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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » confusion for bilingual writers?

   
Author Topic: confusion for bilingual writers?
legolasgalactica
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I'm just wondering if this or other problems ever happen to other bilingual people.

Sometimes while I'm writing (or even speaking), ill be going along smoothly when suddenly... nothing. The word, or any synonyms, that I need to continue that line of thought just doesn't seem to exist in the English language, so I have to backtrack and start over. It has happened enough that I've decided it must be patterns of speach from my knowledge of Russian that is bleeding through into my thoughts that don't work in English. Of course, I could be going insane or senile at age 30, but I prefer the the other option.

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MartinV
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It definitely happens to me. What I do is just write a word in my own language or write the next best word in English, put some brackets around it and keep writing so I don't lose my train of thought.

The odd part is when I talk to people in my own language. I'm trying to say something and the only words that come to me to describe that particular something is with English words. That's embarassing because some people's English isn't that good so I will have to describe it to them later.

One does not become popular by making people uncomfortable because they tend to think you're doing it on purpose to put them down, even if you're not.

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MartinV
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Hm. I use the Wiktionary or simply google "synonym word".
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Robert Nowall
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Not sure of the problem...but I'm not bilingual, and my only real experience with a foreign language is learning French in school. (I can read it, after a fashion, but I can't speak it.)

Lots of times I do have problems with blanking on the right word to put in...usually I'm speaking and I say some other word, often one several nouns ahead in the sentences. Or failing to remember a proper term and coming up with some long circumlocution that explains what I'm talking about but looks really stupid when I read it a while later.

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Reziac
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Or failing to remember a proper term and coming up with some long circumlocution that explains what I'm talking about but looks really stupid when I read it a while later.

I do this all the time, which is why "bang-it-with" and "onscribble-wither" are regulars in my vocabulary. Why I couldn't think of "hammer" or "pen" at the moment escapes me as well. [Big Grin]
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