5 things that happen when you’re bilingual

Around 43% of the world population speaks more than one language. That’s almost half the world. There’s so many advantages to learning languages. Like, you’ll have more job opportunities, you’re more creative and you have more cognitive abilities.

I speak 4 (technically 5) languages. To give you a little bit of a back story, my parents are Indian, and moved to Spain once they got married. When I was born, my parents always spoke to me in their mother tongue, aka Hindi. However, my parents also speak in another language which could be considered a dialect of Hindi. So that’s two languages. Obviously, living in Spain meant that I’d be speaking in Spanish all the time. I then learnt English and German in school.

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Whether you’re multilingual, or have just started learning a new language , I know how hard it can get sometimes when you’re trying to express yourself. But I thought I’d share some advantages and struggles of being bilingual.

1. Your brain starts getting confused. You end up speaking in a weird hybrid of languages because you don’t know what you’re trying to say. For instance, there’s a word in Spanish for when you exercise a lot and the next day you’re in pain, but I have yet to find an English word for it. So I just say it in Spanish hoping the other person will understand.

2. When you travel to a foreign country, you have to listen and learn to understand what the people of that country are saying. Everything makes sense until all of a sudden they start speaking really fast and look at you expecting an answer.

3. You’re able to express yourself in more than one language. Feeling angry? You can swear in German. Feeling in love? You can profess your love in French and listen to French podcasts or music. There’s no end to what you can do.

4. You sometimes forget your native language. Whenever I come home to Spain someone starts speaking to me in Spanish and for a second I forget that I’ve known Spanish my whole life.

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5. You can understand jokes in different languages, but if you translate them they won’t make sense. Try telling a Spanish joke in German and you’ll probably be met with a poker face. At least it was worth a try!

Overall, having more than one language in your belt has it’s perks. And it’s never too late to learn a new language. Do you guys have any struggles or any perks of being bilingual? I’d love to hear them!

*This is a collaborative post, all views and opinions are my own.

 

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