Yesterday, I asked our Italian maid in Spanish how to say “towels” in French. She didn’t even blink at my Spanish. This makes perfect sense.
In other language news, I am reminded of the fact that we all have our own accents. Mine wanders from French-Canadian, Prairie-Canadian, Slavic and American Deep South (Virginian to one of the Carolinas, I’ve been told, although we lived in Georgia). It is possible there is a touch of a Spanish accent in there, but more likely that only shows up when I am rolling my ‘r’s.
The reminder of dialects and accents came when I visited at a park with an Indian friend of mine. She has an Indian accent, but now I realize that to her ears, I have a pretty thick accent, too. With us was her sister-in-law visiting from India. She speaks perfect English, but she needed my friend (her sister-in-law) to translate half of what I was saying. I don’t only live in a proverbial tower of Babel; I am a tower of Babel.
Despite this, I am only fluent in one language. I have the curse of multilingualism without any of the benefits.