Cookies! Sneakers! That’s what all my friends call me just because whenever I say those two words, I say them in a funny way because of my accent. You could ask anyone that knows me. I am from Honduras, born and was raised there for half of my life. I speak Spanish and English fluently, it’s a privilege that I have. Most people would love to be able to speak in another language but they can’t. My Spanish is mostly spoken at home or whenever I’m around my family. I speak English at school, when I’m with my friends and at sports. Being bilingual is the best! You have so many advantages that other people might not have.
Being from a different country is wonderful. I was raised a little differently than most of my friends and my values are different, too. Having the ability to speak in a different language is amazing. I speak Spanish when ever I’m around family or at home. Whenever my parents talk to me it’s always in Spanish no matter where we are. They always tell me that they don’t want me and my sister to forget how to speak Spanish and that is why it’s a rule at my house, that I’m only allowed to speak in Spanish. Maybe that is why I’m never going to get rid of my accent!
I was raised speaking Spanish but at the same time that I was learning Spanish I learned English. I went to a bilingual private school throughout my childhood until I was 8 years old and moved to Tampa. English was very easy for me to learn, my mom used to be an English teacher back in Honduras. I speak English when I’m in school, around my friends, and in sports. It is my second language but to me it feels like it is my first because I’ve known it my entire life. One of the reasons for me having to learn English was that my grandma didn’t know how to speak Spanish, so how was I supposed to communicate with her?
That’s why English became a big part of my life, being able to communicate with her made me so happy. Could you image not being able to speak to your own grandma? How would you feel? I sure would feel awful and couldn’t picture a day without being able to talk to my grandma. People often ask me if I get confused when I’m talking. Do I think in Spanish? English? Or both? I’ve never really been able to answer that question. I guess that I think in both but talk in the language that the people around me are speaking.
For example if I’m at home or I hear someone call me by my middle name “Nicole” I know that they are talking Spanish. But if I hear someone say “Lindsay” I know that they are talking in English. I go by Lindsay at school, sports and when I’m with friends because in my family there are three Lindsay’s, my mom, grandma and me. That is why I go by Nicole to my family, close family friends and my closest friends. Being able to speak to languages is very fortunate because if you’re applying for a job they are going to want to take you just because you can communicate with customers that come in and don’t know how to speak English.
A good example would be a restaurant or a clothe store. Being able to speak two languages is difficult sometimes, but it has its benefits; it’s something that I am really proud of. A lot of the people that I know wish that they could know two languages as well as I do. Most of my friends tell all the time that they wish they could speak Spanish fluently the way I can. It’s never to late to learn another language. I’m trying to learn French now…. so come on and join me!