Speaking 4 languages is cool…until you are one of those who do.
How does it feel to be multilingual? It feels CONFUSING! This is already my 3rd year in Turkey, yet I still can’t converse well in Turkish and Arabic. I only started to mingle with real Turks last year during my Arabic preparatory, but my classmates were all Turks brought up outside of Turkey, so quite a number of them are able to understand and speak English. This was how I started to realise what a tough job it is to utilise several languages all at once.
It is as if my brain has some sort of language switches.
Except that I have four of them. When my Turkish course mates speak to me in Turkish, automatically my brain will put itself into Turkish, but sometimes when my course mates
just can’t wait for me see me struggling to find the words, they’ll start going “Do you know Arabic?” which I do know, automatically my brain will put itself into Arabic with Turkish on standby, which results in me still struggling, again, to speak, because Turkish is interrupting the Arabic circuit in my head. To make things worse, they sometimes say, “Oh you can just speak English if it’s easier for you.” And my brain activities end up to look like this.
The main cause for this is my limitation in grasping the two languages. I am still on my way. I’m still working towards it. I really hope that one day, I am able to translate between languages like Mufti Menk did here