>I have been living for four years in Belgium now. Actually, for four years and almost two months. I go home to Romania once or twice per year, depending on my work or studies. In the first three years in Belgium I used to speak a lot of French (after I became fluent, of course, as at the beginning I was speaking a gibberish French), but in the past months I spoke mostly English (work and home). And in spite of all these four years spent on this foreign ground, after studying and working in these French and English European languages, I must admit that I am still able to speak my own language – Romanian. Indeed, not only I can speak Romanian, but I haven’t lost my accent (now it is more Moldavian, due to my native town’s influence) nor the language’s tonality.
I can still speak Romanian! You may think that this statement is a bit absurd. Unfortunately there are many Romanians who, after only a few months spent outside their nation Romania, seem to totally embrace the language of their new adoptive country. They come back to Romania, now and then, very proud of their achievements “outside”. They like to show off with their expensive cars, their branded clothes, their Louis Vuitton bags (faked or not) and with their ability to spend loads of money. Aside these, they speak a Romanian with various accents, topped with all kind of foreign words, in order to show their new “roots”. They claim to forget their own language (the sound, the stress on the words, the accent, the tonality, etc). In consequence, they speak this Romanian-Italian, this Romanian-Spanish or this recent Romanian-“American”. The latter is currently very fashionable to speak, especially when one is invited to a talk-show.
Despite my sarcastic tone, I perfectly understand how this language behavior can take place. So many times I have found myself in the situation of not finding the right Romanian word in order to express what I wanted to say, while French or English words were on the tip of my tongue waiting to be spoken. But what I can NOT understand is how it is possible that a person that was brought up in Romania, where was taught to think, learn, even feel in Romanian, can claim to have erased all this language heritage, and this in less than two months. This kind of people suddenly pretend that they had discovered themselves in this second language which is apparently so much better than their native one. Ok, there are people who haven’t spoken Romanian for years and the alteration of their native language is understandable. I can also understand when some foreign words are used in the common Romanian language in order to emphasize an idea, to create a metaphor or just to make the speech more expressive, enhancing the international aspect. But from this to just throw here and there a foreign word or to willingly alter the stress of the words and your tonality, in order to show that you are different, thus so much better than the others, (because you live and work in another country), is really absurd and stupid. Not to mention outrageous!
But it happens… Nonetheless, after four years of Belgium I can still speak Romanian and my accent wasn’t altered of any Français or English influences.