Humans need a healthy connection with their family and other loved ones. However, at times, obstacles can come in the way of building that family connection we need. The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with many ethnic groups and people of different walks of life who migrated to the US. Members of the same family, both here and abroad, may face challenges over time with language fluency. The simple problem of not being able to speak in the same language is a huge obstacle, and bilingual families are able to build that connection more effectively.
As the founder of TruFluency, I have also had my fair share of this problem. I had the burning desire to become fluent in Spanish because some of my family lives in Mexico. Plus, knowing that my mother couldn’t talk in the same language as her grandmother who lives in Mexico, further pushed me to learn Spanish so I can speak and connect with my great-grandma.
And sadly, this problem can be seen all across the globe. In fact, I have a friend who was born and raised in France, who is fluent in both French and English. (Let’s call her Francine.) Francine eventually fell in love and married an American (let’s name him Paul), who only knew how to speak English. And she moved to the US to live while visiting France now and again to stay in touch with her family. But since her family lived in a small town in France, where the only language is spoken in French, Paul was having a problem connecting with them without having Francine as a go-between.
So what does Paul do?
Since he wanted to connect with Francine’s family, he started taking French lessons for 2 hours a week since they got married about 2 years ago. Just 2 hours every week! If he got a little busier, he would take a few days off, but he consistently kept at it.
Here is our advice for building a bilingual family
When it comes to mastering any skill, you will have to commit yourself to the journey. It is the only way to be rewarded with the chance to speak to your loved ones in a common tongue. For Paul, he understood this and then committed to learning French two hours a week for less than two years. You don’t have to take on this schedule. It mostly depends on your free time, budget, goals, and deadlines. If you share this with your language tutor, they will gladly help you create the best schedule for you.
And when you need a rest, don’t worry! Take that break. Our lives can become unpredictable, leading to changes in our schedule, so feel free to take that time off. But make sure that it does not pass two weeks.
So, in the end, what was the payoff?
So, two weeks ago, Francine and Paul took a trip back to France to visit her family. And he was able to speak and communicate easily with his mother-in-law, without Francine translating! Amazing, right?
And the same thing happened to me! I became fluent in Spanish so I could connect and communicate with my family members from Mexico. What’s more, many years ago, my grandmother’s sisters came to visit me, which quickly turned into a fun and pleasant family reunion. I was able to talk, chat, and laugh with my loved ones, leading to genuine connections. But, unlike Paul’s schedule, mine can be considered as more “aggressive.” I spent many hours learning Spanish with my tutor per week, and I even took a job in Mexico.
And remember, Consistency is Key!
When it comes to learning a new language (whether Spanish, English, or French), you will have to keep at it. You can’t expect to see results or get the results you want on time if you don’t apply yourself consistently. Learning a new language is like any other skill; it requires persistence and hard work. But remember you can do it!
Becoming a Bilingual Family is a Long-Term Commitment
Learning a new language is a long journey, that’s for sure! And to reach your goal quickly and effectively, you will need to stay motivated and keep at it. Because when you do, the opportunity to connect with your family and loved ones will make it absolutely worth it!
If you need any help getting started, we have a strong team of online language tutors who can help you reach your goals and fully connect with your loved ones. So contact us today!
With that said, I want to leave you with this quote:
To build heartfelt bonds, connect on a common tongue.