In about three months, my American ex will be here again for a visit and that will mean that I will have to practice speaking English before that time. It is not that I have forgotten all the words, but that I seldom get the opportunity to pronounce them and I have the tendency to sound like I have a speech impediment when I finally do. The sounds you make in English are quite a bit different from the ones we make in Dutch and I finally, after 20 years, manage to pronounce the "r" right in Dutch. It comes from the middle of your tongue. I would hate to lose that ability if I am going to speak English for two months. I will have to make an extra effort to speak Dutch well during the time that my ex is here.
I was on the phone with my daughter in Texas the other day and in my ears I sounded like a fool. I could hear my own accent no matter how hard I tried to sound like the American I once was. It would have been easier to speak Dutch but my daughter's is not good enough to have a whole conversation in over the phone. When it comes to speaking the language, I can express myself better in Dutch with the odd English word thrown in. Dutch people have the tendency to use the odd English word anyway because for some words and expressions, we don't have an equally good Dutch word, or we find the Dutch one too cumbersome or old fashioned or offensive.
How I am going to practice speaking English is a bit of a puzzlement, though, because there is no one to practice it with. I would almost have to go to the ex-pat club in order to be able to do so. I will have to find out when and where they congregate. Lord only knows what sort of accents I will hear at a get together like that. It should be most interesting. And then, of course, it may be quite charming that I speak with an accent and my ex may not think it sounds like a speech impediment at all. This is all my own interpretation.