Types of English

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In my home we use three types of language. As a family we talk to each other in Polish, outside our house we use English. Sometimes when we meet our friends we use mixture of both, interlacing Polish with English.

Most of our lives we lived in Poland so although we learned other languages, we used our native language. When we are alone or with close family members we talk to each other using Polish. It helps us to remember our homeland, culture, and all that that is so far away now.

Outside our home, in school, at work, or meeting people that are residents of US we use English. It is hard sometimes to put ideas from one language to another so we sometimes have trouble expressing them in English, but we are understood and can function in English-speaking society. It happened few times that people make remarks about our “heavy” accent. My family does not mind that, but I sometimes feel embarrassed about it, and prefer not to speak up. That is our second “type” of language.

We have few polish friends that live here about 10 years or more. They become so used to using English in every-day life, that they forget many of the polish words. They want to speak in Polish, but every two or three words they are missing a word in Polish and say it in English. About 30% of our every conversation is in English. It looks like that: “Powiedzialem mu zeby wzial ten transmission i zawiozl go na rebuilding to motovico”. Mostly it is non-grammatical and absolutely incorrect, but perfectly understandable to everyone involved.

Usually me or my family do not mix up our “types” of verbal communication, but some times when I get very upset, I begin to talk in Polish and do not care that people around me do not understand me. I guess an immigrant never looses his roots.

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