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Faint

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To be bilingual has many advantages. But sometimes creates strange situations.

I uttered my firsts words in Croatian, and I learned Spanish at school when I was already 5 years old. I thought I had learned my Spanish pretty well, when something happened to me that proved it otherwise.

I was already 12 and in my way to school I felt faint. The nuns thought that I probably had not had a proper breakfast, so they decided to give me a big mug of hot milk. I hate milk and I hate cream in my milk, but I saw in despair how the nun was pouring milk with lots of cream.

I tried to tell her I didn’t like cream and I discovered in horror that I didn’t know how to say it in Spanish I only knew the Croatian word “skorup”. The nun couldn’t understand me. And she continued pouring cream in my mug.

I discovered that day that I didn’t know simple words related to the house life, like spoon, fork, and, of course, cream, because we used at home the Croatian words.
Faint

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Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

6 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. When I met Mr. Swiss, he already spoke very good English. My German was OK but not as bilingual as it is today, so we mainly spoke English. Everything was good except for the food. He didn’t know what brussel sprouts were for example. I realised the basic necessities were missing, because in the school they didn’t include it in the vocabulary.

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  2. I am interested in how the prompt drew me to your blog. I shall read more to better understand, “Life is Great”.

    Reply

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