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Transplanted Mamas, can we have a show of hands? - Page 2

post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
I think the difference though, is that expatriates have generally been transferred to that country for purposes of work.
That's another distinction I've never heard of. *shrug*

Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
The reason that I did not use the term "immigrant" moms here is that people Americans (which, I believe, constitute the majority of users on this MDC) look upon this term as immigrants to the USA, whereas I am referring to moms who have immigrated away from the USA to another foreign land
Fair point, although I would think that immigrants to the USA would be welcome here too, as well as people who have no connection to the USA at all but still left their native country. In the context of the multicultural forum, I would take immigrant to refer to me unless stated otherwise.
post #22 of 112
I think that would make it even funnier if you claimed it cultural )

Frankly, it's not so much about what they know but about what they think they know, i.e. usually stereotypical stuff. It goes for everyone transplanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
I've always wanted to use the excuse "well, that's how my people do it" when I confuse someone, but unfortunately people here know way too much about American culture!
post #23 of 112
Immigrant has almost become a dirty word thanks to politicians. I consider myself an expatriate; I did not come here to work but to study and stayed. The beauty of any spoken language is that it's dynamic; the technicality line eventually moves further back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Hmm, I suppose expatriates could be people who have moved to another country permanently. I think the difference though, is that expatriates have generally been transferred to that country for purposes of work. I would not call someone who full out immigrated to a country because of marriage, for example, an expatriate. I would say that person was an immigrant to that country.

The reason that I did not use the term "immigrant" moms here is that people Americans (which, I believe, constitute the majority of users on this MDC) look upon this term as immigrants to the USA, whereas I am referring to moms who have immigrated away from the USA to another foreign land (perhaps emigrant would be the correct term, but emigrant puts emphasis on the leaving part and I want to emphasize the placing roots somewhere else aspect, if you know what I mean...)
post #24 of 112
Learning a foreign language is not easy. I had German and English in school and was getting by when I visited the countries with those native languages. However, when I moved to Germany, I hung out with English speaking people all the time and my German never got much better. When I moved to Italy, I had nobody to speak French with except at home which really doesn't count if you knew my family and was forced to learn the language or be quiet, ack!!! In 6 months, I was proficient enough to pass a K-12 test or equivalent. So when I moved to the US, I did not seek people who spoke any of my languages and again it took 6 months to get up to a k-12 level. Watching lotsa tv helped too LOL For once it proved useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannineb View Post
[...] I do want to integrate and speak better Norwegian, but well, I guess I just didn't realize it would be so hard ! And moving here was my idea! [...]
post #25 of 112
For me, the idea of an expat being sent somewhere on a posting and getting a ton of extra financial benefits thrown in is kind of old school. We're expats, we move a fair bit, we choose where/when we want to go, and we don't get stuff like school fees/trips home/whatever else. Most expats I know are in the same situation as we are. I agree on the impermanence.
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaLeaf View Post
Watching lotsa tv helped too LOL For once it proved useful.
Hahaha - I used to watch the Danish weather station to learn the language. I don't watch much tv, but I agree, that is a good use for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaLeaf View Post
RomanGoddess,
About identity I think it's like everything else, it's what one makes of it. It's like figuring out where home is; it's where I choose to live.
ITA. It's about appreciating all the things you have.

I found I used to be able to use my americanism as an excuse. Sorry, I didn't know the rules.... when in fact I did. Now that my Danish is pretty good, people know that I know better and I can't play dumb anymore; even if I am speaking english. That's a small price to pay to integrate into a society!

Anyone loosing their native tongue? My english is still a lot better than your average dane, but sometimes I think in Danish and then if I speak in english, it is translated wrong. Or I forget words I haven't used in a long time. Right now I can not tell you what watercress is. I've got a recipe that calls for it, and my mind tells me it is a type of salad that swans eat.
post #27 of 112
I have this problem where I end up talking like whoever I'm around, so for example, when I'm around my in-laws, I start saying things like "we should home" in a Danish accent. It's not intentional, and I don't always realize I'm doing it. :/

There are definitely some things I think of in Danish first, or in the case of some words (like types of fish) I have no idea what they are in English. In the US, I never went to a fishmonger!
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

Anyone loosing their native tongue? My english is still a lot better than your average dane, but sometimes I think in Danish and then if I speak in english, it is translated wrong. Or I forget words I haven't used in a long time. Right now I can not tell you what watercress is. I've got a recipe that calls for it, and my mind tells me it is a type of salad that swans eat.
Absolutely. A speak a lot of English (also with DS and with friends and such), but Dutchisms keep creeping in. My sister point out a few the other day when I was on the phone with her! Kind of funny, but kind of embarrassing. I think it's that, even when I'm speaking English, the vast majority of the time it's with non-native speakers, so I've gotten very used to adjusting my English to them, and have picked up all sorts of weird Dutch phrases which I then add to my English because Dutch people do!

Like the PP, I eat a lot more fish here than I ever did in the US, so all my fish is in Dutch, as are a lot of pregnancy, labor, and delivery words, and childhood sickness kind of words, since my son was born here in Holland. Very funny . . ..

The other thing is that my English has become very British, despite being American. Not my accent, but my word choice. I've begun saying "holiday" instead of "vacation" and "that's a pity" instead of "that's a shame" and so on. Most of the books and magazines I read are from England, a lot of my friends are British or learned British English, and I watch the BBC a lot.
post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
Anyone loosing their native tongue? My english is still a lot better than your average dane, but sometimes I think in Danish and then if I speak in english, it is translated wrong. Or I forget words I haven't used in a long time. Right now I can not tell you what watercress is. I've got a recipe that calls for it, and my mind tells me it is a type of salad that swans eat.
yep, I throw English words in my French sentences or even anglicize some. Usually right after I do that I realize it. oh well
post #30 of 112
Thread Starter 
I write a lot so I maintain my native language that way. On the other hand, I am finding that my writing work coupled with my need to speak to my daughter in English and my DH in French is preventing me from learning the local language (Italian) fluently!
post #31 of 112
Take a class that would make you interact with the locals, whatever tickles your fancy; it could be some sport, too. That's one way to be immersed and learn.

I took a typing class once to do that. It was a hoot and I made friends

Vedrai che e piu facile cosi (sorry no accents)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
I write a lot so I maintain my native language that way. On the other hand, I am finding that my writing work coupled with my need to speak to my daughter in English and my DH in French is preventing me from learning the local language (Italian) fluently!
post #32 of 112
Hello...another "transplanted" *expat* here!

I'm actually sort of a bit of both. I moved to Switzerland to study/work. Met a Swiss, got married and had a baby. Have been here almost 7 years, am eligible for citizenship, but now my Swiss dh has a globetrotting job which will have us moving abroad for a few years every few years. Here, he is *local* and I'm a transplant, abroad we are both *expats*. But wherever we are, we will definitely not be in California...which is where I'm from.

I don't know about the wording so much...almost everyone I know here considers themselves an expat despite being married to a local.

My ds is an English-speaker who also speaks German. The English comes first for us, because of the globetrotting.
post #33 of 112
I have no way of telling if I am an expat (by your definition) or transplant because I don't know what the future will bring and where I will be in a couple of years.

Concerning the language: I think it depends on how much you want to teach your children all of their parent's tongues! I firmly believe that a person has a very hard time identifying himself/herself with a culture and nationality if he/she doesn't speak the language as a native speaker. I believe bilingualism for binationals is not just the icing on the cake but central for identy formation.

I speak from experience because I am a dual citizen myself and have passed this on to my daughter.

Actually, in our case my husband is the transplant because we are currently residing in the U.S. At the moment, we are planning to return to Germany the latest when our daughter starts 5th grade. Except if we hit the jackpot and can afford a good international school with no religious background for her.
post #34 of 112
I guess we are transplants too. But in reverse Dh moved from UK to US as a teen and finished school here. I moved here to be with him as a young adult.
We were both UK citizens and are now Dual nationals, as are all three kids who were born in US.
I still live in hope that one day we will move "home" but if we leave it much longer they'll be no family left there.
My whole family are transplanted to somewhere. Aunt and cousins in Spain, uncles and cousins in Australia and Sister in Gran Caneria.
My Mom is the last one on my side still there, and Dh has his Dad and step mom and half sibs there, but non are close to us.
post #35 of 112
I've always figured myself for an expatriate, to me it means nothing more than what the dictionary tells me it means "One who has taken up residence in a foreign country." I don't know how long I will be here, my answer for the last few years has always been "It looks like a couple more years anyway..." I do know what you mean though about not fitting into the jetsetting lifestyle of a rich business "expat".

Regarding citizenship, I can't for the life of me imagine giving up my US citizenship unless there was a real pressing need for it. It is where I am from, it is where my family is and it helps to open up a second world of possibilities for my children who do qualify for dual citizenship in Norway because of who their parents are (you can be born with it and keep it for a lifetime, you just can't earn it later). To me it feels too much like burning my bridges. I would at least recommend not doing it for the first 3 years, I think thats about how long it took me to settle into life here and feel a bit more clear headed about things. First year everything is grand, second year everything is wrong, third year you start to see that some things are better, some are worse and people are just people.

About feeling a loss of identity. I went through that for a while when I was still adjusting to life here. To begin with you are out of place totally but then you start getting used to things and feel a bit out of sorts with being neither one nor the other. Once I had adjusted though and knew that I could handle life here if I wanted to I was more at peace with just being who I am, whatever that happens to mean at the time.
post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniMummi View Post
I would at least recommend not doing it for the first 3 years, I think thats about how long it took me to settle into life here and feel a bit more clear headed about things. First year everything is grand, second year everything is wrong, third year you start to see that some things are better, some are worse and people are just people.
This is so true!
post #37 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniMummi View Post
About feeling a loss of identity. I went through that for a while when I was still adjusting to life here. To begin with you are out of place totally but then you start getting used to things and feel a bit out of sorts with being neither one nor the other. Once I had adjusted though and knew that I could handle life here if I wanted to I was more at peace with just being who I am, whatever that happens to mean at the time.
Thanks for that BunniMummi, there IS hope for me! Hei fra Kongsberg!

Jeannine
post #38 of 112
Hi like Sara I am also married and living in Japan. A group of women here in the same circumstances (not Japanese but married to a J. man) had a discussion on transplant/immigrant/expat and how do we define ourselves.

For me transplant is best. We have a saying
bloom where you are planted

as someone else mentioned I am happy to have been living and working here and speaking some of the language before I met DH.

nice to find this forum
Kathryn
post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniMummi View Post
I would at least recommend not doing it for the first 3 years, I think thats about how long it took me to settle into life here and feel a bit more clear headed about things. First year everything is grand, second year everything is wrong, third year you start to see that some things are better, some are worse and people are just people.
It took me over a decade to get used to the US and finally call it my permanent home without a feeling that I'd want to jump ship any time soon I have to admit, I still miss those exclusively French food items... guh :P
post #40 of 112
Hi, I`m also married to Japanese man. We`ve been here (Japan) for two years and planning to stay for another 3 or so, then move back to Europe. I`m a Ukrainian citizen but ethnically Hungarian so lots of languages and cultures are involved. I speak Hungarian with ds and dh speaks in Japanese. It`s kind of funny b/c our common language is still English. Talk about confusion. : But Japanese is becoming more and more prominent in our family with my Japanese improving.

What sort of foods do you cook at home? There was an American family living here who only made American food and never really Japanese. I prepare Japanese food most of the time b/c that`s what`s readily available. I`ve ordered some seeds to plant in my garden so I can make a good Hungarian gulyas. :
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