Being bilingual allows me to dream, do math in two languages


photo courtsey Margit Messner

Shinshiro is a sophomore.

Lei Shinshiro, contributing writer

Fun facts about being bilingual are that you have two languages to help you understand more.  When I look at instructions for printers and computers, sometimes they are in English and in other languages.  If I don’t understand them in English, I will use the Japanese version.  Also, when I watch shows and movies and I don’t understand English, I can use Japanese subtitles. 

It’s amazing how you can help yourself for better understanding.  Even when I’m talking and get stuck with a word, I think of it in the other language and translate it, so when I’m talking to other Japanese and English bilingual friends, I speak in both languages and mix them up.  Another fun fact is that I do math in Japanese.  I do multiplication and division, and other mathematical solving in Japanese.  Then if I have to answer it in the English format, I change it to English.  

Some people say that your language to do math is your stronger language.  I learned math in English but I think in Japanese when I’m learning it, so that’s why I use Japanese when I’m doing math.  Some people also say that the language you dream in is your stronger language.  I dream in both languages, depending on the people in my dream.  Learning two different languages is sometimes difficult, but it’s worth learning and challenging yourself with the benefits you get from being bilingual. 

Shinshiro is a sophomore. (photo courtesy Margit Messner)