Being Bilingual

Students at River City share how speaking more than one language is beneficial.

Amaiya Cantu and Ashlyn Breen

Learning another language is a complicated thing because it’s not the same as learning your first language. You have to adjust to becoming comfortable to all of it and be able to speak and communicate to other people who are fluent in it.

It can take years just studying one language, but over time it becomes fresh in your brain. ou start adapting to it and become more comfortable speaking or communicating to other people.

Freshman at River City Divyani Narayan shares, “It didn’t take very long, because people around me spoke English. My entire family speaks Hindi so I was already pretty comfortable with it.”

This gave her the better opportunity of learning her family’s fluent language because they spoke it all the time. But her family also spoke English so she was able to get the hang of both at the same time.

Most people may have different strategies in learning, for example using cards around the house to be reminded of the word and start saying it in that language. Flashcards and memory cards can also be helpful. But everyone learns differently. Even listening to people speak it makes it easier on learning.

“My parents always spoke my second language to me when I was little so I just basically learned it when I started to talk. It wasn’t very difficult because everyone around me spoke it all the time,” Freshman from River City Aasima Wahed, who is fluent in both English and Pashto, shares.

She became fluent in both languages because her family was communicating through both and growing up it was easier for her to adapt to it.

Wahed says, “it took me a very long time since Pashto is a very hard language to learn. I think I was fully comforting around 12 years old.”

There are many reasons why one may want to learn another language. It could be part of their culture, so learning the language at a young age is beneficial to communicating in their native tongue.

Michelle Ramirez is a freshman at River City who speaks English and Spanish. Sharing her experience Ramirez says, “Being bilingual is helpful because I can now communicate with my family who speaks Spanish. It brings me many opportunities it’s just more helpful to learn two languages.”

This way it’s easier learning with other students and giving them a better practice with speaking, listening and writing.

Ramirez was able to learn and practice through her family so overtime she got the hang of it and was able to fully be comfortable with speaking with them.

In high school there are three to four semesters of classes you can take in a language class.

“It wasn’t difficult learning another language because people spoke Hindi and English both at home.” Narayan says. “But it was helpful. If I only knew one language, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with other people.”

It’s hard only knowing one language when your family speaks another fluently and with each other.

Being bilingual also gives good opportunities in work, when selling products out of the country to employees who may not speak english.

Many young ones who speak multiple languages believes jobs come easier when being bilingual because there are customers who speak the same language as them. Instead of turning them down and losing money this gives the business more of a announcement to anyone who may not speak the employees’ native tongue.

Multilingual consumers represent a significant opportunity for future business. Even knowing a few words can be helpful but what most businesses look for are ones who can speak another language well.

Narayan shares, “This doesn’t bring many opportunities because Hindi isn’t a very common language that people speak here in America. People speak it mostly parts of Fiji and India.”

Luz Camacho