Which is my mother tongue?
Thread poster: thomasl
thomasl
Local time: 21:45
French to Dutch
+ ...
Mar 21, 2008

Hi,
I just wanted to know which is my mother tongue. At home I speak French, and both of my parents were raised in French too. But at school I've always spoken Dutch, as I live in Flanders, Belgium. Idon't know wether to see French or Dutch as my native language/mother tongue. Can you tell me?


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
How about both? Mar 21, 2008

It's quite possible that you're perfectly bilingual, and that you have two mother tongues. Proz.com also allows you to declare two native languages. But in the end only you can decide.
There was a discussion of a similar issue here not long ago, in which I also pointed to another past discussion. Here are links to both:

http://www.proz.com/post/778405

http://www.proz.com/topic/71698

I'm sure you'll find some interesting opinions there.

Nesrin


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Francesco Damiani  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:45
French to Italian
+ ...
In my opinion Mar 22, 2008

Hi.
Also in my opinion you could be perfectly builingual,but I'm not sure. Anyway, perhaps to get your aim you could try to understand which one you know more furtherly: at which one are you best when you must make a speech or understand another one?And as concerned as understanding of newspapers?
Best!
Francesco


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 21:45
English to Hungarian
+ ...
well Mar 23, 2008

Whichever language you curse in when you miss the nail and whack your finger with the hammer.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:45
English to Russian
+ ...
You don't necesarily cures in your mother tongue Mar 24, 2008

FarkasAndras wrote:

Whichever language you curse in when you miss the nail and whack your finger with the hammer.



Not necesarily, FarkasAndras.

When I hurt myself, an (in)famous English four-letter word escapes my mouth automatically (which make my daughter roll her eyes and say "Oh, Mama, please!" - and yet my native tongue is cleary Russian.


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Zoo Taxonomist
English
Bilingual Mar 24, 2008

I agree. You can have 2 Mother-Tongues. Here in Singapore, almost all of us have mother-tongues, and it's not uncommon to have 2 or even 3 mother-tongues. You see, Singapore uses English as a standard language, but there are many people, especially the elderly, who communicate in Mother Tongues, and many of us can converse in more than one dialect, from Hokkien to Mandrin to Cantonese to Malay. You may be even trilingual. May I ask, is it also like that in your countries?

Thanks,
Zoo Taxonomist (Athropoda; Phylum, Class or Order)


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Counting Mar 25, 2008

FarkasAndras wrote:

Whichever language you curse in when you miss the nail and whack your finger with the hammer.





They also say that the language in which you count and make mental calculations is your mother tongue.

I also once heard that the language in you can "childspeak" (i.e. speak with the special language that adults use to talk to small children and babies) is your mother tongue. I heard that not many people can really do "childspeak" in more than one language confortable.

I used to believe that the language in which you feel more confortable talking to your siblings is your mother tongue but then met a colleague who feels more confortable talking in English with one of his brothers and in German with his other brother.

Surely there are other more scientific tests...

Daniel


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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 18:45
French to English
+ ...
I no longer have a mother tongue Mar 28, 2008

This is an interesting question for people who either were raised or are in bi or trilingual environments or who have lived/studied in multiple countries.

I currently belong to a minority of human beings who speak all their languages with some kind of a foreign accent, so in a way, I no longer have a mother tongue, and then I have more vocabulary in one, I can write better in another, I mix up everything in the third...



Vera


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:45
German to Italian
+ ...
Animals? Mar 29, 2008

dgmaga wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:

Whichever language you curse in when you miss the nail and whack your finger with the hammer.





They also say that the language in which you count and make mental calculations is your mother tongue.

I also once heard that the language in you can "childspeak" (i.e. speak with the special language that adults use to talk to small children and babies) is your mother tongue. I heard that not many people can really do "childspeak" in more than one language confortable.

I used to believe that the language in which you feel more confortable talking to your siblings is your mother tongue but then met a colleague who feels more confortable talking in English with one of his brothers and in German with his other brother.

Surely there are other more scientific tests...

Daniel


Yeah, not really scientific but definitely plausible IMHO What about animals? If you have a cat, which language do you use to tell it not to scratch your new leather sofa?


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silver_galaxy
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
numbers Apr 10, 2008

I can relate 101% to that whole counting/numbers theory. I almost always work in Vietnamese when it involves numbers. Some parts of the brain just automatically switch when numbers enter the scene.

What about the dream theory? I sometimes dream in Spanish, but it is certainly not my native tongue.


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AniseK  Identity Verified
Malaysia
Local time: 04:45
Japanese to English
+ ...
Not really... Apr 24, 2008

I speak Malay at home, but a mix of English, Japanese and Malay elsewhere. But when it comes to numbers, I always count in English. So does that makes English my mother tongue? I can also curse fluently in 3 languages!

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mihalj
Macedonian to Hungarian
+ ...
I hate this question! I'm trilingual... May 11, 2008

Good question! With my mother I always used hungarian with my father Serbian and I finished a macedonian school in Skopje, Macedonia.

In elementary school they were telling me that my mother tongue can be only macedonian because my language of instruction is macedonian because in Macedonia language of insturction=>mother tongue what a STUPID rule! In Hungary at the Hungarian Institute they told me that my mother tongue is hungarian while my mother raised me useing hungarian language.

Usualy I curse in macedonian when I'm very angry - south slavic languages are very good for in curseing. With animals I like to talk in hungarian - very rich and sofisticated language for expressing feelings, and with girls when we are doeing "that" thing I use english to express my male sexuality


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thomasl
Local time: 21:45
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all! May 11, 2008

Hi everybody,

Thanks for all your replies! It seems like it not un unusual problem to NOT know which mother tongue you have

Greetings,
ThomasL


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