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You Know You’re Grasping A Language When Autotranslate Kicks In

, , , , , | Working | November 16, 2022

A group from work decides to go to a major theme park. [Coworker]’s native language is not English, but he knows it well enough that he’s very comfortable speaking it. I am learning his native language, so he often throws random non-English words or phrases into conversations to give me real-life practice.

As we are waiting to get into an attraction, [Coworker] leans over to me. 

Coworker: *In his language* “How long do you think this wait is?”

Me: “Not long, I hope.”

Manager: “[My Name], your language skills are getting really good!”

Me: “I’m trying.”

Manager: “I have no idea what [Coworker] just said.”

Me: *Confused* “He said, ‘How long is the wait?’ You didn’t hear him?”

Manager: “You two have been spending too much time together.”

Coworker: *In English* “Why?”

Manager: “He said whatever he said in [His Language] and you answered in English.”

[Coworker] and I look at each other.

Coworker: “I don’t remember.”

Manager: “It wasn’t English.”

Coworker: “Good work, [My Name]! I don’t even know what language I speak anymore, but you got it!”

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