How often do you use your non-native language(s)?


Hey Dudie:

Since you started this, I must support my long-time friend, correct? :wink:

I’m native in English and Cantonese. I actually learned how to read, write, and listen through 12 years of Chinese Schooling. At Chinese School, I learned how to speak and listen to Mandarin too. Since both Cantonese and Mandarin are different dialect of Chinese, I think I can say I’m 100% fluent in Cantonese but only 90% fluent in Mandarin.

I seldom speak Mandarin in real life, at most I will use it to daily converse with Mandarin-speaking classmates who couldn’t speak English well. I also use it at the restaurant.

For French, I’m more fluent in terms of reading and writing, I can barely speak it despite it’s the other official language of my country.

I also studied Spanish IB for two years, so I can understand basic Spanish but PLEASE don’t write me a Spanish PM when applying to my channels as subbers or Moderators. I will not be able to completely understand it. Please write to me in English. I’m only 100% fluent in English and will answer you only in English.

Lastly, sorry to advertise here… But any of you who are fluent in French, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean as well as English… Ninja Subbing Academy is about to launch. Please look out for more information that’s about to be released.

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I’m half American half Egyptian, so both English and Arabic are my native languages.

We tend to speak more English at home and use Arabic the rest of the time. I’ve been speaking more Malay now that I’m in a language exchange group. I would say I speak it once a week, but read and write it almost daily.

My Japanese isn’t as fortunate because my course is on hold, but we’re trying to read a Japanese novel out loud, so I would say I use it once a week now.

I haven’t used Mandarin much since I finished college, so it’s going downhill. Once in a while I try to refresh it with a Taiwanese drama or attempt to read something.


hahah thank you… Starting my third language actually on which I’m getting better and better.


So I’m not the only one who watches subs in English, rather than my native language! Interesting ^^


I moved to an English speaking country more than 10 years ago, so I use my non native language (English) every single day ^^ I actually use it a lot more than my native language now…

I also use other non native languages often, maybe two or three times a week, as I try to make friends from those countries I’m learning the language from - so for example when I was learning Japanese I made a lot of Japanese friends through my library or some cultural and language exchange programmes, as well as from my University just by approaching the Japanese students ^^

And it’s the same for Korean now… although my advantage is that my boyfriend is Korean so I can ask him every time I have something bothering me (however, he’s trying to improve his English so we speak English 99.9% of the time ^^;)


I don’t use it very often when I’m in the States, I do teach the language but my students are beginner so I rarely use any complicated concepts or grammar. I mostly use it when I go back to Italy or when i’m speaking with my Italian colleagues.


OMG Korean boyfriend ? :smiley: soo cool ^^
How do Korean boyfriend’s react to their girlfriend’s addiction to kdramas and Korean good looking hot actors ? :smiley: **just curious **


He is pretty cool ^^

Hmm he complains if I want to watch Kdramas because he prefers to watch something in English to improve his English, and then he gets addicted to a Kdrama we’re watching and can’t stop, haha!

I tend not to compliment actors when he’s around… but he does know I like Kim Woo Bin (^^)
He doesn’t really show any reaction… he’s pretty reserved. He finds it strange that I would find any Korean guys (including him) good looking! If only he knew!! Haha


Lol! Indeed, if he only knew…


I rarely use my french and when it comes to Korean and Chinese the two languages I want to learn I only use them when listening to my dramas or music because I don’t know enough to have conversations.


I’m actually Moroccan. My native language is Arabic, but I got enrolled into American school. So in the school, Arabic was the second language. However, with my parents I speak Arabic, but sometimes I say some English words. My parents don’t know English, they both speak Arabic, and as a second language; mom knows French and dad knows Spanish.
But with my friends from school and even when we go out, it is like “English all the time.” You can say, like 50/50.
And it is really interesting to hear your stories guys. Nice to meet you all.


I’m Romanian, but I live in Spain, so I use Spanish all day long :smile:. I use English in class, translations and when talking with a Chinese friend with whom I share the passion for languages and studying the same career, Translation and Interpreting. I use French in class, when sometimes I write little tales :blush:.
I actually use less my native language, Romanian, than all the others (sad thing, but I have to admit it).


Well I can speak both Chinese and Korean, (my Korean isn’t that fluent though ><). I lived in Hong Kong for a period of time so I’m pretty much fluent in Cantonese as well. I’m currently residing in Singapore, so English is the main language I use in communication and writing.
I do speak Chinese rather often (well I’m currently taking Chinese classes in college) but not so much for Korean and Cantonese. But since I watch korean and hong kong dramas often I try to improve on these two languages as well :slight_smile:


Well, I can say 50-50.
But most of it were English and Chinese which I had been using.
When I write my essay or anything else, those two were the first I thought. But sometimes I forgot to translate into my own native (Indonesian). Just because I can’t find the suitable word to translate them.


Well recently i definitely use english more then i use my native language, i am practically living and breathing english. I studied it in school because in my country almost every school teaches english to the children right from the beginning simply because my native language is only spoken in my country, so you can’t use it anywhere else or for anything else. I got convinced of that when i ended hooked up on reading manga and realised that there is none translated in my native language. I was backed into a corner and i had only two choices, either start improving my english or give up my obsession, and the one thing i could never do that is give up my obsession, so english it was. After the first couple of mangas i got comfortable reading them in english, so i started to watch anime in english and after that i just kept going and going, now i don’t even use subtitles in my language for movies or series in english even though there are plenty. I either watch without or with english subtitles, simply because it became easier that way. My writing in english is still not that good and i make quite alot of spelling mistakes, but that’s because i don’t practice, nobody to write in english to except in forums and i am not really the sociable kind. As for speaking i probably sound terrible, good thing there aren’t any native speakers around me to hear me because they’ll probably be cringing the whole time. I only speak english when i scream at my computer or tablet while watching movies, series or playing some game, i guess that’s just a weird reflex or somenthing, i also do it when i read and aloud too. I do sneak a word or two in english when talking with people, but not that often. Anyway, now i am trying to improve my russian so i am spliting the stuff i do in english between the two languages or at least am trying but so far it’s not really a success. I understand and can read in russian but cannot write and probably can’t speak either. I know a little french, but i am not using it at all and my knowledge really isn’t that great, i would even say it’ pretty bad. I’ve noticed that people who watch korean dramas or read manga or watch anime are more often than not fluent in a couple of languages or at least english, i guess it’s by necessity but still. Ok that ended up being way longer than i had i mind, but i got carried away, it happens way too often.


I’m a Malaysian Chinese. Does that make my native language Malay or Mandarin? O.O I’m born and raised a Malaysian and so are my parents, but racially we’re still Chinese.
Anyway, I definitely use English more than Mandarin and Malay. I speak English with my dad and his side of the family, and Mandarin with my mum and her side of the family. Family conversations can include Cantonese. X) Malay is only used in school when I talk to my Malay teachers or friends, and I don’t mind sounding weird. XP
I use English most, since now I’m in a government school, where the main languages are English and Malay. When I was in primary it was a Chinese school, so I used plenty of Chinese then. My Chinese would’ve been rusty by now if not for my mum. XP I grew up listening to Cantonese and my family do love watching Hong Kong dramas, but I don’t often use it in speech, so I mostly can only last a short phrase or sentence before I stumble over my tongue.

Btw, you guys have awesome experiences with language! Nice to meet you all. ^^


I am Indonesian-Chinese and I use english quite a lot. Thanks for the lecture that’s brought in english by my university and also my Dad who is an english teacher. I am grateful I attended international school where I learn my subjects in english for 2 years. I never think my english is good enough comparing to other people. But I enjoy reading and listening to English. Like for example when watching TV Shows or K-dramas (my addiction) I like to watch it in english subtitle rather than my native language. I do use my native language in everyday life, although I can say I’m a bit reserved and shy, so I spoke very little. I am very confident in my indonesian language though. haha… Well, then how about my chinese(?) I would say I’m pretty embarrassed by it. It’s not that good. I can spoke like few simple sentences and I really want to improve mine. I have a tutor who taught me chinese, but then as times goes by and as I don’t use it often, it became rusty. (._.) I want to learn Korean as I enjoy Korean TV Shows and dramas recently. I’m getting more enjoy addicted right now. annd I am also a newbie here and I notice you guys came from a lot of countries here. Nice to meet you :smile:


Quite often, even if it’s only to read the news or watch a movie.


I grew up in a Korean home and my native language is by far English! When I was around 2 my parents started to teach me Japanese. But because only my grandmother spoke it (Japanese colonization effect). I had completely forgotten it by age 7. I at least retained the alphabet until 6.

I was illiterate in Korean until I was 17 when I started reading Korean comic books and using the internet and the dictionary to look up meanings of song lyrics. My motivation was to speak to my grandmother and learn Korean history. I am avid Korean historical watcher (Sageuk). I think I was a 50% fluent subber at the time. My spoken Korean was that of a 2nd grader. Very good for my peers… but terribly lacking still. I also had a different pronunciation. It could be an accent but… it wasn’t the typical American accented Korean.

I learned Spanish in junior high school for four years so… I have an ok understanding of written Spanish and can speak like a five year old.

Now I think I write and speak Korean like a sixth grader. I don’t think I have that different pronunciation anymore. People keep asking when I immigrated. I can sub modern shows 95% maybe 100% (haven’t got the best ears though. 6th time’s the charm). Historicals about 90% usually. Might have to sit with it a couple days to get it to 95%.

Spanish… I try to practice on nonsuspecting sales people and anyone I can find (how I improved my Korean). I still forgot a lot and wasn’t good at it in the first place so I look up a lot of verb conjugations and vocab on Google. I think school taught me Mexican Spanish.

Mandarin level is zero^^ I want to learn to improve my Korean (modern day Korean is chock full of Chinese transliterations. A transliteration is the different pronunciation of a character. Korean has different grammar rules than Mandarin) and to watch Mainland China shows which are widely available!!! Just not many subbed!!! I know like… 20 characters and my name??? I used to use a traditional Chinese character flashcard app. Then school happened and I got busy. Though I’m not too sharp on the characters I do have a pretty good sense of the etymology of Korean words so… naver’s been getting me acquainted with the characters.

English… I don’t use everyday because I speak Korean with Koreans. I don’t see school-friends everyday. Language at home is Korean. I pester my mother to define things because she uses new words at me a lot. She has professor/teacher kid syndrome. Her speech improved faster than her head did. I reaped the benefits too. It also annoys me when she uses words improperly or use undefined pronouns this that here and there. I’ve been working in getting the Korean pronouns banned for the last seven years. Not working though.

Since I learned Korean at home I acquired younger generation Korean speak through friends that I made from Korea. It helps for subbing ^^
I sometimes get made fun of for speaking “older” -style Korean. It also gets me misunderstood sometimes because my Korean isn’t that good. At times I’ll have to ask you the meaning of a word mid-conversation.

I hope to keep improving my Korean and most especially my Spanish. Maybe I’ll pick up some Mandarin!


I was born and live in the U.S., so it’s safe to say I’m fluent in English. I speak Vietnamese whenever I’m around Vietnamese people, and technically I learned Vietnamese before English. :joy:

I never really use my basic French knowledge unless I’m in French class or talking with Vikians.

I don’t really use Korean either; I only use Korean when translating or speaking with Koreans.