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not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 12:34 PM
I'm looking for a word (or concise phrase) that means "fellow speaker of one's native language." Do any come into mind?

The context isn't really important, but I wanted to write something about the feeling you have when you stumble across someone who speaks your mother tongue in a foreign country. And it's all coming out way too wordy.

Anyone have any good suggestions?

Thanks in advance :)

mccardey
05-16-2011, 12:36 PM
Medi will know....

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 12:44 PM
Yeah, she will. Haha.

She's probably in bed by now, though. Damn Medi and her not staying up at unnatural hours to answer my questions.

I guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow. Gah :)

mccardey
05-16-2011, 12:45 PM
You could just sort of half-wake her and whisper. She probably answers this kind of thing in her sleep....

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 12:58 PM
Lol. I'm guessing all that would get me is a well-placed slug in the face.

Nick Blaze
05-16-2011, 01:11 PM
I went to Wiki (an unreliable source) and searched a few pages and found completely unrelated information that was still interesting to read. I personally see nothing wrong with "He speaks my mother tongue".

mccardey
05-16-2011, 01:14 PM
I went to Wiki

I'll bet waking Medi would've been more fun...

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 01:24 PM
I went to Wiki (an unreliable source) and searched a few pages and found completely unrelated information that was still interesting to read. I personally see nothing wrong with "He speaks my mother tongue".

You're right -- that is fine on its own. But I was hoping to have a noun of some sorts to use in a simile. As in, "So-and-so experienced a perfectly melodious moment, like when you stumble across a speaker of your mother tongue in a foreign land." Something like that.

It's hella clunky right now, but that's the gist of it.

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 01:25 PM
I'll bet waking Medi would've been more fun...

Now that you mention it, we really should develop a MediWiki to serve as a compendium of her vast stores of knowledge when she's either unavailable or indisposed.

Any volunteers?

mccardey
05-16-2011, 01:26 PM
You're right -- that is fine on its own. But I was hoping to have a noun of some sorts to use in a simile. As in, "So-and-so experienced a perfectly melodious moment, like when you stumble across a speaker of your mother tongue in a foreign land." Something like that.

It's hella clunky right now, but that's the gist of it.

How about when you hear the words of your mother tongue, in a foreign land (sort of thing).

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 01:31 PM
How about when you hear the words of your mother tongue, in a foreign land (sort of thing).

Hmmm... that's a good idea. I think I've been stuck on finding the right word for so long it's kept me from looking for a different solution.

Thanks for helping to jump start my brain :)

mccardey
05-16-2011, 01:53 PM
Hmmm... that's a good idea. I think I've been stuck on finding the right word for so long it's kept me from looking for a different solution.

Thanks for helping to jump start my brain :)

Yes, there'll be a way to phrase it that sounds perfect - it's a lovely concept, by the way. I remember the utter loneliness of being in a foreign country before I had any of the language, and the incredible effect of hearing English spoken up at the markets - and in an Australian accent, too.

It stopped being so magical once I had found my way into the local community and picked up enough of their language to get by - but those early days were so lonely and I really did react viscerally to hearing my own native language ;) You've really brought that back to me - it's a strong idea.

not_HarryS
05-16-2011, 02:03 PM
Yes, there'll be a way to phrase it that sounds perfect - it's a lovely concept, by the way. I remember the utter loneliness of being in a foreign country before I had any of the language, and the incredible effect of hearing English spoken up at the markets - and in an Australian accent, too.

It stopped being so magical once I had found my way into the local community and picked up enough of their language to get by - but those early days were so lonely and I really did react viscerally to hearing my own native language ;) You've really brought that back to me - it's a strong idea.

Aww... thanks! I'm glad you can relate. I was lonely as Hell my first couple of months in China. And you're right how the visceral reaction to familiar words and sounds quickly fades once you've learnt the local language. In fact, hearing non-native English is kind of annoying to me now. Hahah. And now that I've acclimated I avoid foreigners here like the plague.

But it would've been nice when I had first arrived :)

Cyia
05-16-2011, 02:07 PM
You could use camaraderie. As in, you feel a sense of camaraderie when you hear even a stranger use your native tongue.

PinkAmy
05-16-2011, 04:00 PM
I'm looking for a word (or concise phrase) that means "fellow speaker of one's native language." Do any come into mind?

The context isn't really important, but I wanted to write something about the feeling you have when you stumble across someone who speaks your mother tongue in a foreign country. And it's all coming out way too wordy.

Anyone have any good suggestions?

Thanks in advance :)
If you're talking about someone living in a foreign land, you could use something like I felt a sense of nostalgia when I heard a Hungarian voice in the crowd.

The Grift
05-16-2011, 06:41 PM
what's wrong with countryman? The language bit is sort of implied there.

Also, which country? Some countries have specific words.

Medievalist
05-16-2011, 08:13 PM
All the racket in here woke me up --

You lot are utterly charming but you have an inflated opinion of my abilities.

There's a Yiddish word and concept--lantzman.

It's literally "lands man" but it encompasses the feeling of recognition you have with a shared culture in a strange world.

It's usually used in a semi-kidding fashion by one Jew to another, in a Gentile surrounding, but I've heard it used by non-Jews fairly often.

PinkAmy
05-16-2011, 10:44 PM
what's wrong with countryman? The language bit is sort of implied there.

Also, which country? Some countries have specific words.
it's sexist ;). Policeman became Police officer. Mailman because Letter Carrier etc.

scarletpeaches
05-16-2011, 10:46 PM
Doesn't bother me if someone uses the -man suffix.

And letter carrier for mailman? Really? What about when they carry parcels and--

We call 'em posties over here.

Anyway: compatriot.

Or tongue-partner. :e2brows:

C.J.Lindsay
05-16-2011, 10:48 PM
How about 'compatriot'?

scarletpeaches
05-16-2011, 10:48 PM
PWNED. :D

SP, smug. :D

C.J.Lindsay
05-16-2011, 10:49 PM
Sorry, crossed with scarletpeaches

HarryHoskins
05-16-2011, 10:56 PM
it's sexist ;). Policeman became Police officer. Mailman because Letter Carrier etc.

Darn it, I was going to offer mother-tongue up. :)

scarletpeaches
05-16-2011, 11:04 PM
Mouth brother? :D

Okay, this is getting slightly rude...

Medievalist
05-16-2011, 11:29 PM
Paisan is similar to landsman, though used with Spanish and Italian speakers.

pdr
05-17-2011, 01:59 AM
fellow English speaker?

Xelebes
05-17-2011, 03:58 AM
Folk?

ElsaM
05-17-2011, 09:28 AM
Could you simplify it to "like hearing your native tongue spoken in a foreign land?"
or go the other way and make it more specific:
"like an American suddenly picking out a New York accent on the steppes of Mongolia"

Snitchcat
05-17-2011, 10:23 AM
compatriot
fellow native
countryman
[country] citizen
another native speaker of xx language
homeland accent
"homelander" (made up this one :P)
another [north Londoner]

Hope you find the word or phrase you're looking for.

not_HarryS
05-17-2011, 10:43 AM
Ooh, I like compatriot! And although I think lantzman is an awesome word, considering my audience, I'm afraid nobody'll know what it means. Since it's a business piece, I can't rely on people to pick up their dictionaries. Ah well. I'll use it in something else later :)

Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone! I think I've finally hit on a cadence that appeals to me :)

jaksen
05-18-2011, 04:21 PM
I'd use lantzman, and if it's written in context even the laziest of readers will figure out its meaning. Isn't that what we all did as kids when we read? (Or many of us did.)

As long as you don't pepper your writing with many, many unusual words, a different word or two here and there spices up the writing and people walk away feeling smarter after reading.

Underthelivingmoon
05-20-2011, 07:42 PM
Or tongue-partner. :e2brows:

Tongue-partner sounds like some weird new PC term for lesbians ;)