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Poll: Did you grow up in a bilingual household?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:14
SITE STAFF
Jul 20, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Did you grow up in a bilingual household?".

This poll was originally submitted by Damien Poussier. View the poll results »



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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 01:14
German to English
+ ...
Only if you count cockney and Lancastrian as two different languages Jul 20, 2012

and they were after all - in those days - practically mutually incomprehensible!

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Sabine Deutsch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:14
French to German
+ ...
Not really Jul 20, 2012

My mother is Danish but in those days they thought speaking two languages would disturb the children. So I only listened when my mother spoke Danish with her family and never learned to speak. But I understand it quite well.

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Leticia Klemetz, CT  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:14
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
Yes and no Jul 20, 2012

Well my parents were separated so I lived only with my mom (= one language) but she sent me to a Swedish school in Spain, so I went to school in Swedish and if I had any question while doing the homework, I had to translate it into Spanish for mom to understand the question. Same when we visited our Swedish family or went to hospital in Sweden. Hence, I started my days as a translator/interpreter at the early age of 3...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jul 20, 2012

But having studied them, my mum used to say things in French and German which may have prompted my own early interest in language/s.

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Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:14
German to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jul 20, 2012

And I feel very comfortable in both languages.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:14
Hebrew to English
No Jul 20, 2012

Hearing my Dad moan and complain about everything like an old fishwife and crack (bad) jokes in one language was quite enough

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:14
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jul 20, 2012

But I come from a long line of migrants who moved to countries all over the world, so there is a good number of foreigners in my larger family. Maybe this is what prompted me to learn different languages in the first place…

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:14
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jul 20, 2012

but as a child, I did learn Afrikaans and Siswati - all gone now, or may it can be washed back in a gain if I go back to good old Swaziland

Great to have a person behind the poll today

[Edited at 2012-07-20 15:32 GMT]


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Filipa Plant dos Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:14
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Not really ... Jul 20, 2012

Sabine Deutsch wrote:

My mother is Danish but in those days they thought speaking two languages would disturb the children. .


Yes - same here - though in my case my dad (Portuguese) didn't speak Portuguese to us as he was trying to improve his own English. But I did manage to pick up the lingo as most of his friends were Portuguese and we came back to Portugal every year on holiday. It was only when I came here to live in 1988 that my spoken Portuguese started to improve.

Shame really, as now of course everyone speaks to their children in their native language. I know one family where the parents speak Finnish and Portuguese to the children, and English between themselves, and Polish outside because they live in Poland. Lucky children, I say.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:14
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Jul 20, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:
Great to have a person behind the poll today

[Edited at 2012-07-20 09:47 GMT]


Yes, good to see an actual person behind the driving wheel today.

Back to the poll
However, there were Chinese, Greeks, French and West Indians and Jamaicans -- and, of course, yer fair selection of Cockneys (@David, thanks!) -- in my immediate neighbourhood, so everyday was an amazing polyglot mix, which was always fascinating.

Maybe this taste for the exotic was the inspiration behind my studying Japanese after seven years of Latin and four of Greek, and brought me to these shores.


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Hugo Martínez Andrade  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:14
Member (2012)
French to Spanish
+ ...
Bilingual household Jul 20, 2012

I've grown up in a bilingual region, but I'm not working with that language combination.

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Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Irish Jul 20, 2012

My father was an Irish speaker, and I do remember him speaking sometimes to his brother, but I don't actually know what level of fluency he had (he certainly received a percentage of his education in Irish).

However, apart from the odd word, he never spoke it at home (I was brought up in the UK.) Because no one would understand it? I don't know. My grandmother was of the era when they were punished at school for speaking Irish, but I think that my father, while allowed to speak, since he was born post independence, was not yet of the generation that was concerned to preserve the language. Different times.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:14
German to English
+ ...
Monolingual household Jul 20, 2012

Monolingual upbringing, as far as that was possible in a multicultural society (South Africa & Zimbabwe).

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, but I wish I did Jul 20, 2012

I grew up in a 100% Spanish-speaking family. My father, however, knew Italian but apparently it never occured to him that he could raise his kids speaking some Italian at least. He was not the only Italian speaker, however. One of his brothers and his wife spoke Italian too (as I learned much later in life).

I did have almost daily contact with Italian for 6 months when I was 8, as my father moved our family to the Andes to work for an Italian conglomerate (he was some sort of a technical drafter). Some Italian families had transferred to the same place and my sisters and I played with the Italian kids, tried to read some comic books in Italian, etc.

But I didn't pick up Italian as my interest in languages increased over the years, as you can see.

[Edited at 2012-07-20 11:39 GMT]


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