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Re: CONLANG Digest - 24 Sep 2003 to 25 Sep 2003 (#2003-271)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Saturday, September 27, 2003, 10:44
M. Astrand wrote:
> >--- Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote: > >> PS Hanging on to this list is going to fulfill > >> one very practical purpose for > >> me during this year - saving my English! I'm > >> amazed and dismayed to see that > >> after only one week of speaking mostly German, > >> it's an mental effort to switch > >> to English. Has anyone else going to a foreign > >> country experienced anything > >> similar? > > Do you mean you can keep languages from blocking each other, when *not* in > a foreign country?
Well, sort of. Before, the English word for X would pop up in my head each time I in the middle of a sentence realized I didn't know the next word in German, and sometimes English words appeared uninvitedly in Swedish sentences - typically words from subjects, like linguistics, I've mostly studied in English - but finding myself totally unable to utter a sentence in a language which I've used every day for years because it's blocked by a language I'm less good at speaking is a totally new experience. [snip]
> Speaking three different Germanic languages seems to have created all kinds > of unhelpful software in my brain.
I sometimes think it were better if I'd learnt Swahili and Chukchi instead of English and German. The almost-familiar is not infrequently worse than the out- and-screamingly alien. Just for masochism value, perhaps one should one day take the time to learn Dutch properly? I can already read it half the time, but learning to speak or write it would no doubt create alot of new interestingly unhelpful neuronal wirings ... Andreas