In the United States, and to a certain extent in Britain, the fact that a person can switch with ease between two or more languages often makes that person an odd wonder -a rarity-. Speaking several languages, myself, nothing is more untrue.
I grew up in Flemish country with French parents, and an Irish nanny. It created a fascination for language and its peoples and became the major reason I chose to take on the Applied Linguistics field at University. A truly fascinating subject. The gateway to everything.
Now, one of the questions I often hear is if all the languages in my head are “mixed”? Do I think in English when I say something in French? Or when I speak Spanish, am I translating from French? How do I manage to keep the languages separated? There are fancy scientific explanations that answer this, but all I can say is that I do not really know. I promise you that it is quite a natural process … that it feels at times funny and strange and that, sometimes, dreams come to me in another tongue. I always babble in the language of the dream I’m in… and when I wake up from, say, dreaming in Italian … I continue to “speak” Italian and I try to recapture the dream in Italian. So, no, I do not have a problem switching from one language to another. I do not mix them. Ever! At times, when I cannot find a word or an expression, I become frustrated in the language I am using at the time of the lapse …. This is something that has fascinated my daughter ever since she was a little girl.
Being multilingual allows you to read anything in original version and henceforth capture the essence of the story better, Travels … Living in foreign countries, learning about the culture in Lingua de regionem … And believe me, there is not better way to get acquainted with a culture than to be immersed right in the middle of it … Want to know more … Keep Reading