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What It’s Like to be Trilingual・三か国語が話せる人の生活・会说三国语言的人的生活

Updated: May 18, 2023

@Hawaii, U.S.A.

When people find out I speak three languages, I receive various reactions.

For example:

“Wow, that’s amazing!”

“Are you a genius or something?” (yes, of course… :P)

“I could never do what you’ve done!”

“How did you even learn Chinese?”

But what they don’t know are the truths behind a girl who sometimes still gets words mixed up between English, Japanese and Chinese.

Here are a few highlighted instances…

  • Your brain starts working way too hard in order to distinguish which person needs to be spoken to in which language for all to go smoothly

  • Your translation capability overworks itself and stops translating on time

  • Words don't form in time to come out of your mouth, so you end up speaking unknown gibberish

  • You said the right words, just not in the appropriate language for that specific person and as a result, said person looks at you like you’re crazy

  • You have about three different translation apps on your phone that you use frequently and inevitably copy and paste phrases of one language into the wrong app, then only realize your silly mistake after the app comes up with no translation

  • You forget to switch the language input on your phone keyboard and start typing out the wrong language

Oh the struggles…

Yet I’d never trade a day for this gloriously complicated language adventure of mine.





「あなたは天才ですか?」 (はい、もちろん。。。笑)





  • すべての物事がスムーズに進むためには、どの言語を誰と話す必要があるかを区別しないといけなく、脳が働き過ぎてしまうこと

  • 翻訳能力が限界まで働き、時間通りに翻訳が出来なくなること

  • 口から言葉が発せられるまでに言葉の構成が間に合わず、結局意味不明なごちゃ混ぜ語を話してしまうこと

  • その場面に適した言葉を言えたが、間違えた言語で言ってしまったが為に相手にとても不愉快な顔をされてしまうこと

  • スマホに約3つの異なる頻繁に使う翻訳アプリがあり、必然的に1つの言語のフレーズを違う言語のアプリにコピペし、アプリが翻訳を出せないまで、間違えた事に気が付かないこと

  • 携帯のキーボードで言語入力を切り替えるのを忘れ、間違った言語を入力し始めること







“你是天才吗?” (是的,当然是。。。哈哈)





  • 你的大脑开始努力工作,为了分辨需要用哪种语言和相应的人顺利交谈

  • 你的翻译能力过度工作,无法按时翻译

  • 话还没想好就说出来,结果就是胡言乱语

  • 你说的话正确,只是使用的语言不适合这个人,因此,那人看着你好像你疯了一样

  • 你手机上经常使用三种不同的翻译软件,并且不可避免地将一种语言的短语复制并粘贴到错误的软件中,然后只有在该软件没有翻译时才意识到自己的愚蠢错误

  • 你忘记切换手机键盘上的语言输入法,然后开始输入错误的语言




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