Q: What do you/we call it when a conversation unfolds in which Speaker A speaks to Speaker B in one language (X-ish), and Speaker B responds in another (Y-ish)?The assumption is that both speakers have at least some passive competence in the other’s language.Regardless of labels, it’s clear they/you all were into something and the same.
Alejandro Paz ——— I was thinking of different examples and the differences in situation,motive, personalities etc.
In my experience, it was very common in East Timor, for example, to have a group of people speaking English, French, and Portuguese, with the person speaking their native language, and others replying in their own native languages.
For most, it was far easier to understand than to try to speak in that language, especially if you’re tired (or drinking) so this actually seemed to work out quite well. While working on a syllabus for next semester, I found a great piece that follows along the lines of Romaine’s critique.
Colleen Cotter ——— This is also very common in UN Peacekeeping missions where you have people working for the UN from all over the world.
Even though Peacekeeping missions have an official language (English or French, depending on the mission) for use in all official settings, in more informal settings where people were tired, you would often find multilingual groups, where people had some knowledge of various languages, but were too tired to actually try to produce appropriate language replies.