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Speaking more than one language is awesome. It helps your brain stay young, it can help your career and allows you to meet tons more people! But… Living in a country where they don’t speak your first language can get a little tricky… My English has definitely improved since moving to the UK, but there are moments I kinda struggle being bilingual…
You speak two languages… at the same time!
Here’s one that occurs quite often: you switch between two languages all the time and sometimes, you mess up. When speaking to friends and family back home, I obviously speak Dutch. When going to university or my job, speak to my friends and go shopping, I speak English.
Being bilingual means that you don’t have to translate every single word in your mind before speaking, but sometimes your brain doesn’t make the “switch” quick enough. Resulting in… speaking the wrong language at the wrong time and in the wrong situation…
You forget which one is which
When I’m tired or not paying attention, I sometimes find it hard to make a distinction between the two languages I speak fluently. Because both languages are so natural to me, I sometimes hear English and think it’s Dutch and vice versa.
You start to forget your mother tongue…
English is now my most used language. I live in the UK, I work in the UK, my boyfriend and my friends are English… The only time I speak Dutch is when I call my family or my friends back in the Netherlands. Because of this, I tend to forget certain Dutch words.
“Oh, translate this!”
One of the most annoying things you can ask a bilingual person is to “translate this quickly!”. As soon as people
A tired brain
Speaking two languages on a daily bases can be incredibly tiring! Especially during the first few months of living in the UK were really tough. It is definitely getting better, but every now and then it happens again. When I get stressed or don’t speak well, none of my languages work very well and I end up making tons of mistakes in both!
Okay, okay, okay. I hope you understand this article is a little piss-take 😉 Yes, these things are kind of annoying but being bilingual is absolutely incredible. I have helped me in so many ways! It allowed me to do things I never could’ve imagined doing and I’ve spoken to so many interesting people I never could’ve spoken to otherwise. Being able to speak two languages has opened so many doors for me and I am a hundred percent sure it is going to influence a big part of my future too.
Seriously though, being bilingual has way more pros than these silly cons. It takes some effort but it will pay off! Here are seven top tips to learn a new language.