I was in a restaurant in Belgium recently.
Two gentlemen took place on table next to me.
They spoke French to each other and Dutch to the waiter.
They switched from one language to the other so incredibly easily.
Some countries are bilingual.
Others have more issues with speaking anything else than their local language.
Holland, for example, is quite liberal with other languages.
Yet, I have been criticized often for using too much English when speaking Dutch.
“Nobody is impressed by you speaking English. We are in Holland!”, they’d tell me.
I am not trying to impress anyone.
I simply lived abroad for a couple of years where I only could use English.
Plus, I grew up speaking two languages.
My parents moved from Bosnia to Holland when I was about 4 years old.
The official language they spoke Serbian-Croatian, which already is a merge of two languages
So I’d speak that at home and Dutch I learned at school.
This created a hilarious mix between two languages.
Nobody would understand when I spoke to my parents
I have “misused” this ability as well.
Especially when these annoying people on the street are trying to make you sign up to “charity”.
Or when I forgot to buy a ticket on public transport.
I would simply speak my mother tongue and pretend I don’t speak anything else.
It actually worked quite often
One thing I did notice though, if you don’t use you a language for a long time, you’d start to forget.
Although I find it annoying to be confused with 3 languages on a daily basis, I want to be able to teach them to my future kids as well!
Do you use two or languages on a daily basis?
Do you like that?