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I fooled a native speaker

 Language Learning Forum : Cultural Experiences in Foreign Languages Post Reply
56 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Next >>
owshawng
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6527 days ago

202 posts - 217 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1 of 56
02 February 2007 at 7:46am | IP Logged 
Tonight I briefly fooled a native mandarin speaker into thinking they were speaking to another native mandarin speaker. Granted it was only a few short lines of dialogue before I was found out (I made a grammatical error on my fourth line) but it was a big event for me!!

One of my wife's Taiwanese friends called her mobile phone. I answered it and in mandarin said hello. In english she asked to speak to my wife. I then asked her in mandarin who is this? She seemed confused and asked in mandarin for my wife. I replied in mandarin who is this? what do you want? There was a pause and she sounded even more confused when she asked in mandarin who was I and where was and she asked for my wife by name again. I tried to sound annoyed and asked her why was she calling me and who was she, but I used the pronoun for you when it wasn't needed and the jig was up. She aked if this was Aaron and my wife burst into laughter.

The woman confessed to my wife that she had thought she had dialed the wrong number and wound up talking to a Taiwanese guy by mistake.

It was only a short 3.5 line exchange before I was found out, but it was another step on my road to becoming conversational in mandarin. I am now so tempted to crank call my mother-in-law in Taiwan in another month to see how many lines I can say before I am found out.

Edited by owshawng on 02 February 2007 at 7:47am

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patuco
Diglot
Moderator
Gibraltar
Joined 6656 days ago

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Speaks: Spanish, English*
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 Message 2 of 56
02 February 2007 at 10:27am | IP Logged 
Congratulations!


owshawng wrote:
I am now so tempted to crank call my mother-in-law in Taiwan

Are you sure you want to do that? ;-)
2 persons have voted this message useful



victor
Tetraglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 6959 days ago

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6 sounds
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, FrenchC1, Mandarin
Studies: Spanish
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 Message 3 of 56
02 February 2007 at 9:47pm | IP Logged 
Congratulations as well! Fooling a native speaker, even for 3.5 lines is not easy feat. So keep working on that accent and I'm sure you'll get even more lines the next time.
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tujiko
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6174 days ago

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Speaks: English*

 
 Message 4 of 56
02 February 2007 at 9:54pm | IP Logged 
Haha, that is awesome. Every bit counts!
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owshawng
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6527 days ago

202 posts - 217 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 5 of 56
03 February 2007 at 6:30am | IP Logged 
Thank you for the kind words. I'm looking forward to trying out my better mandarin on a couple of friends I haven't seen in a while.

The next time I go to Taiwan I want to pretend when I'm talking with strangers that I'm from a non English speaking country and only use mandarin and really bad, broken english. When Taiwanese discover a native english speaker in their midst, they bring out any english they know. If they are conversational in english they only want to speak in english. Hopefully my plan will stop that.

Edited by owshawng on 03 February 2007 at 6:32am

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Tike
Triglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 6135 days ago

18 posts - 25 votes
Speaks: German*, Russian, English
Studies: French, Czech

 
 Message 6 of 56
14 February 2007 at 10:36am | IP Logged 
My congratulations as well!
This reminds me of a funny incident some years ago. I then had learnt Russian only for a year and was far away from having mastered the grammar, but quite good at pronunciation. At a debating tournament (in German) I met a Russian native speaker. At the beginning we spoke German, but then I decided to go for it and addressed him in Russian. We then had a little chat in Russian and after a while he, amazed, asked me: "How long have you been learning the language?" I answered: "For about a year" and he: "Wow! Only one year - and you're already that fluent in German!" I took this as a real compliment ... :-)
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Crimson_King
Newbie
United States
Joined 6169 days ago

5 posts - 6 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 7 of 56
14 February 2007 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
Wow! So the Russian guy thought you were a native speaker of Russian and thought you had been studying German for one year

Did you actually tell him that German was your 'Muttersprache' and that you were studying Russian?

I havent really had the opportunity to test my spoken German skills with a native yet, but during spring break of 2008 I will most likely be visiting Germany (CAN'T WAIT!!) and during the summer of 2009 I'm going to an immersion camp.

This just makes me want to study even harder so I can maybe impress a native when the time comes :)
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Tike
Triglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 6135 days ago

18 posts - 25 votes
Speaks: German*, Russian, English
Studies: French, Czech

 
 Message 8 of 56
16 February 2007 at 11:57am | IP Logged 

Think so ... At least I hope that there was nothing wrong with my German on that event :-D

One question should be discussed: Do you think, it might be easier to fool a native speaker if the language you spoke is not that "common" as a foreign language?
What I mean is, maybe there are a lot of people who speak English, French, Spanish well, but these are languages that are taught quite often. Native speakers would be used to their language being spoken by a non-native and thus be more likely to "detect" one.
One the other hand, there are probably not that many people speaking good Mandarin, Finnish, Russian etc. as a foreign language, so natives might take them for a native speaker automatically if they're good.
What do you think?

(Of course I don't want to discourage anyone (if anyone understands my post like that, it is not meant that way), it's merely a question concerning culture.)



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