Thursday, July 12, 2012

gato, canard, and me

Annabelle, author of the blog The Piri Piri Lexicon (formerly Gato and Canard), has been posting a series of interviews called "Multilingualism in my Family," about parents' choices and experiences raising children with more than one language.  My answers to her questions are here!

And if you'd like glimpses into other similarly-minded families, you can "meet" some in the profiles that I used to post more regularly.


  1. "It’s not necessarily that my facility with the language has improved but rather that I don’t obsess over getting everything perfect. (I would rather communicate quickly, comfortably, and imperfectly, rather than slowly draft and re-draft sentences in my head until they are lexically precise and grammatically flawless!"

    This struck me, because I was recently watching an interview with Lukas Rosol (who beat Rafael Nadal against all odds in Wimbledon) and he was speaking fluently - as in, without hesitation - while still making mistakes. HOW have you gotten over this in-your-head perfectionism???? I can't seem to and I need to. I know it's holding me back. I was watching the interview and thinking, "He speaks English well" but I will not accept those kinds of mistakes myself in my non-native languages - the irony is, I know that if I let go of the perfectionism, I *would* get better from the increased practice!

  2. Oh, Jeanne! How did I get over my control-freak, type-A tendency to expect the very best from myself in all possible areas?


    I became a parent.

    Sleep deprivation goes a long way towards convincing me that "good enough" is usually good enough. After Griffin was born, I simply couldn't do anything as well as I wanted to. And eventually I realized that Griffin is turning out just fine, the house is still standing, and French people still understand me when I speak with my American accent and infelicitous lexical choices.

    It wasn't a conscious choice as much as a survival technique worth hanging on to!

    Good luck :)