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Poll: Do you live in your native country?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:40
SITE STAFF
Nov 9, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you live in your native country?".

This poll was originally submitted by Olivia MAHÉ

View the poll here

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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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:40
French to Spanish
+ ...
No. Nov 9, 2006

Born in Brussels (Belgian father -french speaking-, Spanish mother -spanish and catalan speaking-... a good start for a translator), lived in Belgium a few years, then in Cuba, in Switzerland and finaly here, in Mexico.

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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Great question! Nov 9, 2006

Was always curious about this...

By the way, also wondering:

If you don't live in your native country, what country do you pick for your profile: where you come from or where you're living?

Regards,

Heidi


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:40
Spanish to English
No Nov 9, 2006

I am British born and lived there for most of my life (more than 50 years). For the last 6 years I have lived in Valencia Spain. Here I studied Spanish language, communicated with my Spanish neighbours, and am now here as forever forever can be.
Some agencies/clients don't like their "native" translators to live in their source language too long as their native language may deteriorate or copy the style of that country.
This may hold true for, say, an 18-21 year old living in a foreign country for a long time, but I believe my English is so ingrained it will never leave me.
It's a shame it could not be a double-edged question, as I believe that more Europeans do not live in their native country than Americans!!??


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Size *does* matter Nov 9, 2006

David Brown wrote:
It's a shame it could not be a double-edged question, as I believe that more Europeans do not live in their native country than Americans!!??


That makes sense as a simple matter of geography, as there are several very large countries in the Americas. For instance, I could move 50 miles, 300 miles, or 3,000 miles and still be in the United States. By contrast, if you travel 3,000 miles from where you live in Valencia, you cross multiple national borders.


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Tadej Kokalj  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 16:40
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Yes, size do matter Nov 9, 2006

Pole should than be: Do you live in your native county/state?

And for me: As a typical Slovenian, haven't moved a meter since born (with exception of few moths in Switzerland) - still same adress


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:40
English to French
+ ...
The question should read: Nov 9, 2006

do you live in your native LANGUAGE country, obviously!


[Edited at 2006-11-09 18:37]


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Enrique
Local time: 11:40
SITE STAFF
Why? Nov 9, 2006

Olivia MAHÉ wrote:
The question should read:
do you live in your native LANGUAGE country, obviously!


I understand that the poll asks if you live in the country where you where born. It is a good question.

Enrique


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:40
Dutch to English
+ ...
Maybe because Olivia posed the question originally ..... Nov 9, 2006

Enrique wrote:

Olivia MAHÉ wrote:
The question should read:
do you live in your native LANGUAGE country, obviously!


I understand that the poll asks if you live in the country where you where born. It is a good question.

Enrique


...... and she is therefore confirming what she intended it to read.

If you were born in England, to English parents and now live in Australia, the answer to your interpretation of the question would be NO.

The answer to the question Olivia posed - and which she meant to phrase as she states above or which was edited after she submitted it - would be YES (accepting variants of the same language for the purposes of the question)

Can make a world of difference (excuse the pun).











[Edited at 2006-11-09 22:51]


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 11:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
You've got me thinking ... Nov 9, 2006

From 0 to 25 years I was in my native country - the UK - absolutely non-stop apart from a one-day school trip to Bologne (France) at the age of around 12.

From age 25 to now I've hardly set foot in the UK, having lived and worked in Honduras, Guatemala, Belgium and Switzerland - and for the last three years in Chile.

So, I spent roughly the first half my life in the UK, the second half outside the UK - and I'm just wondering where I shall end up spending the third half !

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-11-09 22:54]


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Enrique
Local time: 11:40
SITE STAFF
This is an excellent answer to my question :-) Nov 10, 2006

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Enrique wrote:

Olivia MAHÉ wrote:
The question should read:
do you live in your native LANGUAGE country, obviously!


I understand that the poll asks if you live in the country where you where born. It is a good question.

Enrique


Maybe because Olivia posed the question originally ... and she is therefore confirming what she intended it to read.



I had not realized that the comment came from the person who had suggested the poll.

Regards,
Enrique


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 20:10
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
The question is irrelevant to multicultural countries like India Nov 10, 2006

How would one define the nativity of a person from India, which has hundreds of nativities living within its political borders? If a Hindi native moves to a Tamil native-speaking area of India, he/she is still technically within his country, but the native area has changed. The situation is further compounded by the fact that most Indians are bi(multi)lingual and stradle more than one language as language territories usually overlap.

The question reveals a mainly 18th and 19th century mind set, when virulent nationalism emerged and engulfed the world into two disastrous world wars. The underlying concept of nationalism was one nation-one language. This wiped out the linguistic diversity of most of Europe leaving single languages ruling the roost in most political units, which were mostly at war with each other not only in Europe, but also wherever they had colonies. But this skewed linguistic situation of Europe cannot be taken as the norm for the world. Most countries of the world are multi-lingual to a large extent. With the formation of the European Union and the dissolution of old, feuding national identities, even Europe is reverting to its former, more natural, multi-clutural, multi-lingual form.

The problem with the question is that it assumes that the boundaries of languages are coterminus with the boundaries of nations. Anything further from reality cannot be imagined. Many languages have broken free from national boundaries. English, for example, is now no longer restricted to the island of England, but is spoken extensively in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and many other places. Same is the case with Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and many other world languages.

On the other hand, many multicultural countries like India or USA have a number of languages spoken within their borders. India has 19 official languages and more than a thousand distinct languges.

Probably the question would have made more sense if it had been worded as: Do you live within the geographical boundaries of your language in your country?

[Edited at 2006-11-10 03:07]


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Miomira Brankovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 16:40
Member
English to Serbian
+ ...
Well…yes and no Nov 10, 2006

For a moment I wanted to click the yes button, but then stopped short, realizing that I actually do not know. I have not moved, I still speak the same language – but my country changed, and the name of my native language changed too. I was born and lived all my life in what was known as Yugoslavia, my native tongue was Serbo-Croat for the good part of my life. Then my country broke up into six independent states and my hometown, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is now in a different country, while I have been living in Belgrade, Serbia, ever since my childhood. The language spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now referred to as Bosnian (should be the same one that I was taught at school in Sarajevo as Serbo-Croat, one cannot change the native language of the whole population), while its “Eastern dialect” is now officially named Serbian. Croatian is the official name of the erstwhile Serbo-Croat “Western dialect”.
Therefore, Balasubramaniam is right:
[quote]:
Probably the question would have made more sense if it had been worded as: Do you live within the geographical boundaries of your language in your country?


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Carolyn Brice  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 00:40
French to English
+ ...
I have NEVER lived in my "native" country Nov 10, 2006

The way I read the question seems to be the way Olivia meant it, and so I answered accordingly (no). Being from a French mother and New Zealander father (therefore French/English native speaker), I can say I have never lived in either of those countries, but rather in the UK (where I was born), then Germany, then Kuwait, then the UK again (for the longest period- 14 years). Now I live in Greece.

End result: always a foreigner!!

And to answer someone's question about what to put on yourprofile, I put my country of residence of course.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:40
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Simple question, complex answer! Nov 10, 2006

No, I don't live in my native country, which is India.

Unfortunately I don't speak any of the languages either, because in multilingual, multicultural Bombay (now Mumbai) one did not allow small white children out on the streets alone. My parents spoke Marathi fluently, and my father taught New Testament Greek... and could read several other languages when he needed to.

I learnt a lot of Latin at school in the UK, but the teacher frightened me off Greek except for what I learned from the biology teacher!

Living in Denmark is ideal for me - you can't escape English unless you keep away from the TV and avoid quite a lot of products i the shops and supermarkets!

With just a little effort there is access to good quality English and American broadcasts by satellite TV, or newspapers and magazines on the Internet... while Danish Radio only dubs films if they are intended for children. Films, documentaries and programmes for everyone else are subtitled and you hear the original dialogue in English, German, Arabic or whatever! It's a great way to learn and keep in touch with the language, while at the same time life goes on in Danish all around you.

It's and ideal situation for a translator!


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