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Poll: If you live in a bi / multilingual home, do you speak sentences that are a mix of those languages?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Oct 18, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you live in a bi / multilingual home, do you speak sentences that are a mix of those languages?".

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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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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:04
Dutch to English
+ ...
No Oct 18, 2007

But I caught my elder daughter doing it the other night, first time in a long time ... and well, with me being me, the conversation just wasn't allowed to continue until she corrected herself.

I don't care which language they speak at the dinner table (English or Portuguese) but when they mix the two I see red.


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Diana Arbiser  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
No mixing Oct 18, 2007

I am very obsessed with not mixing up the languages, be it at home or anywhere else. I have two young daughters, and they tend to mix up all the time. I try to have them speak only in one language, and preferably Spanish, since we live in an English-speaking community, and they don't have many opportunities to speak Spanish outside of the house.

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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 09:04
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Not anymore Oct 18, 2007

- but I used to.
A long time ago, sharing a house with fellow students.
Two things annoyed me:
-speaking a language that not everybody present could understand
-mixing languages

Raising children in a multilingual environment is something entirely different of course.
I am looking forward to following the progress of my bilingual grandson


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spanglish, Catalanish, Engalan? Oct 18, 2007

I sure am glad I don’t live at Lawyer-Linguist’s house. If I did, my whole family and I would probably get a daily scolding

So far, I can see I'm in the minority but sentences at our house come out in a garbled trilingual mix that only we understand. For purists I suppose that’s not an ideal option, but we don’t seem to have problems communicating with each other and I’m sure my children understand the mix-and-match situation for what it is. It’s sort of a family language that we all know stays within the four walls of our house.

**WARNING!** The following sentences may offend some viewers.

The things we say often sound something like this:

Quiero popcorn, M’agrada aquell car, Could you hand me that libro?

The combinations are endless!!

PS: When we have company over we're very scrupulous about sticking to one language.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mixing is fun... Oct 18, 2007

...but only if you do it intentionally, otherwise I feel a little bit sclerotic.

Me and my son sometimes play with words, transforming English word into an Italian sound, and it is really fun! You can still understand the English but in Italian it transforms into a different meaning and sometimes the result is really hilarious

But when my son starts talking in Italian translating from English in his mind, I can tell and I always correct him. He needs to think into 2 different languages, using, so to say, 2 different brain compartments.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:04
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes... as John... and Giuseppina... Oct 18, 2007

...and I think it's a good thing. Three sons, one daughter: we often play with words, mixing them. I think it raises their understanding of both, Spanish and French and, for the olders, English.
Don't you think languages are "plastic" material?

The other day, 4 year old Valentina asked me:

"¿Dónde está el "tapuchon" de la bouteille?"

That is: she invented a word between "tapón" and "bouchon". I was speachless.

5 year old Emilio asked me:

-Papá, las mochilas sirven para poner regalos.
-No creo, hijo.
-¡Sí, porque son sa-cadeaux! (Here, you must undertand both languages, sorry).

This is a surprising play with words, I must say.

We'll continue mixing things, as John's childs.

[Of course, when they think in one language and speak in an other, corrections must be applied!]



[Editado a las 2007-10-18 18:46]


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Monika Jakacka Márquez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:04
Member (2006)
Polish to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
multilingual home Oct 18, 2007

At my place, there are four of us:
1. Native in Czech, perfect in Spanish, fluent in English
2. Native in Czech, fluent in English and German, beginner in Spanish
3. Native in German, fluent in English, beginner in Spanish
4. Me - bilingual in Polish and Spanish, fluent in English, Czech and Russian

We mix all these languages for fun and sometimes from necessity. Just imagine how our "normal" conversation usually is

M.

[Edited at 2007-10-18 18:54]


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:04
French to English
Yes I do Oct 18, 2007

Here it's a mix of French and English, although I've been trying not to, for my 4 year old's sake. We have a funny way of counting, one two three quatorze ! My son knows we are mixing and thinks it's hilarious ! One of my favorite language bloopers was my son's invention : put on your panta-long !

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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:04
French to English
Has he been watching Dora ? ;-) Oct 18, 2007

Juan Jacob wrote:


-Papá, las mochilas sirven para poner regalos.
-No creo, hijo.
-¡Sí, porque son sa-cadeaux! (Here, you must undertand both languages, sorry).





cute !


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:04
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Yes, often Oct 18, 2007

Actually, the right answer for me was missing, it would have been more correct to answer "Yes, all the time"!

I know it's a shame... But we have no children yet, I know we'll have to correct this when we get children.


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elen_d
Local time: 09:04
English to French
+ ...
Trying Spanish with a Belgian roommate Oct 18, 2007

I've lived in Spain for a few months with a Spanish girl and a French speaking Belgian girl.
At first the Belgian girl and I would talk Spanish since we were living in Spain and for the third rommate to understand but we eventually ended up talking French with some translations in Spanish when needed --we found out our Spanish was preparing to pass the DELF (degree in French)


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:04
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Oct 18, 2007

...we're really strict English speakers at home, despite excellent Swedish/English fluency. So much so that we had an agonising time when my son was learning about telling jokes and how you can't just translate (he wouldn't switch languages to tell the jokes). Scandinavians will get this one:

Mummy, what got legs but can't walk? A fish!!! Ha ha ha ha


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:04
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not if, but WHEN Oct 18, 2007

When I lived in a multilingual home I and all the others around me were always mixing. It didn't help that mixing languages was also standard in the street.

It took a school fine imposed on anyone unable to finish the same sentence in the language he began it in to correct the habit.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Oct 18, 2007

We are 3 of us at home and speak English, Spanish and Dutch, but we never mix these languages. I speak in Spanish with my daughter, she and her father talk in Dutch and my husband and I use English. We all have "super" minds that can quickly change from one language to another

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