Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's fun learning 3 languages......

So my trilingual toddler and I seem to be having a bit of difficulty with our communication skills. I'm trying to make an effort to strictly speak Spanish to her but sometimes my Spanglish-Croatian gets the best of me. Today our dialogue went something like this:

Me: "Beli vamos a comer." (let's eat)

Beli: "no quieres!" ( she doesn't want to ....but what she means to say is I don't want to)

Me: "porque no?" ( why not)

Beli: "No quieres!" (She doesn't want to)

Me: "let's eat papa, y eggs y jugo!" (let's eat potatoes, eggs and juice)

Beli: " jaja mama" (not ja-ja in Spanish like haha it's funny!....but ya-ya meaning.. eggs)

After breakfast, we folded the laundry, read books and learned how to put our shoes on. She wanted to do everything Sama (alone). "Bela sama," she said. And while we are on the topic of being independent let me share my little nervous breakdown I had earlier today.
The same overwhelming feelings I felt when preparing for the Naplex Board Exam 5 years ago were back. I felt nervous, anxious, scared! I'm worried I won't pass my Level II Croatian language class. Most of what I have learned was lost on transit to America. It's important for me to do well because learning the language will be the bridge that connects me to my Husband's family, to his country. I don't want to be left behind in the conversations amongst my daughter and hubby or with the grandparents. And then I remembered a discussion my friend Nando and I had earlier in the week, "You are not Superwoman, so don't put that pressure on yourself,"he said in reference to my wanting to be 'perfect' in every aspect of my life. And he is right, I need to find balance in everything I do.

So I picked up my camera and focused on my daughter. I looked at her little hands and thought, " so tiny and yet so powerful." Then my fears faded away. "It's going to be ok," I told myself. How do you find balance in your life?

Hubby and Beli walking from the beach.

Marjan Hill located near the Diocletian Palace will be the meeting point for my friends and I tomorrow at 9am for our morning walk. Want to join us? Afterwards we will be drinking coffee and reviewing for our exam next week. Then later in the afternoon Hubby, Beli and I will be driving to Bribir (where his grandparents live) for an evening under the stars. Saturday we'll be visiting Skradin and Sibenik. Busy weekend! What are your plans?

And here are a few lovely blogs from around the world.

It's a Bilingual Carnival.

Get your cup of expresso and enjoy this view in Italy.

I dream of Spain.

Another Atlanta weekend.

Saying goodbye is part of being an Expat.

Something to think about, The Gore Effect.

A great story.

Traveling, writing, living in a boat in England


  1. TRILINGUAL!!!!??!? Wow. I am impressed. But no wonder it's difficult at times! ha ha.


  2. Balance is a much sought after thing yet so tricky to achieve. I think you just have to be conscious of what you do and what you want to achieve. The fact that you are consciously attempting to speak Spanish to your daughter is great! It shows your commitment, but don't be so hard on yourself when you deviate from that, she will learn.

    I know what you mean about wanting to learn the language so you won't feel left behind. It's the same thing for me, I want to be able to make that connection with this country, my husband's family and our future children. But it will come with time.

    You're a strong woman, you can do it!

  3. Oh goodness, I can't imagine knowing a second language, let alone a third! I'm amazed that you have such a dedication to all these languages, and making sure that your daughter understands them! :)

  4. People that ask much from themselves don't feel the balance in their life even when it exists!
    When you want more you must pay more:with your fear, with your love, with your worries, with your dissatisfaction...But what a glorious moment when, after years (!!!), suddenly,when you expect less, the miracle happens ... That bliss worth all your little or big worries.
    After all that means to want more for your life and for yours.
    So is a great and loving mum and wife!

    I don't know if my poor English translation of my thoughts was understandable...You know, English is my second language ;)
    ...and I have learned it by myself...

    Have a great weekend!
    Imati veliki vikend!
    Tener un gran fin de semana!

    ...says my on-line dictionary :))

  5. haha! I find it soo difficult as well to only speak Danish to Bibs :) specially when my hubby is there - I catch myself speaking French then Danish to her. For your classes don't you worry, it will go fine, am sure you'll do great. And you won't be missing out on anything! And thanks for the link :)

  6. Hi Rachel! thanks for stopping by and commenting. Please visit anytime.

  7. @Biking in heels: thank you so much for your words of encouragement, it helps to know I'm not alone 'out there' trying to learn a new language and embracing a new country. Since the Summer is coming and I will be 'on vacation' from classes I want to continue speaking, learning, so once in a while can you check up on me and say, 'Elisa how is your Croatian going?":)

    And I agree its a conscious effort, the balancing part.

  8. thanks Allison, we think she is lucky to know both of her parents native tongue plus the common spoken language, English.

    glad you made it back from China safely.

  9. Mihaela, I love reading your comments, they are always full of insight, you are a wise lady!!
    I could understand you perfectly, and i think it's great that you taught yourself English, wow, that's to be admired. ANd that translation was perfect!


Thank you for your comments!

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