‘Study a language’ they said, ‘it’ll be fun’ they said…
- The ‘mental block’ becomes your daily torture (in native and learned languages alike)
Brain: Knows more than one language –> refuses to find the correct word for the language you are speaking in.
- You have to decide between sounding pretentious or pronouncing it wrong when you order foreign food
You refuse to pronounce it ‘choriTSo’ but your beautifully pronounced ‘chorizo’ with a rolled ‘R’ will leave the waiter silently judging you
- All roads lead to teaching
As much as you try to avoid it, at some point, you will become a teacher of your native or studied language. In fact, when people find out you are multilingual, they are likely to assume that teaching is your profession. On the bright side, you’ve always got that to fall back on!
- Monolinguals don’t appreciate the struggle
Your compatriots think it’s a hobby, and native speakers of the languages you have learnt make your life difficult; JUST SLOW DOWN.
- The subjunctive
- You have several keyboards activated on your smart phone, making conversation-switching a nightmare
- You find yourself constantly on the move
Speaking languages makes you travel; travelling makes you learn more languages; and so the circle continues, endlessly. Your mother will have something to say about it.
- You become a habitual eavesdropper
It can happen anywhere. You’re just casually grabbing a coffee and then BAM; someone speaking the language you’ve learnt sweeps by, and you freeze, listening in. Whoever is having a coffee with you will be confused by your blank expression and coffee mug hovering halfway towards your face.
- Friends and family use you as a translation resource
“Could you just have a read through my CV in English?” “I want this part to be in French as well, can you just quickly translate it?” PEOPLE. This stuff takes time and effort!
- You suddenly find your native language inadequate to express yourself
So many words are required to describe something for which there is not a term in your native language. It gives your speech a certain je ne sais quoi.
This is the fate you have chosen for yourself. But hey, when they said that languages would open doors for you, they weren’t wrong!