Sunday, January 8, 2012

Proxima nivel de Español

I woke up to Lily fussing and my first thoughts went like this, "Quien es...Oh es Lily." By now she stopped fussing and I thought. "Ahhh que bueno esta bien." Then I thought, "what the heck why did I just think that in Spanish." And I began trying to decide if Im upset about this or not. Not sure I like the idea that my first thoughts in the morning are Spanish. I know that is kind of a good thing but well I need English to be my first thoughts so Im sure to teach the girls well. ........ ¿Right?

Curious to some thoughts here. What do you guys think. I am extreamly paranoid that Im going to some day let the English thing slip. It is very important to me that the girls have two first languages. I want English to be a first language. I want it to be special to them. And not something they have to learn but something they know. Sometimes I catch myself speaking in Spanish at home and I get very upset with myself. Is it possible for me to maintain this strictness about English at home and still grow in my Spanish. 

Again thoughts and comments are expected on this post. 

Thanks in advance. 


  1. I think it's a great sign that your Spanish is getting better, and I wouldn't worry about your English. It's your first language, and it'd take something pretty powerful to knock it out of your brain. :-)

  2. I speak both at home but, I have noticed here larely that my son who is 8 is forgetting words at times in ENglish and says part of the sentence in English and changing some words to Spanish. I asked him why and he said that at times, he can't remeber the words in English. Now, I have changed my rule, I will speak only English myself. We live with my in laws again so, they hear Spanish all the time and only speak English to me and to my family when we talk to them, about once a week or every 10 days and I don't even think that is enough. Unfortunately, I have a sister in law who doesn't like for my kids to speak English and she gets onto them when they speak to each other in English but, I have told them that she has no right to tell them not to speak in English, it is their first language so, they can speak it when and how often they want.

    I wouldn't worry about your English though. I have been speaking Spanish for 15 years. When I started thinking in Spanish was when I realy started to speak it really well and not have to translate really at all what I heard.

  3. You never lose it! I spoke only Spanish for about 4 years, and my English was still spot-on when I had to use it.

    Don't worry, it's just a sign that you're getting more comfortable with Spanish. You never lose your first language.

  4. I am new to this site, and I really would like to read all of it. We may have to move, and I am just completely devastated. I was there for 4 months, and promised to never go back. Thank you for this blog. I have so many questions, how can I email you?

  5. I dont know if you do this but I catch myself having a dream in spanish. Which is weird because I have improved a little but I am still not fluent. I think It is great also that you think in spanish, and if you are planning on teaching and speaking to the kids in english you should be fine. Javi is mostly my only source of english, he refuses to speak to me in spanish because he does not want to lose the english that he knows, so it is more of a challange for me to learn with his only spanish speaking family.

  6. When I lived in Mexico and spoke in Spanish all the time, I would sometimes struggle for a word in English on trips to the US. Now we are in the US, and the same thing happens but for a word in Spanish. Come to think of it, I actually do that in both languages---just the way our brains work!
    I do applaud your efforts to achieve true bilingual status for you and your girls.

  7. Thanks everyone for your comments on the matter. I think I might not have explained well enough what I was worrying about. I know that I will never loose my English. Except like Lisa and lori said a word from time to time. But I am worried about my kids. And Stephanie your story is a perfect example of what Im talking about. I have a good friend here who is American but her kids do not speak fluent English because of similar situation. Stephanie I think that is so horrible about your cuñada. Im so blessed that mine and my suegra speak English pretty well and they help me out with the girls when they are here.
    Rita for sure read and you will know a bit more about what your in for. I do want to say a couple things. Everything depends on how your husband treats you and where he brings you to. I have known a lot of women who come down, for some it works and others it doesnt. And those are usually the two deciding factors. I actually have a great husband. He has screwed up a few times but nothing unforgivable nor lasting. Also we live in a city that reminds me a lot of where I lived in the states before moving. Before here we lived in a small town about the size of the town I grew up in. It was a bit harder their but we had a grocery store and I actually found a few retired Americans which helped. If you hated it when you came I have a feeling you were in el rancho. Maybe not but Im guessing. If your forced to leave the US and go to a place where you have to take bucket showers its so much harder to adjust. As far as giving you my email Im a bit paranoid because I (and many other bloggers) have a lame stalker who has nothing better to do in his life but say stupid things to us. So what we can do is if you don't mind comment again but put your email. I will copy it and not accept the comment on my blog. That way no one else has your email either. Again I'm sorry if that sounds crazy but such is life with stupid people in the world. ;)

  8. Oh and Lisa the funny thing is I have been dreaming in Spanish for quite some time now. At first when I wasnt fluent I dreamed in Spanglish, Im not kidding it was crazy. And the worse part is that in my dreams I cant figure out how to speak in past or future. And that is what is so hard for me right now. lol Dreams can be very strange. jajajajaj

  9. My mom has lived for almost 60 years in the USA, she speaks Spanish with my dad (and sometimes with us) and has a college level command of English, so you don't lose it.
    Her only regret is not making us all speak Spanish at home, but the push in those days was to speak English and not a second language. Same thing happened to my Japanese, Russian and other 1st generation friends. Things are different now.
    Sometimes, I can't think of words in English but it's because those are words that entered my vocabulary in Spanish and I never bothered to translate them. If I think about it, I can translate them just fine.

  10. Sorry I haven't followed your blog in awhile. Are you considering eventually returning to the U.S. permanently or have you both decided to continue your lives in Mexico? You seem to have assimilated well. If the plan is to return to the states, I'm sure the kids will have no problem improving their English fluency once they are here. I commend you for wanting them to be fluent in both languages, it will definitely be an advantage for them when they grow and enter the workforce, not to mention, most colleges require a second language now.
    I can relate to the dreaming in a newly acquired language. I am not fluent in Spanish, but I remember when I first met my husband Javier I asked him if he ever dreamed in English. He thought it was a crazy question at the time. But as his English fluency improved he did notice that he finally had dreams at times in English.
    My daughter is 14 and learning Spanish in school, but the goal is to have her spend some time in Mexico or another Spanish speaking country to become 100% proficient one day. Sadly, my kids did not learn it at home because their papa mostly speaks English now with us.