Remember you are not alone

December 31st, 2013

Four years ago today, on New Year’s Eve, I was on the métro going home when I overheard a mother speaking English to her preteen/teenage children, who replied in French. I couldn’t help it, I approached her and asked about languages in her family. It turned out they were a British family living in Normandy. […]

Why I run to get pen and paper

December 30th, 2013

These days, I often find myself running for a pen and paper. Any pen and (virtually) any paper will do because the main thing is to write down as quickly as possible what my daughter (3½) just said. Why? Because half a minute later I will only remember what she said, but not how she […]

I’m German!

December 29th, 2013

In case there has been a doubt about my daughter’s nationality, and based on these words of wisdom, here is final proof:    

They understand me here

December 29th, 2013

One aspect of going home when you are the minority language parent is realising that “people understand me here”. By that I mean that I’m so used to no one around us understanding what I say to my three-year-old in public that I have to do a double-take when I’m back home and suddenly remember […]

Twitter is my friend for anything writing-related these days. But I also do a bit of bilingualism on the side, as several of my writer friends are expats and parents, too. This week I came across this wonderful website with really good advice for parents of bilingual or to-be-bilingual children: Raising bilingual children

Classic interference

December 4th, 2013

As I quote in my diploma theses, « Der Begriff Interferenz ist der Physik entlehnt und meint dort die Erscheinung, daß es durch die Überlagerung von Wellen (z.B. Radiowellen) zu Störungen kommt (z.B. Pfeiftöne im Radio). Auf die Situation des Zweispra­chigen übertragen meint der Begriff, daß sich Regeln der beiden Sprachen überlagern und es dadurch zu […]


December 3rd, 2013

This morning, I can’t remember in what context, my daughter (now almost 3½) said: “Je vais couper ein bisschen was ab.” Switch in mid-sentence without any trigger that I can see. (Maybe too early for the “switch-at-trigger” phase.) Did you notice the prefix “ab” placed in the final position (where it would belong if the […]

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