September 25, 2010

image courtesy of Sara Westbrook Photography via Kinser Event Company
image courtesy of the charming Vintage Indie
The languages are changing on the 'ol homefront and it's divine. Both boys are growing up bilingual, but they definitely favor deutsch (surprisesurprise!). Lately, though, I've noticed that they've started spicing up their German with shots of English and visaversa. The other day I overheard the guys talking and the little one said, "Oh.my.goodness, hast du DAS Auto gesehen??!" and it put a smile on my face. When speaking English, they very purposefully throw in German words that my brother, a big 'ol ham, has honed in on over the years, like "Ge-schenk-E" (gifts), "Au-to" (overpronounced "ow-toe"),  and "double scheissen" ("double shit", this one is the boys' verymostfavorite). Over the years, H. and I have put forth some major effort to stick with our mother tongues and not mix, even though it's darn fun. So, I find it especially interesting that the boys have started mixing, not because they don't know words in German or English, but because, it seems to me, they are beginning to experience the joy of swimming between the two languages they speak and identify themselves not as German or American, but as German-American. Makes me happy, dear Readers, makes me happy!

image courtesy of a delightful Etsy shop called everyeskimo

In celebration of learning to swim in the deep end...

5 comments:

Artist in the Arctic said...

excellent! love how you describe "swimming between two languages"

Carolyn said...

Germanglish...we do some of that...but because we are dumb..not fluent in both! :)

Laura said...

So interesting!
I also have two boys- quite young still, so we can't see yet how they will speak with each other, but it is so nice to hear how yours swim at ease in both languages. Very cool. Laura in Ludwigsburg

juliette said...

I totally speak 'gemischt' with my German husband/in-laws; sometimes German words are actually shorter -but sometimes I just can't think of the English/German word, ha! You're right about cutting back on that once kids are in the picture, though! A little too mind-warpy for tender ages, ha ha!

Allison said...

I read this the other day, but did not have a chance to comment until now. Our little one has not even uttered his first word, but I have to admit that I am inwardly cringing that I will one day have to find my peace that Deutsch is the favorite language. I have heard that sometimes boys handle two languages differently than girls. We have started in the right direction with me speaking English and my husband speaking German. It is so darn hard to not do it the easy way and Denglish our way through. I really have to watch myself, and like Juliette, I am sometimes missing some of the English words (really embarssing when you have to ask your German husband the English word for...)

What is your "home" language? We speak English to each other, because I just think it wouldn't work any other way. When we first met we were speaking English and I love that part about our relationship.