The importance of language to feel at home

(11 Posts)
lamii Wed 12-Sep-18 10:51:45

Hello, I am back for a little rant. Better to do it on mumsnet than with my husband right? Current situation: 3 years living in Sweden with Swedish husband and baby. Previously lived 9 years in London. I can never feel completely at home and I dearly miss London crowd although I am not British. I just can't get used to the limitations here: the language that never feels natural to speak, the introverted boring crowd, the harsh winter. The worst part is language although I can speak and understand Swedish, it never feels natural and enjoyable to me.
Anyone on the same boat? How can I carry on forever with the feeling of being on outsider forever?

OP’s posts: |
user1499173618 Wed 12-Sep-18 17:40:34

Which language do you feel at home speaking?

frenchfancy Wed 12-Sep-18 19:36:08

3 years in is not long enough imo to feel fully at home with the language. Although I was "fully fluent" it probably took more like 5-10 years before I got to the really comfortable stage.

Emmie412 Thu 13-Sep-18 10:25:34

Where are you originally from and are you currently working? Sounds to me you haven't really settled?

lamii Thu 13-Sep-18 17:38:31

@frenchfancy 5-10 years, 5 or 10? makes a huge difference! But yeah I hear you...

OP’s posts: |
Lostandfound81 Thu 13-Sep-18 17:43:33

Strikes me as exactly the typo of discussion you should be having with your husband

KingIrving Fri 14-Sep-18 04:31:08

I disagree. I don't believe it is about the language, but more friendship, making yours some of the culture and you liking the place where you live.
My English is fine, but I still feel an outsider in Sydney after 4 years. I felt at home in Barcelona after a couple of weeks even if my Spanish was crap and couldn't say a word in Catalan.

You need friends, that are yours and not acquired by marriage. Try to join the international community in some of the playgroups, look for other expats on Facebook.

It is mostly the people that make the difference .

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lamii Fri 14-Sep-18 11:01:41

@KingIrving good point...I don't have friends, he has some childhood friends that aren't my friends.
@Lostandfound81 He doesn't want to hear about it (anymore)...

I can make him move anywhere as long as I find a job. I'm on a maternity leave now.

OP’s posts: |
redexpat Fri 14-Sep-18 11:26:00

Im in Denmark. I hear you. I cant be myself when Im speaking Danish. When I feel safe with someone I switch to english. So when I go out with my mother group they speak danish and I answer in english, unless Im talking about something which I have learned IN danish iyswim. So at work I think in danish and can really only describe my work in danish.

Storytelling is a barrier I just cant seem to break through. Books or films etc are just v v dull. Im simply not moved or excited like I am by english equivalents.

And I know what you mean by introversion. Theres not the same fluidity in relationships as there is in the uk, people really stick with what they know. And everyone seems to make small talk, and never really talk about anything of substance.

Are you in a mødregruppe? My first one was a bit meh but they had all lived here most of their lives and were 2nd or 3rd time mums. My second group was much better. 3 tilflytter and 1 who had grown up here. You need to find the tilflyttere!

And have you got netflix? You must watch Moving to Sweden. It will make you laugh and make you realise that youre not alone.

KingIrving Fri 14-Sep-18 20:45:17

@lamii, you need to be proactive. It is a lot easier to make friends with young children than with teenagers. Enrol in classes with your child, or enrol yourself in advanced language classes ( to meet other foreigners) , art, cooking, whatever .... see if the English bookshop organises an english bookclub, join a walking group, ....

You need to be out and with people. It will take time but hopefully once you have your circle, it will get better.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 16-Sep-18 03:34:29

He doesn't want to hear about it (anymore)...

That doesn't sound great. DH listened to me complaining for a lot longer than that.

It's the effort that got me. Having to listen hard and think about words. Three years doesn't do it and I was supposedly fluent. It also takes a long time to make old friends.

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