« Some random research links | Main | The problem with political quizzes »

August 24, 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

That's very, very interesting.

You should have offered them a job on the spot to teach your kids French!

More seriously though, any idea what the sentence structure was like? Was it a case of 2-4 French words being thrown into a distinctly English sentence or was it more 50/50? The other interesting thing would be to know if the French being used was the type of words in French that are extremely similar to English by virtue of being the origin of those similar English words. That might make it easier to code switch to that degree.

50/50 or more. I'm familiar with people throwing Spanish words into an English sentence, or vice versa. In professional settings, it's very common to hear Spanish sentences with mostly English vocabulary. I'm also used to people switching out clauses from one language to another. I've even heard my five-year old use entirely Spanish-vocabulary sentences with proper verb congugation but a clearly English substate: for example, a sentence that suddenly clarifies when he ends it in "para." You can't do that in Spanish, even by mistake, but if you're speaking English with an entirely Spanish vocabulary.

This didn't seem to be any of that. The French would just stop and be replaced with English to Spanish again. "Bla blah blah delays are getting out of blah blah blah subway isn't the way it used blah blah blah believe he won't go blah blah."

I can't even imitate it. It was smooth. And the accents. Perfect. This wasn't that Miami or Southwestern accent that makes you sound foreign in both English and Spanish; this was beautiful French jumping right to television American.

Hahahahahah! The above is written on a smartphone in the subway and reads like I wrote it in Romanian and translated. "Spanish" should be "French" in the second paragraph. And that "or more" should be "mostly."

Other than Quebec, are there any other places where people are often fully bilingual in French and English? All I can think of is maybe St. Martin/Maarten.

These teenagers were clearly American; maybe they could have picked up such perfect DMV English overseas, but I doubt it. What I don't know is the part before the hyphen ... unless they managed to keep up such perfect French while growing up in the U.S., which I also have trouble imagining.

It was amazing.

The comments to this entry are closed.