The superpower qualities of a bilingual brain
Speaking another language is a SUPERPOWER!
With a whopping half of the human population being bilingual, the skill of speaking two languages is viewed in today’s world is vital for both your career prospects and your personal life.
Multilingualism, the skill of mastering multiple languages, is increasingly highly-priced these days, with individuals all over the world reaping its benefits. What benefits do you ask?
Imagine yourself as a bilingual, speaking both your native language and English fluently:
However, knowing multiple languages does have certain setbacks…
There is a possibility of losing command of your mother tongue if you do not speak it often enough. Languages are tricky and if you do not practice them, they will leave you. Even your native language, surprising as it is! The key is to stay in touch with people who speak with you in your language as well.
Most bilinguals, despite they can comfortably switch between languages and have fluent conversations on any topic in both, say that it feels as if they can speak, say, 95% of two languages, rather than a 100% of one.
A Chinese proverb as shared with me with my student Seth from China says:
It doesn’t seem to matter how many languages you speak. If you are not used to thinking deep and educating yourself in your first language, it is not likely you will be able to sound educated in another one.
It can be a challenge to switch between the languages comfortably. Different languages have a different sentence structure, some start sentences with a subject, others with an object, yet others with verbs. Switching between them quickly can influence your sentence structure in the other language you are using at that time.
What do multilinguals have to say about all this?
This is something that many multilinguals notice:
Who they are and how they speak and act changes a little bit from language to language, depending on the current language cultural background.
Many also report sounding differently in each language, having a different voice. I myself can witness to that.