language humor, language struggles

11 Struggles Of Being Bilingual, As Told By A Bilingual Person

Have you ever tried to explain words that don't make sense in one language, but does in another? Yeah, so do many other bilingual people!

65
views

Growing up as a Latina in the United States, I wouldn't trade my heritage for the world. As a child, I was introduced to so many things that, as an adult, I treasure dearly. One of those things, however, is my ability to be able to speak both English and Spanish fluently.

I never thought much about being bilingual until I moved to a more monolingual area of my state. It was only then that I truly realized a few struggles of being bilingual, like trying to explain what "sana, sana, colita de rana" means. (It literally means "heal, heal, tail of a frog." Crazy, I know.)

Here are 11 struggles all bilinguals know and feel deep within their corazón!

1. Forgetting words in either language, so you just mix them up!

This could often be called Code Switching! This can be defined as alternating two (or more) languages in a single conversation. For some places, this can be looked down upon, but for others, it's basically all that's spoken. (Shout out to Brownsville!)

2. When people ask you to translate slang, but it's not that simple.

As a bilingual person who speaks both English and Spanish, it's sometimes extremely difficult to truly translate words or phrases from one language into another. Often times they could mean the same in either language, but when it comes to those certain words, sometimes you're just at a loss.

3. Saying a specific word with a different pronunciation.

It was only recently that I learned how to say salmon. That's right! After 21 whole years, I had been pronouncing salmon wrong! You see, in Spanish, salmon is pronounced as sal-mon, the 'L' sound included; I had no idea that salmon was truly pronounced without the 'L' in the word.

4. Having a "particular" sense of humor.

That moment when your humor really gets lost in translation, and you keep saying "It's really funny, trust me! It's just so funny! It makes better sense in [insert language]!"

5. "Can you please help me with my [insert language] homework?"

Normally, I'm sure it's no trouble for people to help out others with homework! I'm sure they're more than happy to help out. However, more often times than not, teachers tend to ask students to conjugate words certain ways, and unfortunately, we're not dictionaries that know all of the grammar rules off the top of our head.

6. Grammar change occurs depending on the dialect!

Spanish isn't a language that has a single version; depending on where you are in the world, Spanish can sound and be interpreted very differently.

7. When autocorrect wants to play games with you .

Unless you have your keyboard set up to whatever language you're speaking, you're going to be sending all sorts of weird messages! "Que quiet hacker hoy?"

8. Not being a full expert in either language.

Lots of people don't understand, but depending on where and why you use a language, it can deter your ability to speak it. As a bilingual who speaks Spanish mostly at home with friends and family, speaking Spanish formally is a huge challenge.

9. Talking to family members that truly speak [insert language].

Yeah, it's true, you're bilingual and you're fluent in two languages! Look at you go! However, panic sets in when family members come in and suddenly you forget to speak that specific language, so you spend the entire time asking your parents how to say certain words.

10. When the subtitles and audio are in different languages.

Do you listen in Spanish or do you read the English subtitles? The world may never know! Certainly not your brain; it's currently having a crisis over which to do.

11. When one word means different things.

Sometimes, certain words can really mean different things depending on the context that it is used in. One of the biggest struggles that there is for bilingual people is when they ask a translation for one word without the context and then once you give the translation, you just sit there and watch them say it completely wrong. Sorry!

Cover Image Credit:

Photo By: Filip Gielda on Unsplash

Popular Right Now

10 Ways To Be The Girl Every Guy Wants

A comprehensive do-it-yourself guide to being the girl every guy wants.
aussymac
aussymac
433
views

1. Smile all the time.

Guys want to be with girls who are always happy. Men get severely uncomfortable when all the women around them are not Cheshire cat level elated all the fucking time. Why are you mad? Why do you look so pissed? Are you defective? Autopilot your brain to borderline creepy giddiness before men get the idea that you might actually be capable of a full range of human emotion.

2. Be smart.

Men want women to be smart, but never smarter than them. Don’t know or say anything too much about anything specifically – except sports.

3. Eat like a man, look like a lady.

How many burgers can you fit in your mouth at once? Better, even, how many hotdogs? Have the appetite of a grizzly bear, but eat like a cute tiny rabbit, or Kate Upton faking an orgasm. Oh, and never, ever get above a size 4.

4. Play video games.

No guy can resist a girl who loves to play video games (in her underwear). Fifa, 2K, Smash, Kart – know them all. If you can’t at least beat his worst friend at his favorite game, you’re not a keeper.

5. Love beer.

If you can’t throw ‘em back like one of the guys, you’re not wifey. Yeah, that Norwegian IPA no one's ever fucking heard of? You got it. Bud Light? Sure. Fat Tire? You love that shit. Feel free to let out that beer burp while you’re at it, but the burp you’d imagine a Japanese dwarf squirrel would let out after eating rainbows. Oh, and don’t forget, size 4.

6. Be a freak, but also a nun.

We all know that lyric (thank you, Ludacris, so much). Hit those yoga poses hard because he wants you to bust that shit out like you’ve done it before. But you haven’t … right? Have you?!

7. Keep him on his toes.

No man wants a woman who is predictable and boring. Challenge him. Keep him intrigued. Drop an F bomb every now and then. Learn a foreign language in your spare time so that you might give the illusion of being exotic in bed (Slavic languages sound super sexy). Induce yourself into an epileptic seizure. Whatever it takes to keep it interesting.

8. Have quirks.

Ah, quirks. The things that make people unique. The things that make people, people. You must have at least three of these but no more than five. Think relatable Stepford Wife.

9. Be hot.

This is potentially the most important, and luckily I don’t need to tell you how this works. Look at anything. Anywhere. That ever existed.

10. Never, ever get mad.

The worst thing you can do as a woman is challenge a man’s authority. Don’t talk back. Don’t think. Don’t have expectations. Sit. Roll over. Hold the bark.

---

And finally, in the spirit of strong conclusions and remarkably appropriate GIFs:

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr
aussymac
aussymac

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

975
views

This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

Giphy

Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

Giphy

Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

1.bp.blogspot.com

You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

upload.wikimedia.org

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/385972630558152185/

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

cdn.pixabay.com

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

www.youtube.com

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

live.staticflickr.com

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

assets.rbl.ms

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

assets.rbl.ms

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

c1.staticflickr.com

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

assets.rbl.ms

Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

media.rbl.ms

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

Related Content

Facebook Comments