I recently experienced an interesting effect. Maybe it is a personal thing, but I got the feeling that my Chinese degrades significantly as soon as I know that there is someone around who is either a native English or German speaker or who is at least reasonably fluent in one of those languages.
It seems to make my brain lazy - as soon as I get that security net of a possible translation below me, the vocab didn't come. In situations when there was/is no possible help around, the flow is much better.
Even the possibility of a translation taints the learning effect. I wonder if that is just me.
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