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Off topic: Do you live in the country of your source or target language...or neither?
Thread poster: Fan Gao

Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 13:18
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Aug 21, 2006

Hi everyone,

I've suggested a poll about this but just in case it's been asked before or it doesn't get through I thought I would ask it here as I'd be interested to hear your comments and stories.

I was wondering if you live in the country that has your source language as the native language or have you moved abroad?

How did you acquire your two (at least) languages?

Have you lived or spent a long time in both your source and target language countries (or countries where the languages are spoken commonly)?

If you live in your source/target language country, would you like to live in the opposite source/language country permanently? (I hope that makes sense:))

If you live in a country that's different to where you were born or lived for a long time, what do you miss about your native home country?

If you neither live in the country of your source or target language, what's your story?

Alot of variations on the same question but I think it will be interesting and let's face it...everyone has a tale to tell:)

I will post my own story shortly.

Best wishes,
Mark


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:18
English to Greek
+ ...
My saga Aug 21, 2006

I was wondering if you live in the country that has your source language as the native language or have you moved abroad?

I now live in the country of one of my source (native) / target languages (Greece), since I work from and into both languages (Greek / English).

How did you acquire your two (at least) languages?

Home (multiracial family) and school (multilingual).

Have you lived or spent a long time in both your source and target language countries (or countries where the languages are spoken commonly)?

I have lived in a number of places and countries (and continents). Nowadays, I would say that I have lived more time in my source/target language country.

If you live in your source/target language country, would you like to live in the opposite source/language country permanently? (I hope that makes sense:))

Well, since Greek and English are both my source/target languages, I guess that I would to say that I would like to live (again) in the States or any other English-speaking country (except the UK).

If you live in a country that's different to where you were born or lived for a long time, what do you miss about your native home country?

The warm and friendly people, the easy pace and the beauty of what is Egypt.

If you neither live in the country of your source or target language, what's your story?

Boy, you are lucky that I now live in one of source/target languages country!!!

Alot of variations on the same question but I think it will be interesting and let's face it...everyone has a tale to tell:)

10 years in Egypt, 6 years in Libya and Malta (where I attended school), on and off 6 years in the US, Italy and Greece. It is a long (and quite interesting story... but, I would need a lot of free time to elaborate).

Interesting poll Mark.

Enjoy a great day / evening!!



[Edited at 2006-08-21 11:37]


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Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:18
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Native here Aug 21, 2006

Well, my story is short and simple: I am a native Portuguese and I translate into my native language.

Regards,

Teresa


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 13:18
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting! Aug 21, 2006

Nadia Fahmi wrote:
How did you acquire your two (at least) languages?

Home (multiracial family) and school (multilingual).


I always envy people born into a multi-racial family or who went to a decent multi-lingial school. I remember going to school with a girl (in the UK) who's parents were French and she spoke amazing French but she was so embarrassed about it! I used to think she was so lucky. I don't know what she's doing know but I hope she's embraced the gift she was given.


If you live in your source/target language country, would you like to live in the opposite source/language country permanently? (I hope that makes sense:))

Well, since Greek and English are both my source/target languages, I guess that I would to say that I would like to live (again) in the States or any other English-speaking country (except the UK).


Just out of interest, why not the UK?


If you live in a country that's different to where you were born or lived for a long time, what do you miss about your native home country?

The warm and friendly people, the easy pace and the beauty of what is Egypt.


I hear you on this. I spent one month in Egypt travelling from Cairo right down to visit the temple of Abu Simbel in the south and I had a whale of a time. Egypt is one of the few places that I've been too that I would go back to again and again:)


Alot of variations on the same question but I think it will be interesting and let's face it...everyone has a tale to tell:)

10 years in Egypt, 6 years in Libya and Malta (where I attended school), on and off 6 years in the US, Italy and Greece. It is a long (and quite interesting story... but, I would need a lot of free time to elaborate).


That is an interesting life:) I was born in Jersey. A tiny, tiny island in the English channel and when I was growing up I discovered that most people who lived there never left the island their whole lives. I swore I wasn't going to be one of them!

Isn't travelling the best education you can get? How can you know about real life if you spend your whole life in one place? I think that's one thing that all translators have in common. Travel. Plus their interest and love of different countries and people and culture.

Thank you for your answer:)

Mark


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Italian to English
+ ...
In target country and other... Aug 21, 2006

I'm currently spending my time between my target language country (Italy) and Luxembourg.
I learnt Italian after falling in love with a tall, dark handsome Roman and moving to Italy to be with him. He's now on secondment at a European Institute in Luxembourg, hence the flitting between two countries.

What do I miss about the UK? I don't seriously miss anything, which is why I only go back every couple of years or so! I miss British sausages, proper cream, smoked mackerel (although you can get that in Lux), and crumpets. I miss Waitrose, although in compensation I love using my local greengrocers, butchers, ironmongers and so on, which have almost disappeared from the average British high street).
I miss the British sense of humour (even after 8 years of living with me my partner still thinks scatological jokes are "volgare", although he accepts they're perfectly OK in most British circles), and on the rare occasions I bother to turn on the TV, I miss the BBC (although not enough to bother getting it by satellite). And I miss a couple of friends, but I've made lots more in Italy over the years.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 13:18
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
One foot in the Grave.. Aug 21, 2006

Marie-Helene Hayles wrote:
What do I miss about the UK? I don't seriously miss anything, which is why I only go back every couple of years or so!


I've been living in China now for over 2 years and at first I missed alot about the UK which I guess is only natural. As time went on I just got used to things here and now I don't miss anything in particular so much.

In the beginning it was mostly the food I missed but now I find I miss British tv so much! Now I have discovered BT Comet (I think that's how it's spelt) and I can download alot of the old faves. I'm currently doing re-runs of "One Foot in the Grave", "Ab Fab" and the "Vicar of Dibley"...so funny:) That British humour is so lost on the Chinese!

I love Rome by the way. I spent a month there qualifying to teach English and I saw everything I could within the time I had and the city is stunning. So much history.

I think you are very lucky to be living there:)

Mark


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Target Aug 21, 2006

(LATAM) Spanish.

Au


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 19:18
English to French
+ ...
Another saga Aug 21, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:
I was wondering if you live in the country that has your source language as the native language or have you moved abroad?


Both! English is source and target for me. I guess you could say that I moved abroad.


How did you acquire your two (at least) languages?


I acquired my 2 major languages like Nadia, growing up in a multicultural family. I learned the third one for fun, and it became my undergrad major later because T&I was a graduate program at my school so I needed to complete a BA first.


Have you lived or spent a long time in both your source and target language countries (or countries where the languages are spoken commonly)?


Yes, except for Japan. I visited several times but I never lived there.


If you live in your source/target language country, would you like to live in the opposite source/language country permanently? (I hope that makes sense:))


No way! The US is the perfect place for me.


If you live in a country that's different to where you were born or lived for a long time, what do you miss about your native home country?


Nothing! This expat is a happy camper!

Sarah


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:18
Flemish to English
+ ...
None and all Aug 21, 2006

In a E.U. with high speed (cross-chanel) trains and low cost carriers how relevant is the question where do you live: target, source or none?
If I want to practise French, English and Flemish/Dutch I just hop on the Eurostar from say Brussels to Londen and vice-versa.. If I want to practise Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, ... etc, I just take Rynair or Easyjet. or stay at home and use Skype. There is also such a thing as internet tv.

Yes, "jumpseat" (abolished) was the education of a lifetime. It allowed me to visit Beijing, Hong Kong and a lot of other places in the world. Now I will have to satisfy myself with taking the Transsiberian, all the way to the terminal-station in Beijing and not get off in Omsk.
---


[Edited at 2006-08-21 13:37]


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TonyTK
German to English
+ ...
Germany has it all. Aug 21, 2006

Like many of the German-English translators here on ProZ whose mother tongue is English, I live in Germany. There's not really anything I miss, apart from white medium sliced bread, pickled onions, Wensleydale cheese and Branston pickle.

Well, I suppose I also miss Walkers crisps, teabags, decent potatoes à la Maris Piper, chips made from real potatoes, being called "Luv" when I go shopping, Boddingtons' best bitter, cricket at Old Trafford, Dandelion and Burdock, paying at the bar, breakfast in a tin, The Guardian, brown sauce and baked beans – but that's about all.

OK, I mean I'm bound to miss intelligent television, Private Eye, salad cream, all-night shopping, Tesco microwave curries, mushy peas, Ribena, rugby, ploughman's lunches and Poundstretcher – it's only natural.

Then there's Bovril, Bisto, Mr. Kipling, Mr. Whippy, all the members of the Royle family, pork sausages, pork pies, pork scratchings, Yorkshire puddings, fish suppers, pub food, Lucozade, Polo Mints – but that'd be about it, I guess, with the exception of Cornish pasties and clotted cream, and it would be nice to have a cooker with an eye-level grill to make the buttered crumpets I haven't got either.


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:18
English to Greek
+ ...
Citizen of the world Aug 21, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:
I always envy people born into a multi-racial family or who went to a decent multi-lingual school. I remember going to school with a girl (in the UK) who's parents were French and she spoke amazing French but she was so embarrassed about it! I used to think she was so lucky. I don't know what she's doing know but I hope she's embraced the gift she was given.


This "difference" can be very embarrassing at times, especially if none of the other kids is "different". But, I came out alright and I really enjoy my "difference".

Chinese Concept wrote:
Just out of interest, why not the UK?


It would have been more to the point if I had said GB, because I could easily live in Ireland or the British Isles (which by the way are beautiful), or Cornwall. But, not in England. The weather, the mentality, the people are so different from what I am used to.

Chinese Concept wrote:
I hear you on this. I spent one month in Egypt travelling from Cairo right down to visit the temple of Abu Simbel in the south and I had a whale of a time. Egypt is one of the few places that I've been too that I would go back to again and again:)


I know, I love my country of birth (and half-origin. I have lived in Greece and other places for many years, but every time I visit Egypt, I feel at home and all warm inside.

Chinese Concept wrote:
That is an interesting life:) I was born in Jersey. A tiny, tiny island in the English channel and when I was growing up I discovered that most people who lived there never left the island their whole lives. I swore I wasn't going to be one of them!


I have visited the Isle of Man, but not Jersey. But, I think I would have loved it. You see, I love quiet places, where every one knows every one. Maybe that's one of the reasons I am still living in the same neighbourhood in the centre of Athens, instead of moving to suburbs as most people do.

Chinese Concept wrote:
Isn't travelling the best education you can get? How can you know about real life if you spend your whole life in one place? I think that's one thing that all translators have in common. Travel. Plus their interest and love of different countries and people and culture.


I agree with you. If you love languages, then you are bound to want to visit the country of a language you love and get to know the people and their culture. And this makes you a better translator I believe.

Warm regards,
Nadia


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Source Aug 21, 2006

I live in the country where my source language is spoken, because I married one of the natives and he got a better-paid job here than I did back in the UK. The cost of living was higher here too, but there were several other factors, family etc.

It's nearly 30 years ago, and many things have changed.

But it is even more true now that you come across English, my target language, everywhere, while my source language, Danish, is not heard nearly so often outside Denmark. So the best place to keep up with both is Denmark with frequent visits etc. with England.

What I miss? Not much apart from my own relations and the odd things like Marmite and Haggis that you still can't get here... The smell of the Tube (well, I can do without it, but I've just been home on holiday, and it gets in your blood!)

Northumberland, where I grew up, and the lovely Border accents. The Cheviot hills, Kielder Forest and Lindisfarne... Jutland is lovely too, but on a smaller scale.

Real Christmas on Christmas Day, not the rushed Danish affair on Christmas Eve that is over when the rest of us would just be hanging up our stockings ...

A few things like that. On the whole the Danes invaded England 1000 years ago and the traces are still there, but I'm not Danish, and the longer I live here, the more I am aware that I never will be!

I love both countries and I'd miss Denmark if I lived permanently in the UK.



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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:18
English to Polish
Target... for now... Aug 21, 2006

I was wondering if you live in the country that has your source language as the native language or have you moved abroad?

So far I live in target language country, where I was born, but within a few months I plan to move to HK - so it's neither source or target (but hope to add one more pair to my languages)

How did you acquire your two (at least) languages?
Schools. English in high school (and using it almost everyday since) and I studied Russian and Ukrainian. Now I start learning Chinese.

Have you lived or spent a long time in both your source and target language countries (or countries where the languages are spoken commonly)?
No. I always lived in Poland. Have been visiting other places, but never lived there

If you live in your source/target language country, would you like to live in the opposite source/language country permanently? (I hope that makes sense:))
I choose place of my residence according to where I WANT to live, not what language people speak

If you live in a country that's different to where you were born or lived for a long time, what do you miss about your native home country?
Ask me in a year, after I move to HK

So my story isn't anywhere close to be as interesting as others, who have posted here, but who knows what future might bring

Anni


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 13:18
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My story... Aug 21, 2006

...not edge of the seat stuff but here goes:

As I said earlier I was born in Jersey in the CI, tiny island in between England and France...9 miles long and 5 miles wide and yes...everyone knows everyone...and they know absolutely everything about everyone, everything and anything...no escape!

So aged 18 I escaped big time to Israel and lived on a kibbutz for 6 months. Traveled all around Israel, Egypt and Turkey and from then on I had the travel bug.

I had the bug for everything. Traveling, differentl anguages, different people, cultures, food, money the whole works.

Going back to my hometown island after that was really hard.

Couldn't settle back down in Jersey so I moved to London. Got caught up in the rat race for a few years and then was made redundant from banking. At the time it seemed a catastrophe but looking back now it was such a godsend and the kick up the **** I needed to get out and do something different.

Shifted sideways (career wise) into teaching English and found myself moving to China.

Funny sometimes, you look back at all of the different paths open to you and then you find yourself taking a path which at the time seems the scariest and the riskiest thing to do but then in retrospect turns out to be the exact path you should have taken.

I guess there's someone out there who's got it all mapped out:)

Mark


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both Aug 21, 2006

On the U.S.-Mexico border, both languages are spoken, all media are present in abundance; businesses, professions, activities, education, etc. of all kinds are carried on in both languages. Both cultures are present, and nothing need be missed from either one.

Sadly the border is also an area that tends to be very provincial and few people take real advantage of the good things it offers. But it is all there for the taking.


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