Your experiences

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Keswick
English Legend
Beiträge: 4760
Registriert: 30. Jul 2008 11:20
Muttersprache: Deutsch
Wohnort: Borough of Gateshead

Your experiences

Beitrag von Keswick »

Hello all,

I am interested in your experiences with people when you told them that you are a not a native speaker. Let me give you an example:

On Saturday my husband and I were invited to a birthday party in a little village in the North.
One couple (elderly people in their late 60's) sat at our table. My mother-in-law introduced them to us and vice versa, and made a little joke, saying "that's Paul's wife, she's from the very far South". The woman asked me where exactely I am from, so I said that I am German. And all of a sudden I heard her husband say "Isch spresche ein bissen Deutsche". I smiled at him and he continued (in English this is): "My English.. in restaurant, ordering food, good. Ordering drinks okay. But the rest.. very very bad". Both my husband and I starred at him and we did not know whether to laugh or to cry. I smiled and said "Well, ordering food and drink is basically all you need, isn't it. You could still use your hands and feet for the rest. And if nothing helps, draw them a picture". His wife seemed so embarrassed so she tried to take the attention off her husband. She asked me what I am doing in the UK and I said "I work as a Linguist Monitor and translator". In that very moment I could see the man blush :mrgreen: . And I think he wished he could turn into a mouse and hide under a rock.

Well that was my experience on Saturday. I am not mad at the man, not at all. Although I think if you're being introduced as the wife of an English man, people could assume that you're able to speak the English language. Don't you agree?

So how about you? Are you fluent in a language but have met people who spoke to you like you were either thick or hard of hearing? Have you ever smiled at someone but thought "Talk to me like to a human being, I am 28 years old, not 5 years old"?

I'm interested in your experiences and remember, it is about all languages, not only English :).
Zuletzt geändert von Keswick am 24. Nov 2008 09:08, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
Bitte keine Korrektur- / Erklärungsanfragen per PN.
British English (BE) Sprecher.




Asection2
Topic Talker
Beiträge: 68
Registriert: 18. Nov 2007 15:09
Muttersprache: Bis zum 5. Lebensjahr Englisch

Beitrag von Asection2 »

Hi Keswick,

If I wanted to I would write an entire book about that topic...
When I was in France I was always introduced as "The German", so they assumed
that I couldn't speak French and started talking about me.
After that I said: "Moi, je ne pense pas que les Allemands sont comme ca." Which means: " I don't think that the Germans are like that." After that they stared at me and blushed. :D :rofl

Another day, there was a student from Oxford and we needed him for a project. My teacher told me to fetch him from the library, I did. When I arrived back at the classroom, every one was hiding under the desks. (Somehow I didn't see them). I was so embarrassed that i couldn't say a word. So I felt like an idiot. All over sudden all my English was gone, therefore the student thought I couldn't speak English and asked me: Do - you - [pointing at me] know - [looking at me] where - they- are?"
And I answered: "I got no idea, I guess they are just fooling me."
Should have seen his face. :freu:
Oh Captain, My Captain...

Keswick
English Legend
Beiträge: 4760
Registriert: 30. Jul 2008 11:20
Muttersprache: Deutsch
Wohnort: Borough of Gateshead

Beitrag von Keswick »

Haha, Asection2, that are two brilliant little stories. Especially the one about the French, as something similar happened to me before. To be fair, my French is not very good, but I can easily follow a conversation. It is just the talking that is a bit difficult, probably because I don't dare.

You know people should not think that someone who speaks in a foreign language to whoever they're with, doesn't speak the language of the country they live in, do you know what I mean? So if I speak German to my sister on the bus, people should not assume I don't speak English. But the same goes for foreigners: I have experiences German students on the train who talked about the passengers, and they were quite rude. But they assumed nobody understands them. Well I did, obvisiously :big_thumb: and I told them off.
Bitte keine Korrektur- / Erklärungsanfragen per PN.
British English (BE) Sprecher.

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