The Gift of a Second Language
My native language is Tagalog because I grew up in the Philippine Islands until the age of seven. That’s when my siblings and I moved to the United States and started our new life with our adopted parents in Enid, Oklahoma. I started going to school and as I spoke English more and more, I spoke Tagalog less and less. Then one day I forgot the entire language.
I feel really sad about the whole thing. Not only did I lose part of my heritage, I’m a believer that as global citizens we should all speak a second language.
Yes, I took French in high school and college. Je m’appelle Diana. Comment allez-vous? Je vais bien, merci!
But no, the language did not stick. I can hardly remember much at all. (What I wrote in French just now, I had to Google!) It’s much harder to learn a second language as an adult, and it didn’t help I never traveled to France where I could put it to use.