Now that is a question I was asked twice last week-end. People who heard me speaking French to my 6-month old daughter asked me how come I spoke so good French.
I am not sure what to think about the question, really. The proud side of me that loved to think that I am good at languages really appreciated the fact that anyone could, after speaking to me in German, think that I was German. The side of me that's French and proud to be didn't really like the fact that anyone could think that I was German.
Dilemma, if any. So many "expatriates" have a hard time knowing where they are really from, I guess it's a legitimate personal concern. But I am pretty sure I am French. And even surer I am not German. So the question really should be:
Why is your German good enough that we could mistake you for a German?. Not that it is. But I like to think so. Sometimes.
1 From Sourisdansroquefort - 05/08/2008, 21:47
Oh, I never heard that one! Hugs from another expatriate in Hessen (and french) (and, by the way, my supervisor is the son-in-law of the bookshop owner in your little town) (world is small). Go on writing, it's always a pleasure to read impressions so near to mine.
2 From Eugene Eric Kim - 06/08/2008, 01:23
You should go with the proud side. You have some serious language skills, and I am bitterly jealous. :-)
Hello from this side of the world!
3 From Amélie Gourdon - 08/12/2010, 13:48
Ah, ah, never happened to me either. Just got my accent confused with the Spanish one and the German one. Spanish is OK, German annoys me, but well, I am a Southern French, Spain is my soul mate (and accessorily because if people switched to Spanish, I still could understand them, if they switched to German, it would be a "deaf persons' dialogue").
On the other hand, the first time I spoke to the head of langugage of my daughter's school (about how we should deal with her school proposing only French as foreign language, which she obviously doesn't need), I was told that "She is almost bilingual in French" and all I wanted to do was shout "Noooo, she's French and almost bilingual in English (and also your definition of bilingualism is outdated)" for the record, she was born in France and we moved in the UK only when she was 9.
Excellent blog, discovered by serendipity. Keep going!