Calling all polyglots!

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Leader of the Balkan Squad
Joined: 14.10.2016
Pending moderation

Hello, everyone!

I've been doing some research recently on multilingualism and polyglots in general, and, being one myself, have come across a phenomenon that I refer to as "Polyglot Problems". Such examples include:

Hearing words in a language you don't speak and interpreting them to be words in your language
Listening to music in a language you don't speak and yet you're able to sing along
And others.

My question is, do any of you have #PolyglotProblems of your own?

Editor from the Kingdom of Isolation
Joined: 21.06.2013

Hey!
I actually have. But I'm okay with it. Cause I have fun . (singing part is great)

whimsical chatterbox
Joined: 14.09.2013

English is the only language I know well enough to actually dream in it or be tempted to use specific idioms when talking in French, but I don't know if that qualifies as "polyglot problems".
Had some troubles with German too, after 6 months in Germany when I was a student. I spoke little or no English at the time and there was not a single French speaker around, so I had little choice but to try and wrap my head around the language.
I must have been slightly traumatized by the experience. When I came back to France, I tended to build my sentences like in German, break down my speech into very small chunks and occasionally find myself at a loss for words :).

Senior Member
Joined: 26.05.2017

I'm not really a polyglot (depends on your definition) but I can speak besides French, English pretty good and have a good level in Spanish, Italian and Dutch. The problem I've just got today was making mistakes in my own mother tongue because I translated from French to English and was thinking in English x) Plus, I watched videos in English with Spanish subs, without thinking in French.
Another nice thing that isn't really a 'problem', is the fact I can imitate pretty well accents of languages I don't know (Russian for example); then I can speak in French with these accents Teeth smile

Editor (Resident Evil)
Joined: 26.10.2015
crimsonDyname wrote:

Hearing words in a language you don't speak and interpreting them to be words in your language

Ever heard of "buffalaxing"? Try YouTube. Like when German "fremd und geheimnisvoll" ("strange and mysterious") is misheard as "enter the hymen store" (Dschingis Khan - Moskau). Or the other way around, English "as your bony fingers" sounds to a German like "Isch bau die Dinger" (dialect for "I'm rolling blunts") => Depeche Mode - Dream on.

crimsonDyname wrote:

Listening to music in a language you don't speak and yet you're able to sing along

I know a lot of Japanese songs by heart without actually understanding the language (I read the translations, but I usually can't remember details).

Konall wrote:

Another nice thing that isn't really a 'problem', is the fact I can imitate pretty well accents of languages I don't know (Russian for example); then I can speak in French with these accents Teeth smile

I tend to instinctively mimic the accents of native English speakers I'm with for a longer period (American, Irish etc.).
In German, I only do this for fun (and I'm told by native speakers of the respective accent that I'm not very good :D).

One of my own typical "polyglot problems" is false friends. Being bilingual, I switch often between German and English (sometimes mid-sentence) and sometimes one language gets in the way of the other and makes me fall for them although I should know better. Typical examples: using "actual" for "aktuell" ("current") or "decent" for "dezent" ("low-key").

Editor || ᴋɪssᴇᴅ ʙʏ ғɪʀᴇ . ♔
Joined: 08.09.2014

#Polyglot problems: Not being able to find enough opportunities to practise the languages you speak so you are ridden by a fear that your ability to speak is gradually fading and all your effort will be lost.

Princess
Joined: 12.07.2016

Sometimes while I'm speaking, a word from another language comes to my mind that I have to tell but I can't find it's equilibrium in the language that I speak that moment.

Moderator of the Balkans :)
Joined: 07.12.2012

My biggest problem is switching between languages subconsciously - probably because I'm at least bilingual on a daily basis and since my mind tends to wander around, sometimes I start saying something in one language and finish it in another. Another one is trying hard to "switch" to another language, but you can't remember the words/expressions, although you can think of them in at least 3 other languages.

I always try to find similarities between an unknown language and something I know already too.