However, communicating with the monolingual people of the world can be a struggle sometimes.
So, when a Reddit user asked, 'Bilingual people, what is a thing that non-bilingual will never understand?' people who speak more than one language were ready to vent about their challenges of their special skill. Yes, you can dream in both languages. No, there isn't a miniature translator who lives inside your head at all times.
The fact that I no longer 'translate' in my head when I use my second language. The fact that I can be unaware which language I am reading. I have a bit of a stutter in one language but not the other. Jokes that work in both languages are the funniest. - Mortlach78
Empathy for non-native speakers trying to learn your language. - Shu-di
The sheer smug joy of other people not realizing you speak a second language, having them speak rudely about you in that language and then the look on their face as you respond to them in that language. I'm Canadian and come from a very English background with a very English name and no trace of an accent but can speak French and a bit of Italian.
Working customer service jobs the amount of people who lip off in French is too high to count at this point. That moment of realization when I complete a transaction in French after they have been sh*t talking me is great. - JPMoney81
Watching or reading something (a film, series or book) in its original language is just much better. - Nochnichtvergeben
I'm more comfortable explaining how I feel using my second language. It feels so wrong and awkward doing it with my native language. - 5cm-persecond
How much fun it is. So I speak Dutch as a native language. My English is really good, my German is normal and I also speak a bit of Swiss German ( believe me that's a big difference). So a friend of mine is from Switzerland. She also speaks all those languages. ( and even more)
When we are talking I ask something in Dutch she answers in English and I reply in German. When we have a couple of beers the language can change mid sentence. We already had a couple of times people asking which language we were speaking. So yeah that's quite fun - floor83
Forgetting a word in every language that you know lol - Clipzy22
That feeling that you’re not conveying your emotions correctly when speaking. It’s like knowing a better word to describe them in your native language and not finding a proper equivalent in the one being spoken. - BarberFew7791
You have different personalities based on the language you’re currently speaking, and your native language has emotional ties that aren’t always present in other spoken languages. - P-Wizzl
The struggle of explaining / understanding sayings. Americans use a lot of sayings like “let’s play it by ear,' and in Spanish we also have sayings that don’t quite translate. Also when I’m too excited/ angry etc my brain switches to my native language and can’t quite express myself correctly the other language. - mmigrantme
Speaking two languages at the same time. Usually because you forget certain words in one language but remember it in the other or because a word is easier to say. “Je n’ai aucune idée what the fuck you’re talking about.” - ctwheels
Forgetting words from your native language if you are using the second language too much.I have lost count of how many times I knew what I wanted to say in any other language, yet I forgot how to say it on my own native language. I end up remembering them later on anyways, but it is such an embarrassing feeling. - AruPeachy
Real-time translation takes a LOT of mental energy - selfawarescreen
That the way language is constructed is not straightfoward. It's not just a different set of words and rules of grammar, it's kind of a whole different way of processing thoughts into speech. - Peanut_Butter_32
Having an 'accent' regardless of which language you're speaking. - Silv3r_lite
When you learn another language, it is amazing how many words in your first language make more sense. The word 'Pacific' in French means 'peaceful', so now 'pacifier' and 'pacifist' make more sense in English. Similarly, 'vent' in French means 'wind', so 'ventilation' is a no-brainer. - dremxox
The joy of puns that involve multiple languages. - ddejong42
You think in the language you're taking in. Stop asking what language I think in - chee_burger
Literal translations rarely work. A lot of monolingual people seem to think other languages are like their language but with other words, and every word as an equivalent. - TheAmazingKoki