Sunday, March 7, 2010

Morale Booster

On Friday I had a super-German day, and I want to write about it so I can look back here on those days when I'm feeling much less than super...

Spent the morning at a German playgroup where I usually go from 10-12pm every Friday. This week, we met at a bakery first, then walked around the block to a playground. I met a German woman I'd never met before, who I really enjoyed talking with about a whole bunch of different subjects. While we were introducing ourselves, she asked me the series of questions that I'm hoping will carry me and my German confidence through for a few weeks: "and before California, where did you grow up? In Germany? Your parents aren't German?" YES!!! I mean, no, they aren't, and no, I didn't, but YES!!!, how EXCITED I was to hear those questions leave her lips. How wonderful to be mistaken for a native...YAY!

Similar experience that evening, while I was at a German Stammtisch (conversation group) at a local bar. Met another woman who I'd never before met...a native German woman. Though I can't remember the series of questions she exactly asked me, she too was impressed with my German ability, and took me for a native...SWEEEEEET.

Of course, I have found a way to knock down my high a bit: I am really good at coming across as a native speaker in simple, basic introductory conversations where my confidence is high and vocabulary extensive. True statement. When the conversation deepens a bit, and then a bit more, and my vocabulary starts to falter, my near-native impression wanes. However, I'm growing OK with this concept, and getting better at telling myself that, even if I don't know a word here or there, or can't/don't pass as a native, Kaya can still grow up bilingual and reap the benefits of this experience. This I know. Now it's just a matter of getting myself to believe it more consistently...=)


  1. Thank you for this. I have a good accent and can "fake" German for the superficial parts — but then get stumped at difficult conversation. So thanks for the hope that my son at least can grow up confident and bilingual without the being stumped. :)

  2. I love that you appreciate this...I'm just going back through some old posts and just found your comment (not sure how it got lost in the shuffle!). I have complete confidence that our kids, as long as we don't raise them in a German-vacuum, will grow up with all the bilingual confidence they need to make it in life!


I LOVE reading your comments, they make such a difference! Thanks for sharing!