Over on Twitter, Lilly Schmaltz 飞岗 (@lillyschmaltz) just tweeted out:
Small accomplishment. Just had my first Mandarin text message conversation with a native speaker—only needed my dictionary a few times! Feelin’ good 😆
And it made me smile, myself having learned the language “I would have spoken if….”—I know how difficult a road it is, so credit where credit is due. I know too what it means in the bigger picture of immigrants and diaspora often equally without their mother tongue, but often less compelled to seek that connection.
I’m curious to know from adoptees whether you have made attempts to cross this language barrier, how difficult/easy you found it, what surprised you or upset you, and what you feel it brought you? How was such language learning problematic (or not) for your adoptive family? Did it help in a search at all?
I think for same-language adoptees there can often be surprises of dialect and the cultural ramifications to deal with—feel free to address that as well.
Feel free to expand at will on the basic question here.