I hardly ever speak Russian anymore. My native language has become a tool I use when I want to make sure that people around me don’t understand what I’m saying – private conversations, personal comments etc.

Writing/reading in Russian happens even less often. I usually practice my writing skills when I sign birthday and holiday cards for my grandparents. (Communication with my parents happens in English, written and spoken).

So, as I am sitting at work today, I am signing a birthday card for my grandma.

A student comes over (I work as a tutor in a Learning Center) and asks me a question. I answer.

He says “thank you”
I say “pozhalyista” and realize that I just automatically said “you are welcome” in Russian.