I Can English – When You Suddenly Don’t Find The Words Anymore

I remember friends of mine who lived abroad trying to explain something to me and not finding the right words in Swiss German anymore. Back then I sort of found it rather annoying. “Stop showing off, we all know you live in an English speaking country now” was what I thought back then.

Today, it is different! And you know what? I found that not only am I struggling to find the right words in Swiss German, but some of the Swiss German words suddenly find their way into an English sentence in the middle of a conversation. Which would sound like:

“Oh, I totally agree… Weisch no (Remember) when we went to the beach?”

And oh my, does that feel weird. It is as if my brain is kind of having its own little revolution… Trying hard to hang on to the first language but not wanting to give up on the one used the most at the moment…

Did something like that ever happen to you?

14 thoughts on “I Can English – When You Suddenly Don’t Find The Words Anymore

  1. Pingback: Hey, guys. Anybody out there… | The Bloggers' Network

  2. If for your daily survival you have to swith between different languages 24/7, what happens many times to me is that while I talk in one language suddenly I have to stop, because that very one word necessary to proceed the sentence properly, simply is wiped out of the database. Except that I know this very word in especially this very moment in all those other tongues … too strange, sometimes … 🙂

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  3. Oh yes! Saturday night I was invited for dinner in the German speaking city of Vienna with my Spanish-speaking Peruvian boyfriend – we speak both languages together. My friends, the who invited us, are from Australia/England/Austria, we are used to speaking English together. So there I am, switching between those three languages, which – don’t get me wrong – I am actually proud of being able to do. I cannot remember any specific example at the moment, but you get the picture 😉

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  4. Yes, it can be frustrating.
    I’ve had it happen, too, that the right word (in the appropriate language) can be right on the tip of my tongue, yet be replaced by the perfect word (in a language the listener doesn’t understand). It’s been surprising to me, and usually surprising to the listener, too! 🙂
    It’s even happened when I wasn’t around people speaking other languages.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing that…
    Vincent

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  5. Oh I hear you!!! we are hard with the kids on this one, making sure that if they start a sentence in French, it has to be French all the way. Same with Swiss German and English. But me, I am so bad at it. I am training hard before I head back to France for the holidays, don’t want my brother to (rightly!) make fun of me all the time 😛

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  6. Oh I do this all the time, especially with close friends. I’ll say something in Bengali – maybe just one word- and expect them to understand because my brain thinks they should understand what I clearly understood. lol

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