Are English speakers louder than others, or do I just notice English more?
I’m torn on this. I live in a country and especially a city with a LOT of English speaking residents and visitors, but where it is not (quite) an official language. (Things aren’t quite so simple, but basically it’s not.) One can certainly get by with just English, although I have no desire so to do, and don’t. I definitely notice when I hear English being spoken on the bus/street/wherever, but then I notice when I hear French too, and I’m starting to notice more when I hear Russian as well. German doesn’t seem to come up as often, but I have picked it out a time or two in the more touristy areas. (I’ve never heard Irish here, although I’m sure its possible.) I don’t tend to notice Hebrew in the same way, but then it’s the default in most areas. (When I’m in a more English-speaking context I do notice the bits of Hebrew more.)
So absolutely I feel I tune in to all the languages I know, and I do find myself eavesdropping on people’s public conversations, although I usually couldn’t and wouldn’t want to recognise the person who had the conversation five minutes later. I don’t really want to know about them; I’m just enjoying deciphering the conversation. Probably a bad habit in terms of manners, if a good one for language learning.
I do still think, however, that English comes across significantly louder to me, and that perhaps at least some English speakers are particularly loud and open about their public conversations. (Not mentioning particular nations/regions of English speakers here!)
- Conversation starters (kaetslanguages.wordpress.com)
- 5 English Speaking Rules (pazzadventures.wordpress.com)