This time of year, families across the world come together to celebrate and so has my family done. Only problem is; my family comes from across the world and this year Mommy decided that it was time to mix things up and thus invited her Mommy to celebrate with us together at Daddy’s parents’ house. Great idea in theory, but in practice it’s like a jingle-bellsy UN convention over here.
Right now, we have 10 people living under one roof, speaking four languages and not one of them is spoken by everyone. There’s, Mommy speaking to her Mommy in Spanish or sometimes Swedish, whilst at the same time speaking to Daddy in English and German and to my step-siblings and Daddy’s parents in German only. (It would appear that in Germany, only the middle generation has come to learn the Queen’s.) On top of that, Daddy (keen as always to expand his language skills) insists on talking to Grandma Mommy in a rather confusing mix of „Spanglish“ with the occasional Swedish thrown in for good measure. I’m being spoken to in all four languages but still no one seems to have bothered to learn my "Jaggerish“.
The good thing about these language barriers however is that it leaves little room for the usual tensions and arguments which otherwise accompany family gatherings like the smelly Brussel sprouts next to the turkey. In fact, there is little room for any kind of arguments at all as people not so much talk TO eachother as AT eachother... If you ask me, they’re either all crazy or just a bunch of seriously self-centered narcissists keen to tell their stories. Because, there is no way a sane person, or someone even remotely interested in engaging in an actual conversation, would be able to follow the multilingual parallel telling of anecdotes at this talkfest .
That being said, sometimes ignorance is bliss and given the colourful composition of my family, maybe it’s just as well that some things get lost in translation. I for one, am glad that when I’m old enough, I’ll be able to let Mommy know in four different languages how I really feel about this ridiculous outfit which she’s making me wear to everyone’s amusement...
On that note, it’s time for litte Santa over here to crawl over to the Christmas tree and start handing out the presents. Merry Christmas everyone!