Saturday night I was invited for dinner near the German speaking city of Vienna with my Spanish-speaking boyfriend – together we use both languages. My friends, the couple 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.
I actually find it funny, when that happens, and I feel how different parts of my brain are trying to communicate with one other. I am not, however, a fan of substituting many words in our German language with English words.
Examples (for the German speakers): “wir müssen uns connecten / wir müssen networken”, “es ist echt heavy”, “da bekommst du echte troubles”, “heute bin ich echt happy” …
Sometimes I catch myself using English words, especially in business talks, which bothers me. So I try to remind myself of the specific beauty of each language and stick with it as much as I can. – Now, when talking about “blogging”, for example, there just is no German equivalent, because we just took over the English expression when it all started. Another example is “computer”. In German we could still say “Rechner”, which translates as “calculator” and it does just that on the interior (right, tech-specialists?). In Spanish, however, they sort of made the word their own: “computador”.
I am hereby calling out to everyone to keep the variety of cultures alive in language! And I will keep on working on those different parts of my brain communicating when switching between them.