. However, English is our second language and given due importance and encouraged to learn in educational institutions. All international correspondences are done in English and many city dwellers and elite members of the society are equally fluent in Bengali and English.

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Marion Lurf  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:43
English to German
+ ...
"No"? Mar 23, 2007

I answered "No, but I did", because I spent most of my life in Austria and only moved to the UK in 2003. However, I would be interested to hear from the 18.2 % (at the moment) who voted "No" - did you never live in the country of your target language (presumably your mother tongue) or do you have multiple target languages...?

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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:43
English to Italian
+ ...
I voted no by pressing the wrong button... Mar 23, 2007



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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
English to German
+ ...
Ooops. Mar 23, 2007

Marion Lurf wrote:

I would be interested to hear from the 18.2 % (at the moment) who voted "No"


I guess, I 'misvoted' then, sorry.

"Target language" sounded way too job-related and I never worked as a translator back in Germany. Can a person have a target language?

Hey, maybe we just found a politically correct term to replace 'native speaker'. "I am a target language speaker"



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xxxSaifa
Local time: 05:43
German to French
+ ...
Answer to Marion Mar 23, 2007

Marion Lurf wrote:

However, I would be interested to hear from the 18.2 % (at the moment) who voted "No" - did you never live in the country of your target language (presumably your mother tongue) or do you have multiple target languages...?


I translate into DE and FR (native languages), I have been leaving in Germany before, but am now living in Spain. But where I live, if I want to speak one of my mother languages (or English, or Dutch, or...), I just have to go into another bar

(I still speak German every day here at home and write French every day on another forum).


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:43
Member (2004)
English to Italian
No, but I did... Mar 23, 2007

I lived in Italy (where I was born) for 27 years and then I moved to England, where I've been living now for the last 17... but I consider myself 100% Italian... I could never be British...

Giovanni


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 05:43
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, widely ... Mar 23, 2007

... and almost always quite badly (in Spain). That's one of the reasons I gave up TEFL.

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DR Maryam Taghavi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:43
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Yes and I'm loving every moment of it Mar 23, 2007

Hello all,

I was born and raised in Iran, but I started learning English when I was only 8. The original element motivating me to learn English was to show off to my brother, eleven years older than I and living in US nearly all his life, that my English is good. But then, I married when I was 23 and accompanied my husband to UK for his PhD studies. Since then I have been living in the UK for more than 7 years and am enjoying communicating with British people (not that I don't like my countrymates, of course!!)


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 20:43
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes... and no... Mar 23, 2007

I translate into English and Portuguese, so by living in the US I'm surrounded by English about 95% of my day. The only time I get to hear Portuguese is when I watch my Brazilian channels on tv or listen to internet radio. I get to talk to my mom and some friend on the phone, but not quite often.

Also, most of my clients only speak English or communicate with me in English because I don't speak their native language. And even though my husband has been picking up on Portuguese bit by bit, we still can't have full serious conversations. When I was living in Brazil, I'd say things were a little more balanced. It was more like 65% Portuguese and 35% English (both due to entertainment and clients).

However, I translate from Spanish into my target languages, so being near the border with Mexico is great because I get to interact with interesting people and have a wide variety of tv channels and radio stations to choose from while I'm acquiring more vocabulary in Spanish.

I wish I could say that I have the best of three worlds, but the Brazilian community here is not as strong as in Boston, NY, or Miami, for example.

[Edited at 2007-03-23 19:16]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both Ways Mar 24, 2007

Since I go both ways between English Spanish and live on the US-Mexico border, the answer is that "both" of my target languages are spoken here.

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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:43
Portuguese to English
the question is... Mar 24, 2007

...how important is it to live in the country of your target language to keep your command of it current? I'm 100% behind the principle that, after assuming a good working command of your source language, it's the command of your native language (breadth of vocabulary, register, etc) that marks out a good translator from an average one.

After living 45 years in my native country (the UK), I now live in a country where neither my target nor my source language are spoken, but I don't think I suffer because of it. These days we have online newspapers and internet broadcasting (the BBC streams through my computer as I translate), so we're not isolated from the language as we would have been some years back.

On the rare occasions that I go to the local art cinema to see an American or British film in the original version (undubbed) or overhear tourists on the bus, I'm appalled by how badly British people now speak. It doesn't make me feel I'm missing anything in a professional sense.

I'm sure I'd feel differently if I were an interpreter rather than a text translator, or if I did subtitling or very colloquial stuff like computer games, but a lot of my projects involve formal language, and my work is not going to benefit from daily exposure to Estuary English.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 24, 2007

I'm lucky - My source language is the native language of most people where I live. But it is quite hard to avoid hearing my target language - English - every day.

Many TV programmes we see are originaly made in some variety of English, with Danish subtitles, but not dubbed. It's a wonderful way to keep up with developments in the language.

And of course the Danish-made programmes and radio are in Danish. Often the highlights of a speech or interview with foreign politicians or specialists are played over twice on the radio - first in the original language, and then the full version is read in translation by a radio speaker. Once again an absolute gift to translators.

It is far more difficult to live in England and hear Danish every day, but it can be done with a determined effort.

I can hear and study my other source languages, Swedish and Norwegian the same way, as I can watch Swedish and Norwegian programmes - also subtitled, not dubbed. I can see German satellite programmes too, but they are hard work. I really have to listen and concentrate!

Then I know how lucky I am!


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