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What are your thoughts about being Bilingual?

What are your thoughts about knowing another language? Tell me in the comments below ( sounds like what youtubers say all the time). I already am bilingual so now my goal is to be multilingual. I am learning spanish cause i have to for my class, it's useful, and just knowing another language is just cool. I also am planning to start French only because all the cycling words are from French (and the Tour De France, Go Peter Sagan!) . I already know Cycling words in French, cause they are used all over the cycling community. Domestique support rider Bidon water bottle Director sportif team director

so stuff like that

August 22, 2017



Bilingual or multilingual happens when you don't have to think about what it is in another language when reading, listening & speaking. It is most common to happen when you start when you are young, but if you are an adult and can switch without a thought in all aspects of a language, I would consider you bilingual. Switching without translating it first is what I mean.


Yeah, this switching is pretty much like a gearbox in a car. You can freely change gear (language) in your head to start thinking, speaking, reading and listening to it


I'm a native speaker of German, and I know English really well, but I would never think that I'm "bilingual".

A "bilingual" person, in my opinion, is someone who grew up with two languages from their early childhood. This is the definition that I learned many years ago at least.

I love learning languages. I don't need any particular reasons for that. I just love to see the many ways in which humans have solved the problem of "communication". The scripts, the ideas -- I love it all, and I'd love to know as much about it as possible.


According your definition, hardly anyone can be multilingual. In my opinion, if you can communicate efficiently and proficiently in other language besides your mother tongue, you are bilingual.


So, you don't think someone who became fluent in a second language when they were, let's say, 30, and started learning at 17 is considered bilingual? I'm just asking; I don't mean to attack your opinion. It's just, I've never seen "bilingual" defined like that, unless I've been lied to my whole life XD.

I just feel growing up with the language isn't the only criteria of fluency.


Well, it's just what I learned. And Wikipedia seems to share my view:

A first language, native language or mother tongue (also known as father tongue, arterial language or L1) is a language that a person has been exposed to from birth[1] or within the critical period. In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language of one's ethnic group rather than one's first language.[2] Children brought up speaking more than one language can have more than one native language, and be bilingual or multilingual. By contrast, a second language is any language that one speaks other than one's first language.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_language; emphasis mine)


I don't think that's what the text you shared is saying. So your interpretation is likely incorrect.

The Wikipedia text says that if a child is brought up speaking one or more languages, then those languages form the child's first language or native language. Any languages learned after would form the second language. To be sure, you can have more than one native language, which would also make you bilingual.

That is totally different from bilingualism or multilingualism, which is simply a count of the number of languages one is fluent in per the Oxford English Dictionary (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bilingual). This can happen at any age if you obtain fluency in a non-native language.

So, in effect, I may come from a household with two languages, which makes me bilingual. And I would have two native/first languages. If I only spoke one language while growing up, but learned a new one later on in life, I would still be bilingual, but the first language would be native and the one I learned later in life would be a second language.

Hope that helps.


Hm, OK -- thanks for your contribution! I'll think about it. Maybe I'm bilingual after all ...


You absolutely are! I hope that's cause for some celebration. :) Haha


Ah, okay. So, I guess I can never become "bilingual" but I can know a "second language" (because I didn't grow up with French). I apologize for my ignorance.


That is not true and you are not ignorant! If you are good at French too, then you are bilingual.


No problem. :-) I think that science and knowledge in that respect may indeed evolve. What I wrote is only what I can know today. :-)

For me the problem was the topic of the thread: Are we talking about being bilingual (from our childhood) or are we talking about learning many languages in the course of our lives? These are totally different topics, and so I really was (and am) a little confused.


honestly to me being bilingual or fluent depends on different criteria I define fluent in such a way that I am not even fluent in my own language just comfortably conversational. there are always words I will need to learn even in my own language and if you asked me to teach someone my language I could never teach the complexities of grammar. however I do believe it is possible to have conversational fluidity which will fit most peoples definition of fluent. Bilingual to me is growing up with a second language. my family lives in another country right now so our children assuming the complete school here will be bilingual but my husband and I will not be. does that make sense?


I did grow up with two languages ever since i was little. But your right i guess learning a language later when your older is not really being genuine bilingual


I spoke korean at home, english at school ever since pre-K


Same as me I spoke Korean at home, English at school ever since pre-k too.


That seems like the best way to grow up. Youre so lucky


If you wrote that without spending time thinking whether it was correct English then I would consider you bilingual.


Learning almost anything is a workout for the brain and has been shown to be a good thing scientifically. Languages are practical and beneficial as they help connect people, communicate and exchange ideas in various forms (speaking, reading, writing). No matter what one's reasons are to learn, I would definitely encourage learning a new language, even if the reason is "Just for Fun!"


I want to be bilingual because Spanish is the third most spoken language, very many people in the USA (Where I live!) speak Spanish, I have friends who live in Mexico and Spain, I love the sound of the language, and one day I am planning to go to Mexico, or Spain, or another Spanish-speaking country.


yes, there are lot of people who speak spanish here to. It will be useful and i just think learning new things is awesome


I think that being a bilingual is really a good thing, but being a polyglot is the best thing about languages. I think every person can learn any languages, but most of them are lack of motivation and self-confidence, some of them try to learn a language in a wrong way so they think they cannot do it.

I've always been interested in English since my childhood, but there weren't any person to help me about it, but if I learnt it since those times (when I was 4-5), I could speak it better now. I started to learn English when I was 9, Japanese when I was 11, and Norwegian when I was 13. Languages have always been my best friends since those times, they never let you go unlike human friends and also they are beneficial as well. Travelling the world, learning languages, seeing the other cultures....These are really enjoyable things to do. I will just spend my time on languages surely. I'm planning to study Japanese literature, Russian literature, Korean literature, Latin literature or "Polish language and culture" at university.

Everyone can be bilingual, can speak in two languages, but being a trilingual or even a polyglot is the job of passion.

Greetings from Turkey


In my opinion, everyone is right. But i have to say though in my definition to be bilingual, you have to know 2 languages like if you were born with it


I think being bilingual or multilingual is a good idea! Keep learning!


Part of me says it's fun and cool, sed la alia parto diras ke esti dulingvulo estas bonuma kaj amuza!


yesss french is great! You can watch Beauty and the Beast and understand all the subtle jokes haha. (If you've seen the new version and i won't be spoiling it then I can explain what i'm talking about). Although because i'm not fluent in French like I am in English (i also take it for my class) I don't know if i'm actually considered Bilingual...but whatever right? weak laughter


French is used everywhere in the cycling community even if you don't speak french. Before i learned these cycling terms, I had a confusing time of what they were talking about on Global Cycling Network even though they speak english.


i don't know what I'd call myself but I'll smile even more when i put my skills to good use....


I love the thought of being bi/multilingual because you can be able to communicate with people that may not know your mother language, and your able to travel the world without having to worry about translating problems because you already know the language. I find it ridiculous when people say learning another language is stupid. Like, do you expect me to stay in English speaking areas my whole life? And even if I do, its good to have another language in handy for if I ever bump into a tourist.


I totally agree with you, but who said it was stupid? I'm not angry, just confused at why it is considered in their eyes to be stupid. I love languages and want to learn all I can, although my main focus for now is Spanish for school. The rest, soon, will follow and I also hope to learn American Sign Language. What are yours, TaeTae143? I can see you are doing French ☺ Good luck on your language journey! Cheers and some lingots ☺


Some people at my school. And there are some people that are learning a language, but thinks its stupid to listen to music in another language. -_- Mine are French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, American Sign Language, and so on. Good luck to you too. ^^ And thanks. ^^


Its better than only knowing one i had to become bilingual or else using the internet would be a nightmare but now im trying to learn as much languages as i can you never know when it may be useful there have been many times when i wish i could understand a language shortly after i started studying spanish on duolingo i had a moment where i really wish i knew spanish it was really unexpected but my spanish is still too bad.


Ya i can tell you trying hard by your streak and all the languages your learning. impressive


I have only started 130 days ago.


Only started 15 days ago


accidently crashed my older account


Oh that sucks but reaching level 15 Spanish in 15 days is quite nice too i have stopped doing Spanish at level 11 to and i now use other methods to improve Spanish and i now focus on Russian and Portugese.


That's why there is toggitang2 and toggitang22

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.