People who are bilingual have more intellectual and social advantages than the rest.
Some people grow up bilingual by learning the language at home or in the classroom.
“I am always extremely grateful that I am bilingual; there are many educational, social and professional advantages,” Samar Dahleh, a freshman studying political science at Cabrini University, said. “Instead of this characteristic pushing you away from the crowd, it gives you a conversation starter as well as an opportunity to help someone else learn something new.”
Many Cabrini University students grow up bilingual.
According to Dictionary.com, to be bilingual means ones is able to speak two languages with the facility of a native speaker.
Gabriel Cano, a freshman education major with a minor in Spanish, agrees greatly being bilingual has helped him not only in his day to day life but also when traveling.
According to Take Lessons, speaking more than one language can actually slow the brain’s aging.
Traveling and visiting family in Guatemala one time, Cano saw a confused and frustrated couple, worried they would not be anyone around who spoke English.
“I immediately went up to them and asked them what was wrong and what they needed help with,” Cano said. “We chatted for a good 10 minutes and they were very pleased with what I did. Knowing another language and helping someone that cannot speak the languages is a great feeling and I love doing it.”
Dahleh, who speaks Arabic, learned English as a second language.
“Originally, my parents only wanted my sister and I to only speak Arabic in the house, in order not to lose our second language,” Dahleh said. “However, there were phrases where in order to improve our English vocabulary, we needed to switch the languages spoken in the house again.”
Many college students that are now bilingual are grateful for the opportunity to learn different languages before applying for jobs.
Girum Bekeke, completing a master’s degree at Cabrini University, believes being bilingual is more than just being able to speak two languages.
“It gave me a lot of advantages on the job market. It helped me to understand other cultures easily, which also helped me to make friends and share experiences with the people who spoke the same language,” Bekeke, being able to speak both English and Amharic, said.
“Speaking two languages has helped me to be an open-minded person,” Bekeke said. “Wherever I go, I am open to learning new cultures, languages and understand people based on their norms and beliefs.”
Not everyone is raised to speak two languages but the ones that are stress the fact that it is never late to learn.
“There are people who wish to be in your spot, to be able to master two languages,” Cano said. “If you have the opportunity to learn another language, you should go for it because there are people who wish they could but choose not to.”