A Big Life

One thing people feel they have free rein to constantly comment on, is what language I speak in my home and to my partner. The most common refrain is, ‘You are in Germany, you should speak German to each other’ and other variations on the theme. Frankly, I tend to feel telling me what language to speak to my partner is like me telling you how often you should be having sex with yours. It isn’t any of my business and it is entirely up to you two. But that is by the by. This isn’t about what pisses me off, but instead about a little theory I have regarding bilingual relationships.

Obviously, I speak English. I came to Germany with three words of German (and one of them was ‘hallo’ under my belt) and have spent the past eighteen months simultaneously teaching English, writing in English and learning a…

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