Мария Капшина, Морана, Spielbrecher (viata) wrote in linguaphiles,
Мария Капшина, Морана, Spielbrecher

Foreign languages swearings

Some time earlier I noticed that, when talking informal in English, I tend to use expletives easier than when talking in my native language (i.e. Russian). Well, I don't actually say them in English as well, but I think them, and I have to stop myself and reword the sentence, while in my native language they just don't cross my mind normally. That made me go and ask a couple of friends who speak the same languages to see whether it was just me, or there was a tendency. Seems like there is, if you can call three a tendency.

The point is, foreign swearings don't feel as offensive as the Russian ones to me - hardly offensive at all, actually. Can it be because you learn them differently? I mean, I studied them pretty much like any other foreign word (spelling, reading, meaning, usage...), the only difference being the note "slang", or "taboo", or "vulgar" at the beginning of the dictionary article. That's a somewhat detached approach, with no emotions to go with, and no childhood memories of your Mom's "mind your language" demands.
Or is it because English expletives are too extensively used in pop-culture and on the media, so that they are not really taboo anymore? Like, the f-word (plus derivatives) doesn't feel taboo to me, only slang, and not half as rude as the Russian equivalent, come to think of it. But, again, I'm not a native.

So, the question is, is it just the three of us after all, and not a tendency?
Or is there anybody here with the same situation?

It doesn't have to be necessarily Russian vs English, mind. That was only an example, any native vs foreign language pair will do, provided you know the second language at least to the advanced level.

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