im going to have a stroke
Instead try…Person A: You know… the thingPerson B: The “thing”?Person A: Yeah, the thing with the little-! *mutters under their breath* Como es que se llama esa mierda… THE FISHING ROD
As someone with multiple bilingual friends where English is not the first language, may I present to you a list of actual incidents I have witnessed:
Forgot a word in Spanish, while speaking Spanish to me, but remembered it in English. Became weirdly quiet as they seemed to lose their entire sense of identity.Used a literal translation of a Russian idiomatic expression while speaking English. He actually does this quite regularly, because he somehow genuinely forgets which idioms belong to which language. It usually takes a minute of everyone staring at him in confused silence before he says “….Ah….. that must be a Russian one then….”Had to count backwards for something. Could not count backwards in English. Counted backwards in French under her breath until she got to the number she needed, and then translated it into English.Meant to inform her (French) parents that bread in America is baked with a lot of preservatives. Her brain was still halfway in English Mode so she used the word “préservatifes.” Ended up shocking her parents with the knowledge that apparently, bread in America is full of condoms.Defined a slang term for me……. with another slang term. In the same language. Which I do not speak.Was talking to both me and his mother in English when his mother had to revert to Russian to ask him a question about a word. He said “I don’t know” and turned to me and asked “Is there an English equivalent for Нумизматический?” and it took him a solid minute to realize there was no way I would be able to answer that. Meanwhile his mom quietly chuckled behind his back.Said an expression in English but with Spanish grammar, which turned “How stressful!” into “What stressing!”
Bilingual characters are great but if you’re going to use a linguistic blunder, you have to really understand what they actually blunder over. And it’s usually 10x funnier than “Ooops it’s hard to switch back.”
I use Spanish and English daily, none is my native language. When I’m tired or did not have enough sleep I loose track of who to address in which language; I caught myself explaining something in Spanish to my English-speaking friends more than once. When I’m REALLY tired I’ll throw some Polish words in the mix.
There is nothing more painful than bad fake Spanglish by an American writer. Bilingual people don’t just randomly drop words in nonsensical places in their sentences ffs. “I’m muy tired! I think I’ll go to my cama and go to sleep!“ Nobody does that.
From my bilingual parents:
- Only being able to do math in their original language. “Ok so that would beeeeee … *muttering* ocho por cuatro menos tres…”
- Losing words and getting mad at you about it. “Gimme the - the - UGH, ESA COSA AHI’ CARAJO. The thing, the oven mitt. Christ.”
- Making asides to you in Spanish even though you’ve told them to not do this as lots of people here speak Spanish. “Oye, mira esa, que cara fea.” “MOM FFS WE’RE IN A MEXICAN NEIGHBORHOOD.”
- Swears in English don’t count.
- Swears in Spanish mean you’d better fucking run, kid.
- Introducing you to English-only Americans using your Spanish name so that they mispronounce your name for all eternity because that’s what your mom said your name was. “Hi Dee-yanna!” “sigh, Just call me Diana.” “Yeah but your mom said your name was Dee-yanna.”
- Your parents give you a name that only makes sense in Spanish. “Your name is Floor?” “No, my name is Flor.” “FLOOR?” “Sigh.”
- conjugating English words with Russian grammar and vice versa. Sometimes both at once, which is extra fun.
- when vice versa, dropping English articles entirely. The, a, an: all gone. e.g. “I go to store and buy thing, I fix car and go to place.” This also happens when i am very tired
- speaking English with heavy accent you don’t actually have - when my family and I are switching over fast, we say the English words in a very heavy Russian accent that mostly doesn’t show up otherwise
- keysmashing in the wrong language when your keyboard is still switched over
- using ))))) instead of :))) or other culture-specific emoji/typing quirks
all of the above
-switching from Romanes to English and forgetting that articles exist because Romanes doesn’t always use them-starting to say a word in one language and trying to smoothly transition it to another language: n…oooooo, thank you is probably my most common-using English profanity when speaking Romanes-using Romanes profanity when speaking English.. that’s how you know I am angry-the over extension of the word “not” in English that comes out something like this; “I have not cash on me”.-counting in my head in Romanes always, but math always in English, which might explain my bad math skills-drunk accents.. I have a heavy accent when drunk.. and only when drunk-substituting Romani words when trying to speak in Serbian even when the other speaker is bilingual in English-aspirating English phonemes that are not meant to be aspirated -accidentally pronouncing the English “i” sounds as “ee”.. I have a dog named Snickers and everyone thinks her name is Sneakers-describing objects in detail, but forgetting the actual name of it in your target language; dzhanes, ‘odaji glazhuni.. thaj zhamija si ‘oda.. ejjjjj.. dikhes perdal oda.. ejjjj.. ekh… feljastra! Ekh feljastra! -”the thing” in both languages.. -except e buki also means “the work”, and o kasavo mean “such”, or “like this”, so in English I mean to say “the thing”, but I really say “the this, you know, this, this, this, the thingy.” But, it sounds like, “da dis, you know, dis, dis, dis, da tingy.”-subject verb agreement doesn’t exist when switching languages; ^^see above.. that was not an intentional mistake-“is mine” to mean “I have”; “Dog is mine” = “I have a dog”
I could keep going.. but, yea, bilingual quirks are waaaay better and funnier when you actually understand how they work and the grammar quirks of both target languages.
I always fucking forget the word “chess”???? And I sit there saying шахматы over and over to myself until I finally remember it in English.
blunders also happen when they have to note down something real quick or take lectures! my notes when I was in Italy for my exchange year are incomprehensible to basically everyone lmao it’s a huge jumble of thai, english, and italian. because sometimes it’s easier to just write down a concept in english rather than have to translate it back to your native language!
also while I was there I spent a day with an american friend and when we were saying goodbye to each other this literally happened: “well have a safe trip home!! I’ll see you….. um…. dopo… dopo.. dopo.. LATER! LATER!! I’LL SEE YOU LATER”
found @ 27 likes ON 2019-03-08 23:57:52 BY ME.ME