Nelson Mandela once said that “if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”. These words say something that not everyone is really aware of: languages are much more than a bunch of letters and sounds put together. Every language is an open gate into a culture and lets us know people more deeply. Speaking other languages simply opens minds and broadens horizons.
Together with the aforementioned, speaking other languages has many other advantages that may be rather less philosophical but still worth mentioning: it increases the probability of finding a job; it makes people more confident to travel around the world; it grants access to books before to those who only speak their mother tongue; or it simply helps you understand lyrics. Nevertheless, despite all the good things languages bring, we wanted to look for some –minor– disadvantages polyglots have to “deal with”:
- The walking dictionaries
Many believe that speaking a language means knowing every single word in it, so they just ask you to translate very random things for them at any time. Sometimes you will know the answer, but some other times you won’t. Good thing that we now have access to the Internet at all times!
- Travelling abroad
If you are lucky enough to speak other languages but you have the misfortune of being the only one of your friends or in your family, you probably had to be their interpreter more than once. The more “monolinguals” you travel with, the greater the stress!
- At the cinema
One of the best things about speaking other languages is that you can watch films in their original version. However, not everyone who only speaks their mother tongue will willingly read subtitles for you. In the end, it is you who ends up reading lips instead.
Being able to understand lyrics is one of the advantages we presented to you before, but is it really worth it when they just make no sense whatsoever? Examples like “Sick of love”, by Robert Ramírez, will make you wish you wouldn’t:
I wanna fly, tonight I’m taking you
Don’t be afraid, I am you superman
I’ll bring a box with sugar to put you in
Let’s dance again the evil game
Any other “drawbacks” you can think of? Feel free to share them with us below!