Bilingual People Problems

I have to admit it. Sometimes I forget English, and it is embarrassing. Here are my coping methods when I’m stumbling around basic English conversation. I know I’m not the only one. Right?

How to Cope wHen You Forget English. (1)

When I was in language school and university, I only used Japanese. 6 years, day in and day out. My kanji handwriting was gorgeous too with all that note taking. (Sadly, after working full-time my writing is pretty rusty since I use the computer all the time.) I was fully emerged in the language, but during that time my brain decided that English wasn’t important enough to remember.

Even now my brain switches from an English to a Japanese mode, then back again without any notice. It can be frustrating to deal, especially when I need to go back and forth between the languages during the day.

More than once I have said something as eloquent as “Yeah, my friend said that she was applying to uh… you know those schools you go to… uh…after you graduate college… it’s like the one step-up from universities?” or “Where is that thing that you hook up to the game stuff for the TV junk?”

I think my best bet at this point is to embrace this as a cute quirk.


4 thoughts on “Bilingual People Problems

  1. Camille Moï Moï says:

    So true! I pretend to not be embarrassed when people accuse me of being a liar for saying I speak English when I can’t remember half the words or give me the side-eye when I have to use the Japanese-French dictionary :p

    Oh and I forgot all my kanjis as well >.<


  2. locksleyu says:

    いいな〜. I wish I spent enough time speaking only Japanese so that I could forget English.

    Though I guess even at my level there are times when I am speaking English and a Japanese word pops and I have to figure out how to translate it. Like the other day I had to figure out how to say 悔しい in the middle of a conversation.


  3. Liza @ TastyTraveling says:

    Oh, so true! I feel the same with my French (which I haven’t actively used for couple of years) – it’s just sliding away, as a new language replaces it. It is so frustrating!!! But I believe that some literature and films (or series) are big helpers in this case when you need to refresh your brain and remind it to ‘dig deeper’ for those words 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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