No Headaches, Yet, But

When at home, we speak English, but in public, as much as possible, I try to speak Dutch which just means that I’m damn good at ordering a cup of coffee and buying my train ticket at the kiosk – when I travel the use of Dutch explodes quite a bit between the hotel / commute / airport.

When we first moved to the Netherlands seven years ago I used to get headaches because my brain would try to serve up Japanese as my second language instead of going straight to Dutch. Every time I’d try to practice, my brain would translate Dutch to Japanese to English and back again.

For about six months.

One day I woke up and the Japanese was gone.

Like, GONE gone.

Whenever I’d try to think of some common phrase, my brain gave me Dutch.

FINE.

But then we had kids and I really want them to be familiar with some Japanese, so I started re-learning via Duolingo. And also, because my partner and our three children are Swedish, I thought now would be a great time to fold in Swedish as well.

So every day I complete at least one module of all three languages within the app, never imagining there would be a situation when I used more than two languages within a short period of time.

And then.

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