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27 Truths Only Polyglots Will Understand

Excuse me, me pasas la pimenta?

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1. Your personality changes a little (or a lot) in each new language and it kinda freaks you out.

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You even start to question which one is the "real" you.

2. Your vocal range also switches depending on the language you're speaking.

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You're lower in German, higher in English and randomly louder in Spanish — and you feel like a teenager whose voice is cracking.

3. Your phone or computer can't keep track of which language you're trying to type or search in.

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And you have so many different keyboards installed on your phone it takes forever to flip through and find the most important language of all: emoji. 💯

4. Your accents start getting mixed up, too.

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Like when your mother tongue is English but your Russian comes out with a Spanish accent, because that's the first foreign language you ever learned.

5. So do your grammars.

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Your native language uses articles, but after learning a foreign language that doesn't, you now struggle to understand why anyone needs them.

6. You can glide effortlessly from one language into another without even thinking.

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Which can be really useful, but also embarrassing if it happens at the wrong time — like calling your teacher "Mom" when you were a kid.

7. Sometimes you freak out because you're not sure if you've accidentally switched languages in your head and said something that doesn't make any sense.

Nevermind, that was just your inner monologue processing the conversation.
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Nevermind, that was just your inner monologue processing the conversation.

8. Sometimes you actually reply in the wrong language and everyone gets very confused.

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Your brain knew you were trying to say something, but then it just shut down and said, "Fuck it, I'm too old for this shit."

9. You get made fun of when you use mannerisms you picked up from another language.

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Tipo you know they don't make any sense to people here tipo you still can't stop.

10. You can eavesdrop like a champ.

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You're not actually a spy, but you'd be really good at it.

11. But you also wish your friends spoke the same languages as you, so you could gossip with them in public and get away with it.

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Until they learn, pig Latin will have to do.

12. You feel more comfortable expressing certain things in some languages.

You prefer one for cursing, one for flirting and one for giving directions. And you do math in your head in the language where you first learned arithmetic.
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You prefer one for cursing, one for flirting and one for giving directions. And you do math in your head in the language where you first learned arithmetic.

13. You can't stop laughing to yourself when a common word in one language sounds crude in another.

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"Payday" means "I farted" in Portuguese, btw.

14. The better you get at one language, the more you misspell words in another.

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C'mon, is there really such a big difference between address and adresse?

15. You occasionally forget simple words in your native language, even when you know their equivalents in a foreign language.

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What's that thing I was going to put on the grocery list? Баклажан... oh, eggplant.

16. You start injecting foreign words into your native tongue and things get really weird.

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You never know whether you should pronounce them the right way or the "localized" way.

17. And you're mortified to discover that some of the "foreign" words you comfortably use in one language are totally made up.

18. You're constantly frustrated by never being able to translate exactly what you mean, but you make peace with coming close enough.

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It's an emotional rollercoaster. (Or maybe a jet coaster. Or an American mountain.)

19. Sometimes your tongue becomes physically fatigued and you have to switch to your own language to give it a rest.

Or lie down and take a nap.
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Or lie down and take a nap.

20. Your dreams get weird: people who don't speak a language IRL can suddenly understand it, or even bust out a flawless accent.

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And it's either deeply beautiful and moving or freaky AF.

21. You can tell you're becoming really close friends with someone when you lapse into a language you forget they don't speak.

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They really ~get~ you. But they still don't understand Hindi. Sorry.

22. Everyone always wants to practice their language skills with you.

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Usually it's fun. But sometimes it's unintelligible.

23. Sometimes you freak people out because they didn't think they'd ever hear a foreigner speaking their uncommon language.

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I'm real, I swear!

24. And once they get over the shock, they love you instantly for it.

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: Hugs in a foreign language :

25. People find out how many languages you can speak and think you're superhuman.

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"Oh, it's NBD," you say, recalling all the years you've studied. (And if you're an immigrant, all the times you felt totally isolated before you learned enough of the language to make friends and communicate your needs.)

26. They don't believe you when you say you're not native.

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(You're just good at languages!)

27. And tbh, you wouldn't trade your language abilities for anything.

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Because, as they say in China, to learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world — and the view is pretty amazing.

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