I have started misspelling words that I used to write as easily as my name. I do not realize that I misspell them until the spell checker underlines them in red.
What I get in adventure and experiences by having lived overseas for so long, I am starting to realize, I lose in my ability to express them. And each year that I am away from the United States every word, phrase, and sentence must be dredged, as if my sand castle has collapsed, been sprayed down and turned into quicksand.
I wish learning languages could be like building skyscrapers, all gleam and steel, another storey added with each year of study, learning a language in a new country.
In my experience, however, languages are more like the dried mud temples in Timbuktu, the largest one my mother tongue, the subsidiary structures huddling close, interconnected by quick, blind alleys, all battered by the elements and time, the erosion relentless, slapping on new mud always necessary.
I have lived in the Czech Republic for four years now. I am a resident foreigner here like I have been for the past 20 years in other places. My Ja…