I think since last year (or perhaps even longer than that) I feel that my English ability has getting weaker and weaker. I remember when I first moved here and I could express myself in spoken English much more eloquently and quickly than now. These days there are times when these problems occur:
1. I want to say something in English, but my brain only comes up with the object or the meaning of the word in my brain and I struggle to find the English term.
2. More often than not, my brain can only remember the Indonesian term of the word, though sometimes my brain can only produce the image of the object without even remembering the Indonesian term.
3. Sometimes my brain can only remember the Finnish word, though other times it remembers both the Indonesian and Finnish word without remembering the English word.
Of course in most cases in the end I can still come up with the English word, but it takes (a much longer) time for my brain to search for that word - whereas when I just moved here, that word would mostly be the first word that popped up in my head 'coz I had been mostly thinking in English.
Due to the fact that Finnish pronunciation is more similar to Indonesian pronunciation, I also had some bits of trouble after doing the training in the library last year 'coz I realized that my tongue had reverted to "Indo/Finnish" - e.g. when I tried saying some specific English words, the pronunciation sounded more like "Indo/Finnish". I was SHOCKED!!!
To those of you who know and use at least two foreign languages in daily life, how do you make sure that you still nurture the ability to use those languages equally without letting the other one suffer? Of course it'd help if I get to meet different people regularly equally - meaning where I get to interact with different people purely in Finnish and purely in English regularly, but 'coz that's not the case, I fear that my English ability has suffered greatly (esp. compared to the time when I was at the uni, when I was still actively learning about grammar and stuff).
That's my dilemma now. I don't want to completely use Finnish with R2 'coz then I get less chance to practise my English, but I DO need to use my Finnish with him anyway. I've tried forcing myself to think in Finnish every now and then (even if it means I only think of some short phrases or 1-2 short sentences), but that means that those times I usually spend thinking in English have now been converted to Finnish. It would help if I start thinking in Finnish AND also translating those thoughts in English, but that takes time and energy...or maybe I should try translating all my English posts to Finnish? *gasp* That'd definitely be so tiring he he...
Anyway, I'm just trying to find the best way to balance myself inside this bowl of mixed languages that sometimes frustrates me. I have no problem keeping my Indonesian ability intact 'coz it's my mother tongue. It's my English ability that I'm worried about. I want to keep nurturing my English AND Finnish ability - and if possible I want to get better at both. Oh well...we'll see how it goes...