What is your mother tongue?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nebe_je_zde, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    Hmm Anu, interesting because in a way I have a similar problem. I was born in Malta but under British rule so English is more comfortable to use than Maltese for me, especially in view of the fact that from a very young age, I lived in Germany because my dad was in the British Army. So we went to British Schools run by the forces and I definitely do not dream or count in Maltese:) So what is my mother tongue?
  2. Diane

    Diane New Member

    This is a very interesting subject.
    I grew up in the Chicago area and was not aware of my regionalism in speaking. Then I moved to the Dallas area and became VERY aware of it. After living here for over twenty years I sound like neither place, or so I am told.
    My Mom was born in Cz. but would not teach us how to speak her native tongue. She and our aunt used it as a way to keep things from us. Of course we picked up some, especially since our neighborhood was almost all Czech.
    I studied German in school and remember quite a bit of it. It helps that my best friend was born in Germany.
    My husband was of Italian descent and I've picked up some Italian.
    Now, I try to learn as much Spanish as possible. Many, many hispanics here in Texas.

    As far as American English goes, I think it is changing all the time. The need to use proper grammar seems to be diminishing. Also, there is a trend to put "ize" on words or use a form of a word that has "ize".
    Notice how I used the word "use" instead of the popular favorite "utilize".
    Oh well!
  3. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Mother tongue: Good ole American English.
  4. stepan

    stepan Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I repeated myself - not realizing I had already posted - but here is more.

    HMMM - I spoke Czech until I was 5 - then I started school and spoke English in school and Czech at home. I became Bi-lingual. In high school I took Latin for 1 year then I studied (note- I said studied - not learned) German for 3 years, then two years in college.

    Today, my primary tongue is English, but I practice my Czech whenever I can - that I why I visit the Czech Embassy in DC as often as I can. I say my daily prayers in Czech.

    My Czech is slowly leaving me because I really have no one to speak it with on a daily or weekly or even monthly basis. I never learned to read the language, so I cannot practice by reading it.

    My Czech is the Czech of the 1940's - the language my family brought to the US when we emmigrated here. in the early 1990's, I was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where there is a large Czech settlement - going back to the mid 1800's. I visited the Czech book store anf the young man there was from the Czech Republic. We began speaking in Czech and he said that my Czech was so much better thant the local Czech. Of course, mine was the language of the 1940's and what was spoken there was of the 1850's - almost a 100 year diffference. Their language did not evolve in 90 years, mine in 40 years. So my Czech was more modern and he could understand.

    I listen to Czech being spoken today and it is difficult since there is over 50 more years of evolution from my language, especially in the technical area - which I never learned since mine was the "home" Czech, not the business Czech.
  5. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    That's what I was referring to, Mike. :p

    Interestingly, I've only heard it from students of English who learned the British accent, not Brits themselves (although I've heard stories about jerky Brits). I guess they're just frustrated that they spent all that time learning English only to be confounded by a native speaker who doesn't speak "right". The same happens with Spanish, except it's Spaniards themselves who are always sniffing that Americans don't speak "real" Spanish. And if you learn German your vocabulary and accent will depend on which country you study in...at least for us students of Czech, there's only one national standard to deal with! :D
  6. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I have often had dreams in other languages, which I do not consider my mother tongue(s). Largely I don't consider them mother tongues because I learned them later in life (Spanish, from age 13; Russian from age 18; Czech/Slovak from age 23), and am unable to express myself in those languages as well as in my native English (American variant). Granted, I do most often dream in English. The more often I have been recently exposed to and speak a given language, the more I seem to dream in that language (e.g., since I haven't been exposed to Spanish much lately, I haven't dreamed in Spanish in a long time).

    Interestingly enough, having not been exposed to Czech, Slovak and Spanish as much as at previous times in my life, I find myself losing command of these languages. Yet when I dream in these languages, I find myself using words that I would not have remembered while awake. Hmmmmm.....

    I completely understand. While I don't speak "Texan" (sorry, Brook), I have adopted some of the Texan "lazy" speech and other Texan-isms, and the Czechs I spoke English with seemed to have difficulty with it. I understand, however, that Czechs have even more trouble with Australian accents.
  7. gypzy

    gypzy Well-Known Member

    What up!

    omigosh!!! like, ok, ya know, like i speak, ok, mid-west...American...English, yo, like, for real!

    Just kidding, Americanized English. I'm in a goofy mood today :mrgreen: :lol: 8) :twisted: .

    omigosh, bye, seriously,
  8. Ariana

    Ariana Member

    gypzy: omigosh! Totally know what you mean there. Oh, and you betcha!

    My mother tongue is American English, midwestern accent, though I tend to use more East Coast words like soda and sofa instead of their midwestern variants. (My parents are from NY) My accent actually doesn't sound like standard midwestern, hmm. No clue where I got it! :D I also know a fair amount of Spanish. I'd say I'm proficient, but definitely not fluent.
  9. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Gypzy, I totally get what you are saying here but I don't think many non-Americans will. Very Cute though! :lol:
  10. gypzy

    gypzy Well-Known Member

    I think you're right about non-Americans not getting it. I just had an image of people arriving to the US, thinking that's how all Americans talk all the time. That wouldn't be good.
  11. Kanadanka

    Kanadanka Well-Known Member

    I spoke Czech and Russian (my grandpa was from Russia) and some rudimentary German until I came to Canada at 18. Since marrying at age 21 (English/Irish heritage Canadian born guy) I have been speaking mostly English, though I do occasionally speak to my mom in Czech on the phone (we live about 2600 km away from each other). I've picked up a bit of Spanish from our trips to Central America in the winter. My brother and I speak English to each other, though, since it seems to be less effortful than Czech now.
  12. Ferdík

    Ferdík Member

    I guess I am the first Portuguese native speaker posting in here :wink:
  13. Aachie

    Aachie Member

    Slovak... though I´d prefer some Germanic language to be my first one... dont even know why... i tend not to incline to Slavic languages too much... (gosh, now I´m gonna get kicked from this place, aint I? :wink: )
  14. Daniela Marie

    Daniela Marie Well-Known Member

    My mother is Czech, my father Italian. Czech was my principal language until about age 5. Then, I started attending school in Italy. Then at age 8, we moved to Chicago, and I learned English which became my "first" language (even though it was my 3rd). Now I live in Rome. The order of my languages is, in decreasing proficiency: English, Italian, Czech, German, French, and Spanish.
  15. naychan

    naychan Member

    English is my mother tongue as I was born and bred there.

    I can also speak a fair amount of German and Japanese.
  16. xris

    xris Member

    my 1st language is Czech in which i received most of my education then Greek & English in which i gained all of my university education. And through my life experiences and work I learned a few more languages that I speak in every opportunity that I get, including Twi (a language of Ghana).
  17. Bomberman2

    Bomberman2 Member

    Ete sen? Eye?

    That's funny, I also learned some Twi while being in Ghana - it is a wonderful country btw. - pretty far from stereotypes we usually have about Africa - many people cannot imagine anything but African skinny children all covered by flies....

    My mother language is Czech. I have also been studying in English and French. Working hard to improve my Chinese now.

    erenkye yebehyia :p
  18. EmcaTanecnice

    EmcaTanecnice Active Member

    Ok, my native language is English, but I grew up in a town that is very Latino, so when I was 5 I started learning Spanish from the kids at school (only 3 kids in my class spoke English when I started school). My mom's family is Swiss-German. And my great-grandma taught me to sing in German when I was little. Then I studied Spanish in school, and now I speak Czech. My languages are (from best to worst):

    1. English
    2. Czech
    3. German
    4. Spanish
    5. French
  19. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Interesting EmcaTanecnice, you didn't explain the czech connection. What got you interested in learning czech.
  20. rkasparek

    rkasparek Well-Known Member

    Rick from Texas here - my first Language is of course American English which is of course quite different from the English English :wink: I was born in the Midwest, moved around quite a bit and have now moved to Texas where we say "y'all" instead of "you all" :lol: My Grandmother Mathilda spoke Czech but passed away before I realized what a special treasure that was. Mom's side is Irish and I've always wanted to learn that as well.

    Someone wrote early on that we in America are rather illiterate when it comes to other languages and I have to agree!

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