When you have always been bilingual, like I have, you quite often take it for granted and forget how important an aspect it is in your life. So today I want to shout from the rooftops (or tweet from the top of a tree) the first 20 reasons for being thankful for all the languages I know. These are not in order of importance, just in the order they came into my mind.
I am thankful that…
1 – my parents raised me to be bilingual – it gave me a good start in life and a solid foundation for further language learning.
2 – my daughters have also become bilingual and they can communicate with their relatives who live in many different parts of the world.
3 – I learnt and still can speak the Finland-Swedish dialect of my home village Dagsmark, Finland.
4 – my language skills have often been the deciding factor when I have been offered a new job.
5 – according to research, my brain’s executive control centre has grown thanks to the use of more than one language.
6 – travelling in different countries has been so much easier and more enjoyable.
7 – I have had the opportunity to read great literature in the language it was originally written in.
8 – I was able to choose in which language I wanted to study, and also attend a university abroad for a while.
9 – when I was young I had pen pals (with pen and paper via snail mail!) in several countries all over the world.
10 – my languages have enabled me to have closer relationships with people from other countries and cultures.
11 – I have apparently postponed a possible dementia by about 4.5 years by being bilingual.
12 – knowing many languages has made it easier to move between countries.
13 – being bilingual has made me more open-minded.
14 – I have been able to help others when they have struggled with languages.
15 – my bilingualism has, according to research, enhanced my creativity.
16 – knowing the language of a culture gives me a better understanding of it.
17 – speaking more than one language is thought to have positively impacted my school results.
18 – it has been much more easier to learn additional languages.
19 – I can now help other families bring up their children to become bilingual.
20 – my languages have hugely contributed to who I am and what I do – they are a big part of my identity.
… and Thank You for reading!