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In my third or fourth language, when I don't know a word or phrase, I substitute a word from my other non-native language rather than the one I obviously know in my native language. Or if I'm looking for a Russian word, I'll say "in French, we say..." Rather than "in English, we say..."

Is there a term for this linguistic impulse?

I feel like this is an idea that should have a term.

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    linguistic interference – Adam Bittlingmayer Aug 27 '17 at 15:03
  • @Emily so you want it to specifically be a word from a language which you learned after your native one? – madprogramer Sep 30 '19 at 11:34

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