We all have that one friend who has an unusually strong interest in foreign languages, or who comes from a multicultural family.
Polyglots view the world a little differently and tend to have habits that come from studying languages, travelling, or being in an international environment.
You’ll recognise which one is your multilingual friend in these situations:
Note:For simplicity, we’ve split friends into ‘multilingual’ or ‘normal’. Technically, worldwide it’s more ‘normal’ to be multilingual, but hey! Just for the sake of this blog ?
Normal friend: Does silly accents, tells a funny story
Multilingual friend: Tries to tell a joke they heard in ‘x’ language, realises it doesn’t make sense in a different language, tries to abort mission but it’s too late, mumbles.
Normal friend: Throws a party and invites you
Multilingual friend: Turns up at parties with their friends visiting from ‘x’ country, or drags everyone to the latest international meet-up
Normal friend: Has ‘Their Drink’; you always know what to order for them when it’s your round
Multilingual friend: Always seems to be holding a different kind of drink and has many tastes (the variety of eating and drinking cultures that they have been in contact with has left its mark)
Normal friend: Tends to be available to meet up regularly
Multilingual friend: Is always off somewhere globetrotting which you only find out from their Facebook photos.
Normal friend: Nods, listens, contributes
Multilingual friend: Interrupts to relate the fascinating origins of an expression you just used, or points out a funny ‘faux ami’ in another language, or forgets how to say the word they’re looking for in the language they are currently speaking.
BUT: Polyglots excel at communication despite the stuttering and confusion that speaking more than one language brings; listening and expressing themselves is what they have trained for!
Going for coffee
Normal friend: Enjoys catching up in Starbucks
Multilingual friend: Gets frustrated by the foreign names of coffees that make no sense. “Venti? That means 20 in Italian, since when do we name our drinks by fluid ounces? And don’t even get me started on Chai Tea Latte. Just don’t.”
Normal friend: Loves foreign accents. They’re sexy
Multilingual friend: Has dated more foreigners than compatriots and is probably so ‘over it’.
Staying in contact
Normal friend: Has had the same phone number and address for the past 5 years
Multilingual friend: HOW DO I CONTACT YOU?! Three foreign phone numbers, old email addresses, and even your parents don’t know where you’re living right now.
Polyglots have their quirks, but we wouldn’t change them for the world!
Do you have a multilingual friend? Or maybe you are the multilingual friend? Tell us in the comments if you agree!