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  1. #1
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Default Would you ever live in a country where you couldn't speak english?

    The correct title should be Would you ever live in a country where you couldn't speak *insert your mother tongue*?


    I'm thinking of living abroad, and I'd be choosing an english-speaking country for that (probably Canada). Thing is I've been analyzing myself when I talk english vs when I talked in my mother tongue (portuguese) and it's like I'm two different people. It's quite scary. I'm a Ne dominant and I thrive on saying the most ridiculous thing in my mind in an articulate or funny way....and in english I become much more serious, soulless and longwinded and boring. I also noticed it's easier for me to talk about my feelings in english. It is like I detach from the feeling-described words since they are in my mother tongue, and thus deeply rooted in my subconscious.

    I feel like another person and I've been reading on psychology and language on how much of our thought process' identity is relate to our native tongue. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my glow when I go abroad....Specially since it's the only thing I'm good at - being charismatic/funny/witty.

    So, would YOU be able to live in a country where you had to speak another language for the rest of your life? How would you think it would affect your personality?

    And do you have any tips for me?

  2. #2
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    Meh!! I grew Up in Quebec.. been there and done that.

    It really helps you learn another language.

    Translate advertising.. That way you learn the way people really speak, as opposed to academic language

  3. #3
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    Meh!! I grew Up in Quebec.. been there and done that.

    It really helps you learn another language.
    Helps what?

    I do know another language. My english is pretty good and has been here since I was 5 or something. I didn't have english speaking people to interact with though throughout the years.

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    I'ld like to live in Bavaria where they speak schwaenglish. " Ihhh hoav noee prohblems witzz liiiving ihn otha contriehs thenz Boyern."

    Since Bavaria will sooner or later be split off from the rest of Europe and venture out into the world on a lone island facing the arctic winters, I'ld like to be out of it before that happens. Therefore I'm really eager to ever visit the States or to live some time in France.

    They say home is where the heart is and I really hope that I will have the chance to one day live in France or the States for some time. These are my two favourites, except for Japan which is cool too or Australia which is ultra cool.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Ha ha, I have been doing the whole not speaking your mothertongue thing for the last 10 years and am doing fine. Too many Germans in one place annoy me anyway so it was good to leave my home country.

  6. #6
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    You'll probably find that once you've settled in, got to know some friends and got used to using English every day, your usual sparkle will come back. That's what I observe in the foreigners I deal with who come to live here.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  7. #7
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    I wouldn't, at least not at this point in my life. I moved around when I was younger and managed to make many different languages into my dominant language at the time... but at this point I don't think I could get used to a new language enough to start thinking in it and actually make it natural for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    Ha ha, I have been doing the whole not speaking your mothertongue thing for the last 10 years and am doing fine. Too many Germans in one place annoy me anyway so it was good to leave my home country.
    I think this change is easier on Is. I mean I'm sure I'll do "fine" myself. But I don't do fine, I wanna do great which is what I'm used to here. 10 years is such a long time...if I have to wait till I'm 40 to be as comfortable in english as I am in portuguese I'll consider it a defeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    You'll probably find that once you've settled in, got to know some friends and got used to using English every day, your usual sparkle will come back. That's what I observe in the foreigners I deal with who come to live here.
    The sparkle comes back....but to achieve awesomeness it takes years of practice ya know? Nothing irks me more than having friends that don't know my "real" side if ya know what I mean.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I feel like another person and I've been reading on psychology and language on how much of our thought process' identity is relate to our native tongue. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my glow when I go abroad....Specially since it's the only thing I'm good at - being charismatic/funny/witty.
    Play this up once in a while. In many cultures, English is seen as 'cool'.


    I dunno. I'd think that I'd get used to it and learn the country's native language. I'd have to be immersed in it--thrown in the deep end until I learn how to tread water.

    At the very least, if I'm in some other non-English speaking country, I'm sure as hell not going to insulate myself from their culture and language.

  10. #10
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I'm thinking of living abroad, and I'd be choosing an english-speaking country for that (probably Canada). Thing is I've been analyzing myself when I talk english vs when I talked in my mother tongue (portuguese) and it's like I'm two different people. It's quite scary. I'm a Ne dominant and I thrive on saying the most ridiculous thing in my mind in an articulate or funny way....and in english I become much more serious, soulless and longwinded and boring. I also noticed it's easier for me to talk about my feelings in english. It is like I detach from the feeling-described words since they are in my mother tongue, and thus deeply rooted in my subconscious.
    I have the same problem, although it's much less pronounced if / when I speak with someone whose mother tongue is a romance one. I think this is one of the main reasons why people tend to stick to their co-nationals when abroad, even if they can speak english / german / russian / chinese quite well.

    I wouldn't even say that it's a matter of pratice, for me at least. I've lived abroad, I could speak english in a completely natural and fluent fashion, yet I could feel that my personality was different, simply because it's impossible to express yourself in the same fashion. It's truly another personality; or, rather, the core of your personality is similar, but it's filtered through different expressions, thus it'll be externally different.

    I don't have any tips for you, except getting to know people of spanish / italian / brazilian / argentinian / chilean origin. Which isn't something that I'd consider "great", since you're trying to integrate into a new culture.
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