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  5. You know you're really learni…


You know you're really learning a language when...

  • ... You can only think of an object as one word and everyone is confused as to why you're pointing at the table saying "la mesa".

  • ... You start to get a bit of an accent in other languages (even a weird accent!)

  • ... You want to type in English but you got in only three words before you realized that the keyboard is set in Greek, Cyrillic or Japanese or any other alternate script keyboard you can think of and the entire message looks like a computer bug.

  • ... You watch movies or TV shows without looking at the subtitles, especially if you can understand 90% of it without any help.

  • ... You freak out realizing that you just read the French restaurant sign and understood it (especially if you're not even a French student!) and you didn't think about it until seven seconds later when you just freaked out.

  • ... You struggled with Arabic and was frustrated with it until you finally spelt the word for man right without outside help. Now you're more confident you can learn how to spell the words right and actually start diving in. You can read all the things! (Ok, maybe not all the things, but hey at least you know رجل just by looking at it and the difference between the characters خ ح ج now!)

  • ... Your library is at least 10% foreign language learning material or in a foreign language.

  • ... You come across some random spoken Japanese word only to realize you actually understood it because you've been watching your favorite subbed anime as well as listening to that new song you got in Japanese while reading the lyrics, and actually heard that word about thirteen times now. (I know I'm totally not the only one who does this! That's literally how I learnt the words for "world", "heart" and "forest" in Japanese)

  • ... You constantly ask yourself "how to say (...........) in (the language you are learning)?".... in the language you are learning.

Can you think of any other telltale signs that you are a serious language dojo trainer? :)

August 12, 2017



When you're a native English speaker but you start to type "Inglish" when writing out this comment. lol

Let's try this again.

When you're a native English speaker in Japanese class and have accidentally just answered part of the teacher's question in Spanish. Meanwhile, as you're stalling on the Japanese you were supposed to have used, you're signing the word you want in American Sign Language.


Lol, I guess I am not realmente learning a language then.

For other telltale signs that you are a serious language dojo trainer:

(1) You see the letter ''J'' in a word and immediately think that you say the word with the ''J'' pronounced like ''Y'' or''H''

(2) You think to yourself in the language you are learning all the time, instead of your native one.


"Not realmente"? Well you gave two really valid signs of dojo prowress! Welcome to the club! ;)


There was one time when I was doing French and it was asking a question in French, but instead of translating it to English, I absent-mindedly answered the question in French and t was marked wrong.


I haven't done that (yet) but I rather frequently translate the hearing exercises instead of just typing them back. This of course gets marked wrong even though I obviously heard it right since I'm providing a correct translation...


Me too. I do that all the time.


... You begin the word order of your second language to use, because it perfectly reasonable to seem becomes.

... You see kein Problem to intermix verschiedene words av andre languages som du kjenner into the same sentence de temps en temps together.


... You understand (or don't even notice) when someone mixes languages, because you know the same or similar languages.


... When you understand what you've heard or read, but you can't remember in what language it was.

  • You're in country A, and you suddenly notice that the people sitting next to you are having a private conversation in language B, and you start thinking (I should walk away from here, this feels like eavesdropping!).

  • You no longer speak your native language in your dreams.

  • You start to feel that certain feelings can only be truly expressed using a certain word from a certain language and no other (Example. やっぱり).


I just remembered another symptom : you absolutely need to take your daily dose of the language you're learning, because you will not be able to get through the day without it.


When you are translating for someone and switching between languages and you accidentally answer in language A using your accent for language B.

Yeah I'd say learning Russian REALLY messed up my English spelling. Suddenly using k's where I should be using c's, writing lower case t's like upper case, and my comma usage has become EXTREMELY warped (Russian comma usage is much more regulated; after I got used to it my written English started reading a lot...weirder...)


Oh, also learning their writing system - Russian cursive is way different, and now I find myself slipping between characters when writing anything in English

  • ... for some reason you switch languages binnen één enkele zin und das wirklich seltsam ist, men hvordan siger jeg det?

  • .. That the word for 'plate' in your native language suddenly means 'table' as well...

  • ... That the word 'er' (some sort of non-specific location indicator in Dutch) now means 'he' and a conjugated present-tense form of the verb 'to be' as well.

  • ... Really, alle Wörter har zo veul betekenissen. (Hjælp!)

  • ... You listen to a certain language on youtube... Suddenly: oh, I suppose this language sounds kinda nice, let's look for resources! [a couple of hours later]: how on earth did I get to this side of the internet? (open tabs: Kazakh youtube channel, listening to Swahili lessons, attempting to navigate Icelandic sites, Native American language podcasts spoken at native-speed, Elder Scrolls metaphysics lore discussion about how music could be used to define reality or something like that, weird dancing dude on youtube, etc, etc) Jeg bruger kaffe, nu, waar is mijn mok nou weer gebleven?

  • Not understanding how on earth your relatives/friends cannot understand that one language you're learning as 'it is not that hard to comprehend'.

  • ... For some reason you start replacing very common words in your native language with words from the language you're learning, which may or may not confuse people as the já sounds like 'jou(w)' (meaning 'you(r/rs)') not 'ja' ('yes'). "You want something to eat?" "You."


When someone speaks to you in your native language, while you are reading/watching Netflix/etc. in target language, and you were so deeply immersed that:

It takes you a moment to shift gears before you understand what they said.

You don't catch what they said at all, must mentally switch to your native language, and ask them to repeat.

Or, you understand them just fine but accidentally respond in the target language or with an accent.


When you have to decide which language to watch a series in and in which language to buy a book

When you don't notice the language changed because you are just following the story

and when you can understand a language you never heard before because it is so similar to one you do know


Once the microphone made me say ''No hablo Espanol.'' And I got mad and I was thinking ''Yes I do!''

Also, another time I was writing ''English.'' in a discussion and I accidentally wrote ''Ingles.''


When you start capitalising Nouns in English because you spent so long capitalising them in German.

When you're typing a comment and mistype English as Englisch, even though you're writing in English.

When you hear the German words and write down the English translation instead of writing down the German words.


Replying in Spanish to an English question in a French bakery in Korea.

When you're playing songs in your car on random and suddenly an Irish podcast pops up, breaking the dance-y/sing-y mood (and you can still only understand "agus")

Trying to hold a conversation in one language but wanting to default to another/one you're more familiar with.

Using something you learned in one language to help you remember something you learned in another (even if they're completely unrelated languages)

Being a little behind (or a lot) in shows in your native language that your friends are watching because you're busy watching foreign language shows instead to help you practice.


Wow! This is a great list, I love it!


Most of those happen all the time to me, especially the keyboard one.

This discussion has some good ones...


Quite a few of these are true for me. I don't know if I can manage 10% foreign language, but then I don't quite count English as a foreign language anymore. It may be my second language but it's easily the language I have most books in.


When you walk through the park and all of a sudden step on dog poop and instinctively swear in a foreign language without even noticing it... I mean, what does better describe the spirit and the richness of the language than its curse words XD


haha, love this topic! One I've occasionally noticed is that when I go to translate Spanish to English in the exercises I'll occasionally slip in one or a few Spanish words. Anyone ever done that?


This is so cute CX you guys are all so dedicated-



  • you realize that you're thinking not in your native language

  • you want to say the word or expression that even don't exist in your language (you have image of that) and you start thinking in which language you took it from..

  • your words order seems really odd in your language

  • you start mix r and l like Japanese

Good idea for post! ;)


Slip-ups: I've noticed that I forget words occasionally and slip into another language and I write "es" all the time instead of "is." Also, when I'm trying to switch between languages, it becomes a mess. I'll be learning Spanish from French and write in some weird combination of Spanish, French and English, or write French when I'm supposed to be writing Spanish, and vice versa.


Ah yes, es and is... en and in... and then thinking yo is I when it's actually a greeting.


Wow! DragonPolyglot! Now I know when i'm really learning a language!


When you accidentally speak British instead of English. (jk)

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