Saturday, May 22, 2010

You Know You're Bilingual (or Really Fluent) When...

You say something to someone (or heard something) but don't remember what language it was in because you were only focused on the meaning.

You start a sentence in one language and finish in another or you intermingle phrases and words from both within a sentence or a story (code-switching).

You have dreams in both languages.

You find it hard to answer the question "Which language do you prefer?"

These are only a few of the things that I could come up with.  I invite all my readers to add to these or suggest variations on the ones I have put here.
I 'm looking forward to your comments!


  1. You don't relate at all to monolingual people when they feel threatened when other people are speaking another language in front of them!

  2. * When you can't come up with a word in your native language, but you can come up with it in your second language and you end up having to circumlocute in your native language.

  3. when you code-switch without realizing it.

    Or your very close friends and relatives, whether they wanted to or not, have learned a significant amount of a language they may not be natives at speaking.

  4. * When a cultural reference is made that monolinguals simply don't understand.

    I really liked this Post. It was less serious, but quite engaging :)

    Looking forward to the next one,


  5. It's said that your real native language is revealed when you are thrown into a life-threatening crisis.

  6. I do agree, Chris. I'd add that being able speak your second language under conditions of stress and fatigue is a skill of a level 4 speaker (near-native).