As I was thinking about what to blog today, I was thinking about the importance of being bilingual. I am proud to say that I am more than bilingual. I speak English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. My passion for learning languages is what motivates me to keep on wanting to learn how to speak in a different language. I don't really understand people, especially Americans, who say that they don't need to learn another language because English is spoken everywhere. It's not only about learning the language, it's about learning about a different culture and a different way of thinking. It's a way of broadening your perspective and learning about diversity. It's really sad to learn that only a small percentage of the American population knows how to speak at least a second language; whereas in Europe, most of their citizens know how to speak a minimum of 3 languages. I understand that European countries border each other and most of their citizens travel back and forth in these different countries therefore making it necessary for them to know different languages. However, the U.S. also shares a border with both Mexico and Canada. Why can't U.S. citizens attempt to learn at least Spanish? Why are they so afraid? It's not like their going to lose their American culture or American pride.
It also really saddens me to learn of Mexican-American parents who speak Spanish fluently but who refuse to teach their children Spanish because they don't want "real" Americans to know that they're Mexican or because they don't want their children to have an accent. I don't think it really matters if you have an accent. As long as people understand what you're saying and as long as you're able to communicate with other people.
I would really like to encourage everyone to learn a second language. It's both an exciting and rewarding experience. I'm sure that you would be proud of being bilingual because I know for a fact that I am.