Words and language fascinate me. I am monolingual, as are most long term Australians. I learnt French at school for six years, so I have a little understanding of French, but I have forgotten most of it.
Remember the past bloggers the Hattats in Budapest? When we met Jane and Lance, I could tell she knew a good bit of Hungarian, enough to communicate. Both she and Lance had taken language lessons, which is what you should do if you commit to another country, learn the language.
I know the Americans in France, Ken and Walt, are fluent French speakers.
Which brings me to Gattina in Waterloo, Belgium. I hope I get this right from what she has told me and what I know. Gattina of German birth speaks German, French, that is the local Waterloo language, English and understands Dutch but cannot speak it. Her Italian born husband speaks Italian, French and I think perhaps English.
Her son speaks French, English and Dutch. Her daughter in law, Dutch and a little English. Problem there, as Gattina and her daughter in law don't really have a common language.
Her son's young son Toby, Gattina's grandson, speaks Dutch and English, but not French, however, he is learning French.
We should feel guilty, I suppose, but least if we had to speak one language only, we ended up with the right one.