Thursday, April 14, 2011

I pledge allegiance...

I think I just found my German twin!

Ok, so maybe I don't know what she looks like, when she was born, what city she lives in, or where her birthmark hides...but I DO know that she's raising her baby bilingually in German and English, living in Germany, speaking English as her non-native language!!

How cool is the world, really?
Because of this woman's excitement in finding my blog, and her willingness to share and comment, I now have a source IN German that I can immerse myself in for the exact subject matter that consumes my daily life. !!!!

I'm floored. So excited.
Now if only I could understand this exciting new source.

I just went to her blog (called 'Bilingual', in German) to check it out, and in the first paragraph alone, I had to look up 3 words and 2 phrases, one of which I even had to look up in English! (ostensibly) This woman can write. Or I can't read. One of the two. Or both. Either way, it's certainly a wake-up call to me about the importance of reading in the target language, from sources that actually challenge me...Hallo Lola doesn't exactly count!

Granted, in offering a bit of compassion to my little old self, if I were try to read my writing in a German or Spanish, I would have a hard time of it. I make a point of using fun language, of saying things in ways that aren't often (or ever!) said, of playing with words as much as I can because it feels so FREEING sometimes after being stuck in my non-native language speaking toddler all day long (I've often wondered, actually, how some non-native beginners of English handle my random rants of language play). Now, I've just struck a gold mine that could be as hard as gold to read, yet I'm determined to see it as Just That: a gold mine. Repeat. It is a gold mine.

I pledge allegiance to her blog in the European nation of Germany, I will use it from which to learn, this woman, next to Buddha, indivisible, with confidence and compassion for all (including me!).

In other words, with the exciting discovery of this German blog, I am determined to avoid the tendency berate my ability to converse and communicate in the language I use to raise our daughter. Instead, I make this promise to you, my reader, that in this one source (start small, go BIG), I create the possibility of compassion, love, and what the heck, some ease and understanding, too!

p.s. Since having written this last night, I've since gone back through her older blog posts and am doing just fine--a few words pop up here and there that I don't know, but all in all, it's definitely easier to get through than that first paragraph I read yesterday. Must be inventing that possibility....!! =)


  1. And thanks, I linked your blog as well. )

  2. Darn, did you not get the first comment I posted? I may have to retype it.

  3. HiTamara! Glad to hear the excitment and motivation that this discovery has given you. Isn't it strange how personally we take our children's language abilties (or preferences?) Add that to 24 hours of toddler speak and bring on the crazy.

  4. Hi Artsy,
    Thanks back at ya for posting my blog in yours. That's awesome. =) I don't know how many comments you left, but I now have read a total of three of them, two of them being above...does that answer your question? If you don't think I got it, I'd love for you to re-post seems like it's the first comment that you'd write after finding my blog, from what you said, but perhaps you left another one somewhere that I didn't get?
    Anyway, truly enjoying your blog...fortunately, for my brain, it's become easier for me to understand what you're saying. =) Look forward to more!!

  5. Hi Notsospanishmama,
    I'm glad to see you here, too, after getting so many chuckles over at your blog. Reading your comment this morning did WONDERS to raise my mood, thank you so much. I often forget what all I actually deal with...the constant quandaries of what the hell my kid just said, in which language, and how...and on top of that, like you said, the extreme attempt, and constant at that, to not take it personally, to make no meaning of it. Ugh. Crazy in-DEED!
    Look forward to reading more of your blog and hearing from ya more down the road!!

  6. Yes, why would it not show the first one I left. Weird. But anyway. You read it so it's all good :).

  7. Artsy...
    You originally posted your comment on a different post:

    It IS all good...=)
    Bis dann, und danke nochmals...

  8. Oh, then another one is missing. Oh well. I didn't say anything too important just enjoying how excited you were to read my blog, basically :).

  9. Sometimes it seems to be so difficult.
    We took a week off, because Anna (my second one) was really upset with the english language.
    I was telling her something (i don't even remember what) and suddenly she yells (in Italian) "And now please you have to repeat everything in italian because I don't understand english... (and then in english) stop speak english, ok?"

    Tonight we had our bedtime story in english as usual (4 books... we bargained for them, they wanted 6 books) and she looked very happy and very involved.
    Maybe she just needed a break.

    That's why I need to read blogs like your!

  10. Artsy,
    As unimportant as it may seem, I would SO love it if you were to re-create the comment you wrote but went missing!! =)

    And you are one of the reasons I continue to write this one...
    Thank you.
    I can SO relate to the challenges you describe. Granted, my situation differs a bit, but I remember hearing my neighbors' boys say the same thing to both of their parents...initially, their Dad would speak to them ALL in German (being from Austria), and now their mom has begun to speak to them more, too. They are nearly 5 now, and beginning to grasp and enjoy the fact that this language is a connection they ahve to their mom that others don't have and can't understand. She flip flops a LOT, which I have to admit, I've criticized, yet simultaneously wondered about...and envied. I would like to be so relaxed wtih my language, too, as you describe. On the one hand, I feel so trapped, so stuck by comments that I've heard some German friends say: WHATEVER you do, don't speak English to your kid! Stick with German, otherwise, you'll lose them. On the other hand, i'm dying for that freedom that I see in others...the willingness to take a week off and not make meaning out of what WILL happen if...
    I'm on the brink of a post about it, stay tuned, hopefully it will come to pass one of these days soon.
    I'm SO happy to hear that the break made a big difference for her. Kaya has begun some resistance too...I was asking her what Mama says for strawberry, and she said, with insistence, Mama says strawberry, Mama says strawberry! After a tickle fest, in which I played with the word 'Erdbeer', she began to say it, too, and at the table, finally said that "Mama sagt Erdbeer'. (Mama says Erdbeer)

    In writing this, I think I'm realizing that a break from this language could be what I need, too, to loose myself from these self-inflicted chains...

    Thanks for the inspiration!! As always!

  11. Thanks for linking to artsy's blog, Tamara! I have often thought "Oh, I shoud go look at what the Germans are up to" re: raising bilingual kids, just never got around to it....

    Now I've got at least one for my reader :)

  12. S.P,
    I'm glad I could help! That's what this community is all about, huh...connections...!

  13. My think my comment was eaten again. ARGH! Frustrating.

  14. Artsy,
    YEAH! for both of us!! Thanks for your continued tenacity, though!!

  15. Hi! I just found your blog through Artsy's, actually. (Not that I could read more than 1% w/o Google Translate.) I am just beginning to learn German in order to teach it to my 9 month old son. I'm excited to read about someone with far more fluency and experience!

  16. Hi CatholicMommy,
    I'm glad you found my blog, it's been an amazing support for me, this blogging community, hopefully it can do the same for you!
    Wow, a beginner, awesome! I love learning German, and remember back when in college when I was just starting, too. So much vocabulary, so many fun things to learn about the language. What has you wanting to learn? Why German, and why teach it to your son?
    I'm excited to learn more...your blog is enjoyable to read, and I look forward to reading more there, too.
    And THANKS, for dropping a line...the bigger our community here, with dedicated people to support one another, the better!


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