Being bilingual

Okay, so the title may be a little misleading: I’m not bilingual – yet. I got back from my trip to see family in France just last night, and while I was on the plane I had a lot of thinking time (I mean a lot – there’s not free wifi on Thai!). I’d been learning French for quite a while, since my mum’s side of the family lives in France. However, before this trip, I had not realised just how beneficial it actually is to be able to speak two or more languages.

There seem to be so many advantages: being able to live in other places – in this case, many areas of Europe, Canada and other French colonies, which also greatly widens job prospects, especially in the field of journalism, as well as speaking the official diplomatic language and sounding generally awesome when you add a few french words for extra ‘pizz-azz‘ to a sentence.

I started seriously learning French when I was in year 8. I had on and off lessons, while in primary school I had to learn Chinese… that didn’t end very well. I feel now I am on the cusp of the beautiful language suddenly ‘clicking’ for me. But I’m not quite there yet. I’m finally learning my verb tables inside out and understanding the grammar side to it (but thank goodness we don’t speak French, learning English – it’s such a complicated language).

I really want to keep up learning and improving how I learn French. I believe this trip did me the world of good in recognising what I actually know, while being able to put it in to practice (deux baguette, s’il vous plaît!) as well as learning new words and better understanding the general culture.

I’m committed to learning French and it excites me about where it can lead me!

Do you study another language, or are you fluent? Do you see any benefits to it? Comment below or tweet me @anthonysegaert.

5 thoughts on “Being bilingual

  1. Hi there! Non native Spanish speaking bilingual here. The benefits of being bilingual are so many I am surprised more people aren’t aware of them! In addition to the often touted cognitive, economic, and sociocultural benefits, learning a new language forces you to see things from another perspective. This skill is going to be increasingly more important in our multicultural and multilingual world. Best of luck to you on your journey to bilingualism. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving! Best, Hope

  2. Great article. I speak English, and only English. I took French for 3-4 school years and Italian for 2 years but was unable to grasp either language. I believe that if you’re raised from a young age speaking multiple languages, your brain also develops in a way that makes it easier to pick up language as you get older. What do you think about this?

    • Yep, I agree! And science backs you up on this claim. Kids who learn languages younger seem to get hold of it better than adults. That’s why I want to get to grips with it now. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. Found this article after reading your latest one on Trump, and I really like it!

    I’ve been learning French since Year 7 (I’m now in Year 10) and it’s been incredibly beneficial. Learning a second language has improved and expanded my English in ways that I never thought were possible. The unique cognitive benefits are also great for brain speed and accuracy.

    French is such a great language to learn because I know I’ll be able to use it later in life. I don’t have any family members who speak French, but I am sure that when I’m travelling and working once I leave school, it will be an invaluable skill of mine.

    Best of luck continuing to learn the language (and maybe, like I’m considering) picking up another one!

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