Power of language

Mom of Lizzy’s classmate is Korean and is eager to set up playdates for the girls. She apologized via text that her English is poor (using google translate to send me the text), she wishes to chat with me while girls play but her English is not ready for that. I felt bad knowing it. I realized how privilege I am to be able to master 3 languages effortlessly. Because of her language limitation, she can only befriend with Koreans here, narrowing her social circle a lot.

I had no lunch plan yesterday, so around noon I walked around the office to see if anyone wanted to have lunch with me (Friday is usually quite empty the office). Then I found Daniel from Mexico still working. I asked him if he wants to grab lunch with me, he happily agreed. We had a quick lunch, chatting/venting about work, potential tourist locations to visit, etc., all in Spanish. He arrived just few months ago, somehow we bounded quickly as we are both new to the country, and that we are both from Latin America (me not technically but close enough). Because we can speak spanish together, we immediately felt closer to each other.

Today I am receiving a colleague friend from Australia to visit us and have lunch together. I like him a lot as professional and as person. Although he’s in his 60s, we are good friends and have a lot to chat about. Again, we can do that because there’s no language barrier.

Talking about languages, I need to start reading again in chinese and spanish… it feels so different when reading non-english books. Language has a power of wiring our brains differently. It’s good practice to exercise those wires from time to time.


I am grateful for the treadmill in our gym to allow me to still run despite poor air quality.

4 thoughts on “Power of language

  1. One of my biggest regrets in life is not doing more with language skills. I know there’s still lots of time…but it would have been more convenient to learn in school/university. Sigh.
    I speak English…and that’s about it. I can understand some French. My sister-in-law is Danish and speaks a number of languages fluently and understands several more. It always amazes me and I’m just so in awe of her ability. It’s a great gift to have mastery of multiple languages!


  2. I’m so fascinated by language!! Especially how our brains are wired to learn language, but it gets much harder to learn as we get older. I think I am naturally good at learning language as I learned Spanish so quickly and so fluently compared to my peers, but… I can’t really imagine being able to speak multiple different languages! I started learning Spanish when I was 17, which was not young like a child, but younger than I am now, obviously- I wonder if it would be relatively harder now to learn another language now that I am almost 40.


  3. I wish I was bilingual! I only know English although I am trying to learn Spanish through Duolingo. I have actually learned a ton and can talk a bit with my kids’ teachers. But I think I would need to immerse myself to learn it fully and I don’t see that happening until retirement!


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