Two years in Hamburg – those voices in my head

September 26, 2012

Well, time flies, doesn’t it? It’s been two years I’ve been living in Hamburg and many things happened, good things, bad things, blablabla – life, you know?

While I thought for a very long time I would never manage to learn German to a decent level, I find myself to perform better than expected. I sometimes can’t even think of words in French or English for only the German ones come to mind!

While it’s still my third language from a qualitative point of view, German has somehow taken over my brains. For a very long time, I used English 95% of the time, even when with French people, compelling me to translate into my own language (!) The language immersion has been a big success, I am now thinking in German most of the time, even though English words pop out every now and then when my word power falls short.

It does sound like a mess, but I’m actually doing okay, each language being in its own “compartment” (do we have compartments in our heads?) and not mixing up too much. I must confess I sometimes still translate word for word an English sentence into German when I don’t know how to say it any better, and I’m told it’s fun to hear.

On the bright side, my best friend moved to Hamburg as well, so I get to speak French much more often than ever (ever as in the last 7 years) and I started learning Spanish at Colón. Quite a challenge when surrounded by fellow learners who tend to switch to their native language a bit too fast.

At any rate, if learning a language is good for your brain, I should be covered for the next 50 years or so 😉

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