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Old January 4 2009, 09:37 PM   #154
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Re: German expressions in recent Trek novels

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
Baerbel Haddrell wrote: View Post
Yes, there is a difference between native non-English speakers talking to themselves as shown in Stargate Atlantis in Czech and having a conversation during a crisis situation. And even then, as I said, this pick and mix version of English with German (or any other language) is not only unrealistic, it is annoying.
If it's in the same sentence, probably unrealistic, except for characters struggling to remember rarely used words in a second language. But switching back and forth on a sentence by sentence level? I hear it all the time here in Ottawa, where there are a lot of French/English bilingual people (and French/English/Arabic trilingual people, etc). It seems to be easier to switch language tracks than to translate, so you'll hear a conversation going on in French for a bit, then someone says something like, "et puis elle m'a dit, 'You can't take that dog on the bus,' and I said, 'Oh yes I can'" and the conversation carries on in English for a while.
I'll back up Steve Roby on how often this happens in Canada...

The common occurrence of franglais in Canadian speech (and my own use of "Portuglish" when speaking to my family on a regular basis ) are why I never found this sort of back-and-forth odd.

I can also understand how difficult it would be in print to distinguish between native English speakers and excellent non-native English speakers (if you want to indicate that distinction between characters) without using this sort of device.
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