Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'll see you when you dive up

I've spent almost two weeks in Sweden now, and it's pretty much the first time in a year and a half that I have used my first language on a regular basis.

I don't have an accent I don't think. But I do the same thing that I do in the US, a subtle mixing of the languages that I don't think anyone but me can really hear.

If I intend to start a sentence with a "maybe", when I am in the US out will come a "kanske", which is the Swedish word. In Sweden, in the middle of my Swedish sentence there will be an "I don't think" or a "how" where there should have been "jag tror inte", or "hur". It's like my brain knows no difference, and all the words are happily swimming together.

Which reminds me of when my bilingual Mexican American friend heard himself say that he had to go help another friend move her ropes.

Her ropes? That made no sense to anyone.

What he meant was her ropas, which is Spanish for clothes. She was moving houses. His brain had mixed Spanish and English, all on its own. That's how I feel too.

7 comments:

Fia said...

Jag gillar verkligen ditt uttryck att orden "simmar glatt tillsammans"...

Anonymous said...

How wonderful it must feel to be "home"! When I visit the bay area I say "Ya'all" instead of "you guys" and people notice very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Oh and that was me who just left a comment - Noel

Petra H said...

Jag gillar titeln! Det uttrycket borde man kanske försöka introducera i engelskan.. jag förstår dig precis, jag har samma problem. Men jag har också börjat bli influerad av att jag pratar franska på jobbet, så ibland blir det blandning av franska - engelska - svenska (bara jag inte börjar snacka engelska som min spanska pojkvän ;-) för då blir det verkligen en mess...

Anonymous said...

Me acuerdo de when I said that to you in the Comm building at Santa Clara (and by "me acuerdo de", I mean "I remember").
-Manuel

Louise said...

It's so true.. I do that more than I ever though I would here in California. Put an "och" here and there and maby a "du vet" instead of "you know" :)

JaCal said...

I have bad and good days.. the difference is that the bad days are really bad... that's when my brain totally melt down and rewire and out comes this... mishmash of languages that no one understand, not Americans nor Swedish...