It just occurred to me that I barely read anything in German (except for Cornelia Funke’s Inkworld trilogy and the occasional German classic [Goethe, Hesse, Frisch and Kafka rule 😉 ]) It just strikes me as interesting how I as a non-native speaker of English read and what is more, write, in a language that I should be less proficient than in my native German. Truth is, I guess this is just another syndrome of being bilingual – there is no real difference between both languages for me – even though I’m aware of my occasional grammatical flaws in English, but hey, I do have those in German too (at least in my spoken German 😉 )
It just feels odd, realizing that when I started to read my first English books back in 8th grade I’ve been armed with a dictionary, trying to figure out what this and this word is in German. Now almost the opposite is true. I’m reading A Thousand Splendid Suns right now – in German – and catch myself thinking about it – in English!
It doesn’t really bother me, just something I thought is interesting, but then again it shouldn’t surprise me since I’m living in an English speaking country, married a solely English-speaking guy, living with his solely English-speaking family. THEN I’m on the phone with my mom, my brother or friends from back in Germany and I catch myself at throwing in random English words making them exclaim about my ‘funny German’.
Seriously, I’m going to be a German and English High School teacher so you should expect me to get the German right, shouldn’t you? Well honestly, you can trust me to get it right in a classroom, but sometimes in everyday speech it’s not as easy to distinguish.
Now I’d wish for all my other languages being as good, but heck that would be confusing, wouldn’t it? I guess that’s another explanation for my non-German accent. I know I sound different from most Americans and definitely from all the Brits I know, but that’s probably due to a mix of German, English, Spanish, French, Italian – and yeah if you want to count those two – Latin and a tad Anchient Greek.
What can I say? I’m a mixed breed and a linguist on top of that. Deal with it 😉