After I have been living here for ten years more or less, when I started to really master the new language –Dutch-, my native tongue –Hungarian- began to fade away.
I was quite quick with learning Dutch; within two years after arriving here I successfully passed an entrance exam for higher education, which I took in Dutch. I didn’t realize, I was only technically using the language well.
Suddenly a decline of my mother tongue occurred. That was horrible, I felt numb. I couldn’t express myself properly. I experienced the deterioration of the first language like losing my identity. I missed my typical idiom, couldn’t find the words, couldn’t translate my thoughts into sentences.
My dear friend Roos, who is a linguist, explained to me that this is known in psycholinguistics as interference. Simply a competition between two languages for the same place in my brain.
Now the fight is settled. Actually, it didn’t last long. I consider myself bilingual now. And every following language can benefit from the result. I can live in any language I’m able to use. I can be myself.