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Picking up words in foreign languages

Travel Forums Off Topic Picking up words in foreign languages

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1. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

I am just wondering if it is just me or did others make the same experience. When you're travelling or living in a country where they speak a different language than you, the first things I usually pick up are naughty words/insults and how to order beer.
I am a bit worried, help me, tell me it's not just me?

2. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Heck, no. It's not just you.

And to be honest, if it was anything else (probably the only acceptable other thing i can think of to learn first would be "where the f*&%ยค"# heck is the nearest toilet", and that would be learn't and used at short notice)

3. Posted by yamo (Budding Member 13 posts) 11y

it's not just you. swear words have always topped my list of linguistic features. followed closely by my insatiable desire to learn how to order beer/porter/local hooch/various illicit substances.

not only that, quite often, they're the only words I remember when I get home. Certainly the case with Hebrew, Arabic, Afrikaans, German and any other language I've ever come across

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

It's always really funny to listen to two people who've learned a langauge differently, i.e. someone who's learned it formulaically at school/university from txt books versus someone who's picked up a language by living in that country - the difference is unbelievable.

I used to have german teacher at school who only picked up English when he moved to Ireland. He was constantly cursing and swearing at the class and he thought it was normal! until a few parents complained to the principal because he was calling their kids all sorts of abusive names!

He lived with an Irish builder for 3 years when he came to Ireland.....makes sense!!

5. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

Yeah, the same is happening to me, but at least I am told when I am using to foul language. But mind you, if I speak with my friends in Switzerland there's an awful lot of swearing as a rule going on. We People from Berne are a stout and hardy lot - a long tradition of farming tends to do that to a language, we are very rural, not like those snobs from Zuerich!

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Yeah one could almost swear you were a bona fide Irishman Pardus...i was genuinely surprised to find out you were from Switzerland.

7. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

I have been living in Ireland for the last four years and I've always been around Irish people more than anything else. And I am quite good at picking up words and expressions, languages come quite easily to me (if I am interested in them, otherwise it takes a bit longer, like French).

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

do you speak italian as well then?

9. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

Nah, just a few swearwords and the essentials (beer, etc.)

10. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

oh i thought everyone in switzerland had mastered the three languages.