Interesting article about learning languages
Thread poster: Javier Wasserzug

Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 18, 2013

Trying to Learn a Foreign Language? Avoid Reminders of Home

Bilingual immigrants are more likely to slip back into their first languages when reminded of home.

Read more HERE

© 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:12
Russian to English
+ ...
Well, the link doesn't work Jun 18, 2013

What is that supposed to mean: "they slip back into their first language? Is it good or bad? What do you mean by reminders. I think no artificial stimulation of bilingual children -- telling them which language to speak, or even forcing them to do so, makes much sense.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
English to German
+ ...
Here is the link again Jun 18, 2013

LilianBNekipelo wrote:

Well, the link doesn't work
What is that supposed to mean: "they slip back into their first language? Is it good or bad? What do you mean by reminders. I think no artificial stimulation of bilingual children -- telling them which language to speak, or even forcing them to do so, makes much sense.


http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/06/trying-to-learn-a-foreign-langua.html?ref=wp


I actually can confirm that. I have been married for more than 16 years to an American who doesn't speak a single word of German. Whenever we discuss topics regarding my parents or other childhood things, I tend to mix in German words. Don't ask me why this happens, I can't explain. It never happens when we discuss, for example, German politics.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:12
Russian to English
+ ...
Sure, I believe you. Jun 19, 2013

But if you like it, why should you try to change it, or avoid it? There is nothing wrong with mixing languages, from time to time -- of course not in any formal type of circumstances.

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Texte Style
Local time: 13:12
French to English
la madeleine de Proust Jun 19, 2013

Nicole didn't say whether she liked it or not. She just observed it.

I put my command of French down to the fact that I avoided all English-speakers like the plague when I came to Paris to learn the language, to the point of being rude.

I did learn something about how memory works in my translation studies course; Proust's madeleine is scientifically spot-on. One thing triggers another. Obviously, when we are reminded of our childhood we will also recall the language we used during our childhood.

When I can't remember a French word because the English word just bubbles up and obliterates my French, I get flustered and angry. It annoys me because as a linguist I take pride in expressing myself properly. So for me at least, there's plenty wrong with it!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Texte Style! :-) Jun 19, 2013

Texte Style wrote:

Nicole didn't say whether she liked it or not. She just observed it.



I gave this phenomenon more thought and found out that it mostly happens when I try to describe concepts, environments or day-by-day situations that were perfectly common in the 60s, but simply don't exist any longer. Not even young folk of the same language would have this kind of vocabulary at their command. Now try to explain such concepts that didn't even exist in your new country in a different language.


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