How do native speakers react when you speak their language?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Ive had the change to speak to native Russian speakers. They have always been interested and have asked why I decided to learn Russian, Never had a negative response.

Interesting. I actually heard the opposite too from a learner who lived in Russia and was already fluent. Told me when she first arrived her landlady made fun of her accent and would laugh at any mistakes she made. Said this kind of treatment/ high standards towards learners was common. Made me think it was the opposite of my experience with Chinese!

In Italy I’d rather speak English. I was under the impression people thought I was “yet another immigrant”, and Italian is a popular language anyway, so they wouldn’t be surprised if a Brazilian could speak it. Plus my Italian is super weak, and people didn’t seem to have a lot of patience.

In Russia it was really cool. Most people were very curious about my motivations to learn Russian, but also asked a lot of things about Brazil and often mentioned a movie where someone says that Brazil is full of wild monkeys. Also some of them wanted to know what Brazilians think about Russia. I got absolutely zero negative reactions.

But nothing can ever compare to being in Romania and speaking Romanian. People treated me like a king! I got discounts in every single place I stayed and was actually treated like a friend, not a client. In Timisoara and Sibiu I even had my meals with the people who owned the places I stayed, there was a time they had friends over just to talk to me. But the best story was actually in Budapest; I was standing by a train and for some reason a group of Romanians assumed I was Romanian and asked me for information. We spoke for a while and when I told them I was Brazilian, they were really shocked, but in a very positive way. They gave their phone numbers, invited me to their home in Sighisoara, smiled profusely and told me, that I am Brazilian, but also Romanian. I actually heard that quite a number of times, and that was actually a big achievement. Romanians were often proud of me.

You know, I used to think that the very reason my Italian and French haven’t ever been that good is I can’t find the motivation since people that are used to foreigners learning their language won’t often be interested in talking to you or helping you. But recently I decided to learn Bulgarian, and yeah, it was just like with the French. Romanians and Russians are usually more interested.

When native speakers hear someone speaking their language. The first is a feeling of happiness and pride. This is because, for many people, speaking the native language is a source of identity. It can be a way to connect with others who share the same culture and history.