Bilingual Person Essay

Published: 2019-12-30 17:30:32
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Category: Language

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Decades ago, being bilingual was an aspect of an individual that made them stand out from the others and be different. What if I tell you that in this modern society, being bilingual is just being one of the many thousands? A bilingual person is one who has the knowledge or intelligence of knowing two or more languages. However, there are different levels and stages of bilingualism. There is individual bilingualism which is when a person knows his/her mother tongue and another language that is used in society, as well as elective bilingualism which is a person who chooses to learn a new language. There also is circumstantial bilingualism which describes a person that learns another language in order to survive, and many others. Even though, bilingualism has a variety of degrees and aspects; it simply describes those persons who can speak two or more languages.

In todays society, bilingualism is being misunderstood since people think that a person who is bilingual is a rare phenomenon. In fact, studies have shown that more than half of the worlds population is currently bilingual. For example, I am currently living in Venezuela (Spanish speaking country) from which I am now blogging in English. Nevertheless, this doesnt mean that being bilingual isnt a quality that people have acquired, in my point of view, I call it a gift. An interesting fact of bilingualism is that it is currently found in all parts of the world and it isnt stereotypical of any culture or society. In fact, bilingualism can be found at all levels of ethnic groups or society and in all age groups.

Being a bilingual myself, I can speak from personal experience that becoming bilingual isnt the hardest barrier that one will have to cross through life. It is indeed a smooth ride to another culture and dialect that will be helpful whenever it isnt expected. Bilingualism doesnt make you stand out. However, you feel excited and confident just like a little boy with a new toy to be able to communicate with several people from different parts of the world. It makes you feel intelligent and important. I believe that those people who are bilingual are more confident and secure of themselves when they have to travel to an unknown place. This is because those who are bilingual have the ability to defend themselves in different languages which one could speak in that unknown place.

For those people who are bilingual and feel alienated because of their insufficient language ability, you must re-establish that thought and raise your confidence. I have had the opportunity to travel to many different places in the world. This has allowed me to utilize my quality to the world and thus aiding myself in various scenarios. I have used my English skills to communicate in France, England, China my Spanish in Angola, United States and even in Italy. The point is that in todays society bilinguals are being misinterpreted due to their lack of confidence. That quality of being bilingual is being lost throughout the years due to peoples negative characteristics and personalities such as discrimination.

There is a phenomenon known as code-switching which bilinguals tend to suffer from. I find very interesting how some bilinguals are often code-switching from one language to another. Code-switching is a verbal skill that requires an extensive degree of linguistic competence in more than one language, rather than a defect arising from insufficient knowledge of one or the other. Even though code-switching goes beyond that imperfection of linguistic competence and inadequate knowledge, it is commonly used in that sense. I have been several times in those situations that I have had to use another language in order to express myself. As stated before, this is caused because of the insufficient knowledge of one language.

I clearly remember this instance I code-switched in France. I was at a restaurant, and I wanted to ask the waitress what was the meaning of a word in the menu but my English just didnt come out. I remember I started speaking in Spanish then I switched to Portuguese until I finally spoke in English and found out what I needed to know about the menu. It was a very embarrassing moment that I will always remember. However, I did feel embarrassed but, luckily I am a bilingual and I was able to go through this experience.

You consider yourself one of the other millions or billions? Dont, you must be proud of what you know and of what you have improved throughout the years. Yes, you are a well-rounded bilingual! If you feel indifferent or just one more in the world, imagine what those people who arent bilingual think of their selves. Are they chipmunks? Are they cannibals? No, they are normal people that unfortunately dont have the extraordinary quality that you have which is being bilingual.

In other words bilingualism is a gift, a personal enrichment and a passport to other cultures. One never regrets knowing several languages but one can certainly regret not knowing enough. That is why if you have struggled or worked your way in order to learn a new language, be proud of yourself and embrace the world with your quality.

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