It is hot again, which wreaks havoc with my concentration. Since I am in the middle of a complicated translation and have to prepare two important quotations at the same time, a shaky concentration is not what I need. Juggling two languages simultaneously is hard work at the best of times. I could always tell in Denmark when I was getting really, really tired. First my Danish, otherwise fine, would disappear. Then my English would start to crumble. Finally even my Dutch would desert me, leaving me speechless but for some inarticulate grunts and groans. It wasn’t just fatigue that had strange effects on my language skills. Funnily enough, the better my Danish became the more my German deteriorated. Although I read and understand German well enough my spoken German has never been good, but I was always able to keep a simple conversation going. Not so after some months in Denmark. Whenever I tried to speak German, nothing but Danish would come out of my mouth. Sometimes I wouldn’t notice it myself, leaving my German conversation partners somewhat bewildered. The effect had worn off and my German skills returned to their former level, when I visited Denmark again this year. Attempting to speak German with a German fellow guest after having been completely immersed in Danish all day was not a success. Since the poor man spoke only German, our conversations were very brief. Strange how the brain works. I’m sure it must be related to another weird thing which has often happened to me when listening to the radio. If I turn it on at some random station during a period when I am frequently switching between languages, I can sometimes not understand a word of what is being said – until somewhere, deep in my brain, a switch flips and I realise what language is being spoken. Then, all of a sudden, every word is crystal clear. Curiouser and curiouser!