Importance of Multilingualism

Person Being Interviewed: Maria Hinckley

Interviewer: How has being multilingual improved the way you think emotionally and structurally?

M.H: Emotionally you feel more connected with people who speak the other language. You change the tone and intonation of your voice and are more aware of specifics in your native language.

Interviewer: Do you believe that you have different connections with individuals who speak a certain language to you?

M.H: You find that you have more in common with someone who speaks the same language and people can switch back in forth because they both understand it mutually.

Interviewer: Do you feel more drawn to use your native language in emotional situations?

M.H: Yes, because I feel like I can communicate my emotions clearer in my own language.

Interviewer: Many people state they feel like a different person when they communicate in another language because specific languages require unique rules and determine the manner in which one speaks. Do you agree with this statement?

M.H: I believe so because each language is so unique to its principles and you have to follow certain guidelines to use it correctly.

Interviewer: Is it harder to learn another language as a child or as an adult?

M.H: It is harder for an adult because you never question the grammar as a child but when you are an adult you rely on your first memories of a language.

Interviewer: What is your favorite language and what aspects make it the best language to you?

M.H: My favorite language is French. No matter what, in my opinion French always sound smooth. I have never found a word in French that comes off as harsh or aggressive.

Interviewer: Does capability in a country’s language really make it easier as a traveler?

M.H: Definitely. When I visited Germany miscommunications caused problems with my hotel reservations and I had to drive to France because I could not book another hotel room.

Interviewer: Has understanding multiple languages improved your first language?

M.H: When someone learns a second language they are taught various grammatical rules and are reminded of their own that they often overlook.

Interviewer: Do you feel like there is a barrier between people who do not speak the same language or can humans simply communicate through body movements and emotion?

M.H: Yes, people can always communicate with simple movements, but it is not enough to only communicate without any spoken or written language.

Interviewer: What is the most important benefit of being multilingual?

M.H: Understanding another person that much more and being introduced to the culture of someone else is the best result. With this knowledge we can solve many problems between civilizations and prevent misunderstandings that were never even meant to happen.