CLMN | I am Two

CLMN | I am Two

18 april 2017

When I first moved to America, I initially refused to speak English for the first 3 months because “Les Français parlent Français” or in other words, French people speak French. I was 3 years old. I soon realized that I had to ask for permission to go to the bathroom. Thus prioritizing dry pants over my French pride, my life as a bilingual began. Little did I know at that time that this new skill I was developing would split my personality in two.

Before you think I’m insane, if it’s not already too late, let me tell you that I am slightly exaggerating my ordeal. What is true though, is the fact that people speaking multiple languages do not think or act in the same way, it depends on which language they use. That’s because of the context we associate different languages to.

In my case, I learned English at school, but it was also what I used to communicate with friends for the early part of my childhood. French on the other hand was a language that I learned at home through a painstaking process of additional tutoring by my mom. So that’s why I’m more outgoing in English, but more sensible in French.

Now that I’ve reached a point where I can have a normal conversation in Dutch and my learning curve is accelerating, I’m really starting to wonder if this means I’ll add a third voice to my already cluttered mind. If like me you speak multiple languages, the odds are you might be two as well. Some of my Dutch friends tell me that sometimes they think in Limburgs. Maybe if I am two, so are you.

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