I was raised speaking English and Spanish. I speak both languages as a native speaker except that with English, I have a slight accent. Funny thing is that I spoke only English until I was 7, then I went to live in Mexico where I learnt Spanish. Much later on, in my 20’s, I came to the Netherlands and learnt Dutch (which I also speak with an accent).
I think in all three languages. I usually count in Spanish, yet when I count past 1000 I switch to counting in English and I have no idea why. I love learning new languages. I know the basics of French and a little more of Italian. I feel like I’m showing off by explaining my language proficiency but I’d be lying if that wasn’t the case. However, speaking three languages and knowing two more can get a bit complicated.
On the tip of my tongue
If, for example, I’ve been speaking English for two weeks straight then I tend to have difficulties when I speak Spanish. I forget words and expressions. It all depends on which language I’ve been using the most. The more languages I know the more superficial my skills become, at least that’s how it feels sometimes. I do wish I could speak all of these languages 100%, but I can’t, not really.
However, knowing languages is really, really good for writing. Sometimes I use expressions from Spanish when writing in English, making my writing sound original. Another advantage is that it helps me write characters with accents.
Unfortunately, there are words that sound so beautiful in one language but not so nice in another. It’s frustrating not being able to write the word you mean because it wouldn’t make sense.
All in all, I love the fact that I can speak multiple languages and that I can write in them too. I wouldn’t be me if I couldn’t speak at least two languages. My next language project is learning a language that is very much out of my comfort zone, Japanese or Sign Language sound like good options. I wonder how they will influence or affect my writing.
I really believe that the more languages I know the more I will understand the world around me, invaluable to me since it is what I rely on to write.