The benefit of knowing two languages

Language is a puzzle. We connect the pieces as we grow up, sometimes connecting the pieces by ourselves or with others. To attach a piece with someone is to share a culture, and to transcend the barrier every human carries. No matter how many languages there are in the world, we all have one thing in common. We all have ideas to share. To share ideas across cultures, learning two languages becomes a fundamental.

Dealing with English as my second language was absolutely horrifying. My grammar, writing, spelling, and reading skills were outrageous, like a man who lost both arms and started eating with his legs. But through years of practice, not only did I become proficient, but people started to admire me. The benefit that comes with the time and effort of learning another language pays dividends in the long run.

“You’ll thank us for making you learn Japanese,” my parents used to say.

I won’t lie. After a long week, I couldn’t stand the three and a half hour Japanese class I had afterward. I questioned and begged my parents to get me out of the class.

“If you quit Japanese, you can’t go to Japan,” was what I got in return.

If I talked back, I would have sacrificed meeting all of my relatives.

My mother created a harsh, yet intelligent rule to further improve my Japanese. If English was spoken in the house, I had to pay $5. My allowance when I was in fifth grade was $5! A month worth of chores would have gone back into my mother’s wallet.

Frank Smith once said, “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” Bilingualism creates opportunities. I have helped others struggling to communicate, and it has also helped me from becoming antisocial. I learned that the disadvantage of having to spend long hours schooling becomes an advantage when the goal is finally accomplished. Now, there’s not a single day I regret going to Japanese school.

There are currently 6,909 languages in the world, and I am fluent in two. With just these two languages, I can communicate with millions. Although I won’t be able to learn all 6,909 languages, learning another would offer me another hotel full of doors to open.  

8 thoughts on “The benefit of knowing two languages

  • October 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I agree with Hayate´s statement that knowing different languages helps open doors for us. I am both fluent in Spanish and English which brings me happiness helping others communicate. I can relate to Hayate because we both feel grateful that our parents taught us the language of our cultures.

  • October 18, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I completely agree, speaking two or more languages is supper beneficial for finding jobs and being able to help people who may not speak english. It opens up many opportunities and allows you to also not only learn the language but the culture as well

  • October 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I have always wished my parents taught me another language as a child. It’s much easier to learn when our brains are developing as children. Take it from someone who didn’t take a verbal language (ASL), the benefits definitely outweigh all of the work done towards it.

  • October 17, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I agree with your article completely because I know another language and when I got a job I found out that my coworkers speak the same language.

  • October 2, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I can totally relate with you. Being raised in a house with asian parents, they always want you to speak your native language and not english. I’ve also gone to a language class and wanted to get out. Even though I dislike going to class every Saturday, i’m proud to be able to speak the language that has been with my family for so long.

  • October 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I can completely relate to this. My parents are always so strict with me speaking Chinese more.

  • October 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I totally agree with this sharing our languages with others can really create a more connected environment here at cvhs

  • October 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you-Based God

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