I wonder if there was ever a time when I thought in Vietnamese. If I ever did, it was probably when I was before six years old. I started learning English pretty early and I knew how to read before Kindergarten…so really I’ve been more solid with English for a really long time.
I think I know more Vietnamese than I give myself credit for, but even then it’s not great. When people start using adjectives or big words or different dialects…I am lost.
There are a lot of words that I know, but if you asked me for a translation in English, I’d be at a lost for words or I’d take some accurate guesses. I guess it’s because I learned a lot of words through context. You know, when my parents are speaking to me in Vietnamese all these years, I learn what words mean through context. It’s not like I ever went to Vietnamese school and learned properly.
And for a long time now I just speak in English to my parents because then my words can catch up with my thoughts. With Vietnamese I have to plan out what I want to say and then say it…and most of the time I can’t find the right words so my sentence comes out very simple.
It’s not that I want to lose Vietnamese, but I don’t know enough to express what I am thinking properly. I could try learning, but honestly I am having trouble keeping up with school enough as it is. I just hope someday when I won’t be with my parents anymore, I won’t be cut off from Vietnamese speakers…because I am sure I would lose it completely if that happened.