Bilingual Adventures Essay

Essay Writing Competition 2019
Category: 8 - 11 years
- Merit Award -

Bilingual Adventures Essay - Merit Award 2019: 

A merit award has been granted to Layla Affhalter for her essay "Bilingual Adventures"

Layla lives in the USA and is homeschooled. She is bilingual in Swiss-German and English.

Theme 2019:
'The Gift of Languages'

Bilingual Adventures Essay

At home I speak English and Swiss-German. My Mom can speak Swiss-German and English and my Dad speaks English and Spanish.

Sometimes it can get difficult because my Mom doesn't want me to loose Swiss German, but my parents only communicate with each other in English. I still love the feeling of being able to speak two languages. Hopefully I will be able to speak more than two languages.

I live in Florida, USA where the main language is English. But I would love to learn Spanish, because a lot of people from South America live here in Florida. They speak Spanish. It is the second most spoken language in the USA.

I had heard my mother speak Swiss-German to me since childhood. When I went to Switzerland for the first time and attended a family reunion I was so overwhelmed by all the people speaking Swiss-German that I crawled under the table and cried. I eventually came out from under the table and over the years I learned how to speak Swiss-German and I learned it better and better.

So if you are looking into learning a language, here are some tips I would like to give you:

  1. Never give up.
  2. It is always easier if you live where they speak that language.
  3. Try out some apps on your phone or computer.
  4. Try practicing with a friend, or take a language course.

I think learning and knowing languages is very important, especially if your family likes to travel. Also you can surprise your family and friends by speaking a different language. I personally love speaking Swiss German with my Mom in public, because everybody stares at you in wonder and it is practical when I am in a situation where I only want my Mom to understand. I like telling my friends to try to say a hard word like "Chuchichaeschtli", which means in English "kitchen cabinet".

I recommend learning a language, because it has so many surprises and fun things that come with it. For example you can watch and listen to different movies and music in that language. It may be hard at first, but if you stick with it you will soon be speaking a second language.


Congratulations, Layla! Thanks for the inspiring essay about your bilingual adventures! Keep up the great work!

Read more from Layla, our contributor of the wonderful Switzerland Facts pages here.

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