I address my questions to all languages lovers :
How do you pass from language to language?
How do you switch your brain, your memory, your thinking? (I have no idea, how it works)
In my experience, there are problems. My native language is Russian. My second language is Hebrew and I am pretty fluent. English is my third language. Up until now, I just have spoken with my tutor Maria one - two times a week. I didn’t have any another communication. All of a sudden, my situation has changed and I have to communicate in English every day. It just happened, I have nothing to do, except to speak. Nice, it is like a present or fate! English in real life! It’s a wonderful way to learn whatever language, but it confuses me. I put Hebrew words in English speaking, I speak English instead of Hebrew in the grocery store and finally, I break out with speech in Russian instead of Hebrew when addressing my husband.
To be honest, I do not worry about it a lot. It is just funny. I think it is natural in the beginning . Nevertheless, dear friends, I ask you to tell me about your experience. I would like to get your advice. How can I discipline my thinking? Do I have to do something? Do I need to just be patient, wait and continue my practice? Did/do you have the same issues?
I have yet to acquire the ability to automatically switch from English, to Fench or German. I still have to think in English and then formulate a response, or use simple phrases that I already know well enough.
I had the same experience Natasha, and have heard about it from many. I think it diminishes on its own with time.
I would not longer confuse English with Hebrew. But recently in France, when I tried to produce some French, with my brain “knowing” it shouldn’t be English, the tongue would suddenly deliver Hebrew.
I hope they confused it for Arabic -
This ia a very interesting problem. I believe the people who speak a lot of languages have from time to time this problem. It depends on our concentation, on our mood, on our state of health etc. When i’m in good condition, I very seldom confuse the words of different languages. But in the evening when I’m already tired I can confuse them. My native language is Russian, but sometimes in the evening I firstly remember the word in English or German(if I was dealing during the day with these languages) and only then I “translate” this word into Russian.
I often go to Germany and I noticed that first days there I need some time to get out of the way of Russian speaking and otherwise after returning to Russia I need some time to get out of German speaking and thinking. These days I can going by bus in Saint Petersburg ask autimatically: “Steigen Sie aus?”(Do you get off?) instead of:“Вы выходите?”
Speaking or answering in Polish I sooner can use some Russian words than by speaking in English or German because Russian and Polish are more similar and it provokes the mistakes.
Anf finally beeing in France I sometimes consciously use together with french some English and German words because my vocabulary in French isn’t very large and (what is more important!) not so active. And instead of attempt to remember this word in French I give this word in English or German because I need to be understood now, but not after my long attempts of searching this word in French.
My problem is that I identify certain people with certain languages; then the simple fact of talking to that person brings forth that language, even if it isn’t the language that I’m trying to speak!
It is true that while I’m speaking with a French tutor, a Spanish word or more likely a Haitian Creole phrase may sneak into the conversation; but what really causes identifiable brain stress is to try to speak French with a person with whom I first spoke Spanish or Haitian Creole.
When I had my first lessons with Berta, instead of speaking Spanish I would speak French, especially if I had had a French conversation the same day. I occasionally forget which language I am speaking and only notice by the blank faces around me that I’m in the wrong one. A very intelligent German friend went to Paris and wondered why nobody understood him. His wife was beside herself with laughter: he had been speaking Russian the whole time!