Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why be bilingual? (Part 3)

This will be the last thing I write about bilingualism.  For now.  But here are a few ways it can enrich your life.

Now... I know this is nerdy... but...

Different alphabets, letters and sounds
Obviously we know about the Latin alphabet, because that's what we use in English.
This is one of my favorite alphabets:
It's the Russian Cyrillic alphabet
Yes, that's my chest.

I think it's beautiful that there are so many different characters that can represent sounds and there are so many sounds that some languages have, but others don't have.  My tattoo, is pronounced something like (sloo-gah).  Not only are there different letters, but letters we know in English, have different pronunciation.

It's also crazy that even within languages, there is extreme diversity.
In Spanish, in Central and South America, whenever a "c" is before an "e" or an "i" it makes it an "s" sound.  For example, cena (dinner) is pronounced "say-nah."  In Spain, you would pronounce that "c" and also a "z" like a "th" sound.  So in Spain, cena would be "thay-nah."

You can totally see the differences in English between: American, British, Canadian and many more. Each country's version of English can be broken up even more: Southern, Liverpool, Boston, Texan, London, etc...

Music in other cultures can be a very different experience too.  I've grown to love many bands that play music only in Spanish.  Even if you can't understand it, the different sounds are beautiful.  If you can understand it, it can give you a view into the culture.

Let's be honest, how likely are we to listen to accordions in American music?  You'll experience new things and love them.

(this is Portuguese and a little English)

Language doesn't help you enjoy food more, not literally anyway.  However, good food is always surrounded by good company.  To fully enjoy the eating experience in another culture, it really helps to be able to converse with someone.

Pad Thai


Exciting new experiences throughout the world really are at your fingertips when you learn new languages.  My world has really gotten so much bigger because of what I've learned so far.  I've experienced a lot of different people, ideas, food, situations, music and really just grew to love and appreciate diversity so much more because of all of that.

The world truly is a beautiful place.  I honestly believe if you were to expand your lingual palate, you'll be able to enjoy it more fully. 


  1. Hey I just came across your blog and LOVE your post. I lived in Brazil for almost 2 years and experienced the amazing culture, food, language. It was amazing and with what I learned I opened a new part of my brain! I hear spanish and I can pick out so tongue moves in different ways that it couldn't before. It expanded my horizons!! Thanks for your post!

    1. That's awesome that you got to experience all of that! Did you get pretty good at Portuguese and what'd you do in Brazil? Thanks for your comment!

  2. Do you know that your tattoo means something like "servant" or "slave"? If you go to russian sauna it can be considered that you were sexually abused in prison and tattoo was made by force to show your new status.