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The bilingual switch to English.


Empathy makes the bilingual speaker protect you from suffering with their language, and it makes them too helpful — useless.

What you need is to try. But people aren't like that.

The tendency to speak in the most-convenient language is powerful. Communication is primary, and its mandate overrides all nuanced consideration, good intentions, or appreciation of one's effort. Simple communication takes precedence over any desire to help anybody learn, and this reality permeates all interactions at fine-grain resolution. You can't root it out.

A person who speaks English will switch to English. If you're serious about learning another language, it will happen faster than you'd like.

This is probably true of any lingua franca. It's certainly true of English.


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