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Making a rod for your own back...

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by henriette, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    My French friends and I do that - sometimes each speaking our own language and sometimes the opposite!
  2. I have a French colleague - she speaks to me in French, I speak to her in German!
    And if our Romanian colleague is with us, we speak a complete mixture of German, French, English and Romanian (she is teaching us some Romanian words!). Then we have a Polish colleage, five Turkish colleagues, one Ukranian, one Croatian, one Danish, four Dutch and one Spanish.
    It is like bloomin United Nations in our office - my boss wants to practise his English, so we speak English.
    I sometimes dinnae know what the heck language I am reacting in!
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Good innit???????
  4. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    So jealous! I've always wanted to be more of a linguist - although I was good at French at school that was the only time I had chance to speak/practice a language and so that's pretty much slipped away... Being multi-lingual is such a great skill!
  5. Although this is the cookery forum, I am finding the conversation interesting!
    My children are bilingual, obviously, but can also speak some Turkish, Dutch and Greek and Italian, basically because we are surrounded by those languages too.
    Do you think the UK is a bit "isolated" and that the lack of practise is a key thing? On the other hand, there are many nationalities in the UK too? Why is there no peer learning - i.e. informal? We can all speak a bit of this that and the other here - no formal learning in most of the languages, we pick it up from one another as we go along.
    Most people in my area can at least understand Dutch - as we are right on the border. And nearly everyone can speak a bit of Turkish, Greek and Italian, as these were the Gastarbeiter Germany brought here and many stayed.
    Many can speak some Polish, as many families are German/Polish, especially those forced to leave the East after the war (the Vertriebene).
    In other areas, you will find many can speak French or Czech or Danish, obviously because of the borders.
    I think having 9 countries bordering you does lead to at least many of the population being multilingual but most of us also speak a bit of the lingo of those who have moved here (e.g. particularly those who in the first generation came as Gastarbeiter), plus most will speak English as well (some well, some not so well).
    I could waffle on about this for hours!

  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Same with us! We pop to France every couple of years for a get-together with a gang of old friends in our friends' family's holiday home near Avignon, and within a few days my French has come back as has their English and we're all merrily chatting away in a right old mixture of the two. The copious wine from the family's own vineyard helps loosen tongues a little mind, as do the 11am pastis!
  7. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Yes! Mum and I are both multilingual so we often talk at each other in different languages and the looks we get...well, its enough to make you fall about laughing!
  8. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    I have been known to go into an English shop and ask for kamoon, kusbara and hail!!
  9. I have been in UK supermarkets and asked where the zucchinis are.
    When it dawned on me that you call them courgettes, the shop assistant still didn't know what one was!

  10. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    When we lived near the German/Dutch border, we would often get the bus into Holland for shopping.
    Mum and I would speak German to the shop-assistants. They would reply in Dutch. Some English people with us stared and someone said "I didn't know you two spoke Dutch!". Mum and I grinned and at the same time said "We don't!"

    On the other hand. because I manage a couple of languages, people expect me to speak <u>every</u> language! I can manage English and German ....passable French and Russian....and some basic Spannish and a little Dutch. ....but when we went to Italy, friends grumbled because I don't speak italian!
  11. Yes - I remember teaching a class of ESL and a parent expecting me to understand Arabic.
    Sorry, no can do!
  12. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Tell me about it! We've had several students start at our school who speak Swahili as their main language this year and the SMT always come to me and ask me to translate. The conversation usually goes something like this:
    "Erm, I don't speak Swahili!"
    "But I thought you were from Africa?"
    "I am...but I've never spoken Swahili in my life."

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