I dont have an official term for this so I am going to denoun it “intimate communication” in this thread.
I have realised something as I have consciously been learning languages for the past five years on my own, and for the fun of it: I will never fully understand another language as my mother tongue. Even though I speak english fluently and do it on a daily basis, I will never understand it as well as danish (native language). When I hang around with my friends from my local area, we can communicate to eachother in a far more intimate way than even with other danes from other parts of my country. I feel a bit saddened by the fact that no matter how hard I study, this intimate level of communication will never be achieved for me in any other tongue than my own local danish. Thus, this intimacy is confined, for my part, to the very few people in my local area of Denmark.
How do you feel on this subject?
I don’t quite agree. It seems to me that the intimacy you are referring to is a state of mind. Yearning for something means that you don’t already have it - and if you ‘know’ you don’t have it, are you likely to ever achieve more? Your group’s collective communication is different for each single one of the group. How can you know that they share your intimacy? I feel very much at home in English, although it is not my mother tongue. My mother tongue has changed greatly in my absence (to my mind the way it is used by quite a few people has impoverished it). The familiarity of “my” language - which I still carry around within me - can no longer easily be shared with anyone else, our experience and present circumstances distance me even from my closest friends from childhood days. In every language I have looked at there are expressions that “are me” - I feel and understand them completely. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, for me, intimacy is portable and thus possible in other languages, even if we don’t know everything. But then, who does?
I was in England alone when I was 40 years old. I had never gone abroad before; I am not, and I had not been good at speaking English.
After a week or so, I felt intense loneliness, experiencing a kind of culture shock.
I visited a bookshop near St. Paul’s in London, and bought two Japanese magazines and a Japanese newspaper. As soon as I began reading those, I was able to recover from the disorientation of my mind. At that time I felt that I should have carried small books written in my native tongue. After a few weeks I was able to enjoy my stay there, although my English did not improve very much. That was 20 years ago.
There is nothing more satisfying than coming home after half a year in a foreign country and suddently being able to communicate without effort again hehe. I went to Spain for a traineeship for 5 months. Although it was exciting experiencing the foreign culture, the language and the new impressions, I felt a slight cultural loneliness after a while. When I came back home it felt soooo good communicating in my native tongue again.