I am tri-literate. I can speak and write Vietnamese, English and Mandarin. I am fluent in the former two and efficient in the last.

It’s a hard thing, balancing between three languages. Three cultures. At any point in time one of them has to be temporarily pushed to the back of my mind to make space for the other two. It’s like raising triplets. Can you talk about friend problem with this one, check the other’s homework and tug another one into bed at the same time?

I’d go mad.

I’m struggling, and sometimes I just got a bit panicky when I couldn’t translate a thought into the other language as smoothly as needed. Sometimes it just struck me that I haven’t used one of them in a month. My language skills become rusty if I dont practise often enough. I can feel the rust. I can feel ot slipping away.

Balance is the hardest thing there is to maintain.



2 thoughts on “Triplets

  1. I have a hard enough time as it is balancing things – I could not imagine having to balance languages, as well. Wow. Do you ever just go into a dark room, close everything out and just go to one place – meaning language? kinda like pressing a rest button?

  2. I have never tried to shut myself down. That’s why its hard for me to fall into sleep; my mind always thinks about something, and those thoughts have to be in at least one language otherwise they are no thoughts at all. So yeah, very hard to rest.

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