Obviously I’m an American, and I’ve always spoken English, but I’ve also always loved learning other languages (ik houd van talen; j’aime bien des langues) and what no one tells you about learning multiple foreign languages is how they all get bundled up in the “non-mothertongue” section of your head and they just kind of … leak.
So, I’m studying Dutch now, but I’ve studied French, German, and Spanish in the past. I’m trying to focus on Dutch, but the process that happens, when I get to something I don’t know or I’m more familiar with in another language, is that I grab the nearest not-English thing I can think of.
This leads to conversations with myself like:
Ich brauche….nee, dat is Duits… ik heb nodig de quelque chose… nee, dat is Frans… Ik studeerde depuis j’au eu negen jaar… wait. Shit. Start over.
Thankfully I didn’t study Latin for more than a single 12-week quarter, and that mostly for etymological curiosity than anything else, otherwise I’d be completely screwed. God, I wonder how real polyglots do it. I feel so grappig right now!