They always spoke in English to each other; it was
a matter of principle with them, although they must have
felt much more at home in their native German, its
idiom packed with idiosyncratic meaning for them. But they banished
that language, too proud to use it since they themselves
had been banished from its precincts. I myself, an English
child growing up in England, never thought of my grandmother
as anything but foreign. My grandfather Karl’s accent was so
impenetrable that it was sometimes impossible to understand what he
was saying (but then I did not understand him anyway).
Paraphrases from the short story “Two Muses” by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.