Posted in cross-cultural, Culture

In the land between languages


I live in many different lands.

There are the lands of English and German.  Mostly they live peacefully side by side, allowing me to meander from one to the other and back again.  Did I read that book in English or German?  I don’t even know.

Then there is the land of “every other language I’ve ever learned (even a little bit of)”.  Yes, they do seem to congregate in one place.  Which is rather unfortunate, as in this land, sentences will come out in a random mix of (mostly) French and Russian. They seem to be quite competitive in what they’re doing.  Either both hiding or both pushing to the front, with usually the one that is not needed coming out on top.

Occasionally, I find myself in the land between languages.  The land where the thoughts that are in my brain refuse to come out in any language.  I was just there a few days ago.  Feeling a bit like a deer caught in the headlights.  Knowing I should be able to say something sensible, to express what I wanted to say.  Yet somehow not being able to.

It’s quite an embarrassing land to be in.  “Why is she not able to express herself in her own language?”.  Most people don’t understand.  I’m glad I’m only a rare visitor in this land, the land between languages!


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