Benjamin’s German is better than mine at this point. He certainly understands more, and though our vocabulary is focused in quite different areas, I would guess that he speaks more German than I do (and his pronunciation is certainly better).
This leads to some very particular challenges that I imagine are faced by parents of bi-lingual (or nearly bi-lingual) children everywhere. I don’t always know what the boys are saying when they speak German, and more specifically, I think B is saying things that he shouldn’t be, but I can’t be sure. Add to this the fact that B’s best friend at school is a native Spanish speaker, and everything gets more complicated.
I know the “big” swears in German (the same ones everyone knows if they’ve watched enough WWI movies) but I don’t know anything about the ones a kindergartener might use. He and his friends had a fondness for one that was an amalgamation of Spanish and German and roughly translated into “poop death” (it took me FOREVER to parse what he was saying) and he’s recently added one that I don’t recognize at all, but the mischievous giggle that comes with it makes me pretty suspicious.
I think my best strategy at this point may be to make a video of him saying it and then to distribute it to my Austrian (and maybe Spanish speaking) friends for analysis. In the meantime, it may just be that getting away with a little naughtiness is one of the perks of living abroad when you’re 5.