April 14, 2005


I have just finished reading your comments on the emotional intricacies of speaking a language which is not your mother tongue; I had to respond because I felt that you had hit the nail on the head with your verbalisation of a dilemma which I can completely identify with. I am British yet I moved with my husband to Frankfurt ( Germany) several years ago. Although now I speak german, I would never go as far to say that I am fluent in the language I fear that that is something that I will never be able to do, for me this lack of complete competence is a little torture. Like you I see myself as an over achiever I am a post-grad., avid reader, radio journalist... words and communication to me are an intrinsic part of my personality. Yet since I came to Germany I feel as though I am in a psychological straitjacket due to my inability to freely and without inhibition express myself. Every mistake I make is not just a jar on my nerves it is a blot to my ego which was totally unexpected and I have never really come to rights with it. Needless to say your not on your own and I felt pleasantly surprised to read from your blog that I too am not on my own with my inner peceptions. My husband is German and we only speak English to one another so he never truly understood my dilemma strangely he always assumed my competence as an individual would automatically translate into German?! I know it spoke volumes for his respect for me but that high bench mark left me standing more than once.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.