Thinking in German ; Speaking in English

Mother Language is a Gift

Thinking in German ; Speaking in English


I grew up in Germany, with a dad by the military who constantly moved us to different parts in the world.

I was only four years old when I made my first acquaintance with the English language.

We moved to El Paso Texas, in the East side of USA.

I went to a Buddhists kindergarten.

Living here gave me a weird Texas slang, because the words rolled different from my tongue, so I was  not singing, I was sangan.


Nevertheless it was American English what I‘d learned the three years I lived there.

In this time we celebrated the traditional events of US but also stayed true to our own culture the whole time.

Then we moved back to Germany.

In third grade I started learning English again in school but this time it was a wholly different thing altogether.

My teacher came from London, and he spoke British English which was completely wrong in my opinion.

It was hard for me at first to speak his British English, but I managed it somehow.

Years later I met my husband and we moved to Virginia – once more to USA.

But this time more to the West of US.

I thought it would be a piece of cake to live there.

I had a lot of experience with this language or so I thought.  

America is America, the language the same, huh?


When I had my first contact with the citizens, I didn’t understand much.

They talked so fast and had many words I couldn’t comprehend.

Some words like Bucks didn’t even make any sense to me.

But as I remained longer there I slowly started to understand the meanings behind these strange words. 

That`s when I knew that there are many types of English in the world.

And although they speak a similar language, they have different words for things and different kinds of dialects. 

It was really fascinating. 

I began to love the English language, because it was easier to do lyrics with. It had a beautiful rhythm.

I tried to translate quotes from the German language to English and had a good laugh with that.

Many quotes or sayings in German, didn’t make any sense in the English language.

For example, the German saying ‘Träume sind Schäume’.

If translated directly to English that would be ‘Dreams are Foam!’ 

Nope, it was not the right translation, so I looked up the true saying in English with a similar meaning and I found it: Dreams are Ten a Penny, or Dreams are but Shadows.

The first one is a British saying, the second one an American. Interesting.

What can I say - understanding the meanings in one’s mother language is in one’s blood.

It comes naturally.

It`s a gift.

It’s easy, like breathing.

So I may understand English and love to speak and write it, but in the end the words are only translations from my real tongue. 

And it all comes back to German :)




Thanks for taking time to read this. Hope you enjoyed it!

Do not forget to drop me a hello during your free time!

Until I meet you with another story bye for now