Why I Regret Not Becoming Bilingual
Start writing a post

Why I Regret Not Becoming Bilingual

Language barriers are tougher than you might expect.

Why I Regret Not Becoming Bilingual
Lorenzo Cafaro

Just recently, I traveled with a few classmates to Italy, Austria, and Germany. We were there for 17 days and I saw things I never believed in my lifetime I would see, including original paintings by Salvador Dali and Leonardo da Vinci. However, I will not be talking about those today. I want to mention and talk a little bit of a regret I experienced while in Europe: I am not bilingual.

I know I am not alone in only knowing one language. Sure, I know phrases and words in German and French, but not enough to communicate fully. I had traveled to Canada a few years ago and experienced something similar, but high school freshman me did not comprehend that without a language teacher with you things become difficult.

During my most recent trip, I tried to avoid being an average American tourist and attempted to do what I could to immerse myself in the lifestyle of those who grew up in this culture. That included the language. In Italy where we went first, I began to fully understand that just knowing English may not be beneficial. It was a struggle to order food, even though the people over there were extremely kind and helpful. Once I got to Austria, however, I was given help by some of my classmates who were semi-proficient in the language. I learned enough to order meals, although I still probably sounded way out of my territory. Unfortunately, when I encountered the German language I was faced with the thought that I could have learned this language early on in my life.

See, my dad was from Germany and both my sister and brother took German in middle school and high school. I was surrounded by it so much that even some of my nightly prayers as a child were in German. Yet, when it came time to choose a language to start learning in middle school I decided to go with French. There is nothing wrong with French, but it came as a shock to my parents, my guidance counselor, and myself that I chose a different language than the one I grew up with. My assumption (albeit incorrect assumption) at the time was that I had experienced enough of German to adjust quickly if I encountered the language again. French was something completely new.

During the trip, I became grateful that I had already signed up to learn German next semester, even though I had wished I had started seven years ago. I have always been impressed by those who are bilingual and many people in that part of Europe (at least those whom I had interacted with) are. It made me feel bad that I grew up learning only one language.

What are your thoughts on this topic, friends? Have you ever experienced a language barrier? If you do, don't get frustrated. That is not good for either party. Just try and work it out, because eventually everything will come together and you will adjust to the new culture. Still, I believe it is important to learn the language as well.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments