1. Unintentionally switching languages in the middle of a conversation. You won’t even notice that you have actually switched languages half-way through the conversation until the person you are speaking to starts giving you odd looks-while looking dazed and confused.
2. Being the mediator between friends. When you gather friends who speak your language and friends who don’t together, your main duty will be translating and explaining what the others are saying, and sometimes engaging in full debates between the two parties.
3. You automatically become the political expert in any matter that has to do with your language. You feel the need to leverage your general knowledge about your region because you know people will come and ask you all sorts of questions about anything & everything.
4. Expressing yourself becomes a dilemma when you are trying to use certain expressions from your language but it doesn’t translate very well, so you try to find a happy medium and end up not making any sense, or inventing new catch phrases.
5. People are always asking you to translate certain words for them. Mainly you will be translating “I love you”, “You’re hot”, and “Are you single?”
6. You become a bundle of accents. People can never tell where you’re from because your accent doesn’t really sound American but it also doesn’t sound foreign. Again, you get very confusing looks all the time.
7. Your friends introduce you as their “exotic” or “international” friend, and suddenly you feel the pressure to live up to that label and act upon it. It’s a struggle.
8. Pronouncing your name is a daily predicament; followed by the fact that you will have to explain what your name means and where it originated from.
9. You can never use your real name at Starbucks. So you use a fake name and spare everyone the awkward silence.
10. Feeling the need to automatically become friendlier to people who speak your language. Or give them a high-five.
11. Having more than one keyboard on your phone and having to switch between keyboards 10 times in one chat.
12. You can’t listen to a song without having to translate its meaning to your friends and then realizing halfway through that it is not as soulful as you think it is when translated.
13. Your sense of humor may confuse people because everything you say gets lost in translation–literally.
14. Using your language as a defense mechanism to get out of embarrassing situations. You find yourself saying “this would have been funnier in …. ” Or “if we were having this argument in ….I would have totally proved my point.”
15. You still don’t know how to answer the phone. Do you say “Hello. Ola. Alo. Pronto. Aloha.”?
16. When your friends take a picture with you, they want you to write the caption in your language.
17. If you are watching something on TV and the character spoke your language, people will look at you and smile, and you have to gawkily smile back.
18. When you hear a word that sounds similar to the one in your language, you assume that it has the same meaning. Always google the word before assuming. ALWAYS.
19. You feel like you have two personalities; one for each language.
20. When you go back to your country, people make fun of your “weak” or “outdated” language. It’s a lose-lose situation.