Being bilingual has so many perks. You get to speak and understand more than one language. You get to connect with so many different kinds of people in this world in such a unique way. It's super useful when you're travelling abroad. And according to this article, it makes you smarter too...

The power of languages.

But people don't realise how much of a struggle it can be to speak multiple languages sometimes too! It's honestly a mess in my mind. My first language is French, English is my second and I also understand Spanish after studying it for a few years at university and living in Valencia, Spain (I'm not fluent in that one yet, but will be soon hopefully!) And it's not that easy - there are so many things I struggle with on a daily basis.

When there's a word for something in English but not in French and I have to use 15 words to try and describe the same thing, or when a sentence sounds so much cooler in one language but just doesn't translate well in the other, or when I'm dreaming in two languages at the same time... The list goes on.

So I've gathered a list of 8 things I struggle with the most being bilingual, and hopefully if you speak multiple languages you will be able to relate!

#1 You mix up the two languages together


You're probably mixing up the two languages that you are fluent in... I'm guilty of this as I love speaking Frenglish. This is actually my favourite language to speak in (if we can call Frenglish a language...) - it's a weird mix of the two.

French is my first language but I think and dream in English, so in my head it's like they merged together to become one, and having to stick to one language only is a massive struggle for me. Whenever I speak in one language, I always want to add a word or two in the other. My Birmingham bestie is also fluent in both English and French (shoutout to you Julia si tu passes par là!) and we speak in Frenglish all the time - we definitely got stares many times from people around us who probably thought who are these two weirdos I can only understand half of their conversation?!  but it makes total sense for us.

#2 You forget words in your native language


My biggest struggle out of this list! When I'm in France and speak to my family or friends, I sometimes stop in a middle of a sentence... because I can't find the word I'm looking for. In French. My first language. Oh I know the word in English, but it's completely useless as no one speaks English here and can help me out. So I have to stop and think for a few seconds, sometimes even open Google Translate for help, to try and find the word I wanted to say. And I feel so dumb because this shouldn't be happening? It's my first language, how could I forget some words?

#3 You have more than one keyboard on your phone


The keyboard on your phone probably looks something like this. The struggle of always having to switch between keyboards.

#4 Dubbed movies bother you


I can't help but look at the mouth of the actor speaking and I find it so frustrating when you can clearly see that the mouth movements do not match what you're hearing. I can't watch the movie in its entirety when this happens because I can't focus on anything else. I also find that dubbed versions take away the original emotions so I prefer to put on the subtitles, even for languages I don't speak - for example, I don't speak Italian at all, but I wouldn't watch an Italian movie dubbed in French or English. Original movies & TV shows for the win!

#5 People ask you to translate everything


*Spanish song comes on the radio*
Friend: what is he saying?
You: not again...

#6 You have a different personality in each language


My French me is so different from my English me. When I speak French, I tend to speak really fast, my pitch is lower, I feel more confident, more spontaneous, a tad funnier too and I also might seem a bit colder as the language is much more monotone. In English, I feel like I'm a softer and calmer person, I have more of a relaxed tone when I speak, my voice sounds higher, I'm more open and have deep conversations about the universe and life and the future, and I'm very emotional too. I'm also more likely to feel nervous and insecure because even though I'm fluent, English will never be my mother tongue so I'm usually scared that I'm not using the right words and I question if what I say is actually what I intended to say... It's so weird thinking about it!

#7 Your taste in music changes depending on the language


In Spanish, I love listening to happy, feel-good music - think Despacito here - the kind that makes you wanna dance all night. In English, I'm more of a sad, love, acoustic & pop songs lover. And in French, well I don't actually like French music. I can't even think of one French song or type of music that I like. Weirdly enough I've never been into French music, movies nor TV shows!

#8 You sometimes accidentally change language mid-sentence


It happens to me all. the. time. I'm speaking French to someone and I'll reply with "yeah!" instead of oui, or start my sentence in French and throw a "but..." or "I mean..." somewhere in there.

Same thing in English. I can't even count the times when I lived in England where I started speaking in English and switched to French mid-sentence, and only realised my mistake after 10 very long seconds or after seeing the confusion on the other person's face. Oops.


If you are bilingual, what do you struggle with the most? Also let me know if your personality changes when you switch languages, I'm really curious to know!