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The Struggles of being Multi-lingual

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Aberdeen chapter.

Being multilingual has always been considered an advantage.  I agree. But sometimes there are moments that occur which you would like to avoid, yet it’s almost impossible because you’re multilingual. So here are the Top 5 struggles of being a multilingual:

  1. You always have to change the language settings because you switch from one language to another. For example, I use four languages on a regular basis. I use different means of communication such as email, Facebook or text messages. Even when I write an essay, an application letter or a story, I have to go the spelling and grammar check every time I use a different language. But the most annoying part for me at the moment is when I write messages on Facebook. It is set to English but I use different languages. Facebook always corrects me when I use for instance Luxembourgish instead of English. So many words are automatically changed. Then I have to go back and correct them or I end up sending messages with lots of spelling mistakes.
  2. You code-switch, It’s not unusual that I’m speaking English to someone, but when I see a friend, I might talk to her in Luxembourgish. This can be considered as rude and impolite as the person who’s currently overhearing the conversation doesn’t understand a word.
  3. You’re not perfect in all languages. Despite the fact that I am fluent in several languages, it does not mean that I don’t make any mistakes. You do and when you realize it, it can be a bit painful because you did after all have a very intense language and literature program at school.
  4. Getting stuck during a conversation. Sometimes certain words don’t exist in other languages and they wouldn’t make any sense when directly translated. You’re looking for a word, but you end up just being speechless at the end.
  5. If you don’t live in a multilingual country, you have to keep up with your language skills and use them all the time. Otherwise, you will be less proficient. Even just reading a magazine or watching a movie in a foreign language can boost your comprehension and oral skills. This will help you to not neglect your other languages.

Nevertheless, I am so grateful and consider myself lucky that I had the opportunity to learn so many languages and explore different cultures and literature traditions.

Natascha studies English with Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She is fascinated by ancient cultures, loves reading books on spirituality, travelling, dancing and doing yoga. Poetry, Pinterest and her encounters with people are her sources of inspiration and strength. Her passion for writing started at the age of eight and she likes writing articles basically on anything from mental health, personal experiences or her favourite music band. She loves spending time with her loved ones and enjoys drinking tea. Song of the moment: Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Favourite accessory: earrings Favourite movie as a child: The Wizard of Oz Book of the moment: Open Wide by Melissa Ambrosini 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.' - Eleanor Roosevelt
Laura Rennie is currently a fifth year Diploma in Legal Practice student at the University of Aberdeen. After four years studying in the Granite City she couldn't quite drag herself away from it so decided to stick around for one more year. Previously a features writer and secretary of Her Campus Aberdeen when it was founded, she is now very excited to be captaining the little pink ship this year. She loves cups of tea, fairy lights, musicals, trashy TV and is a blogger and member of Her Campus Blogger Network in her spare time.