Getting Through Three Languages a Day

Having a Chinese dad and a Filipino mom has never been easy. Just imagine: upon getting out of your mother’s womb, family members would start blurting out cute words in front of you in Chinese, Filipino, and even English.

As a marketing officer of Lexcode Philippines, I get to meet a lot of people along the way, and the usual question I get after they learn that I studied in a Chinese school for 13 years is, “You studied in a Chinese school and yet you cannot speak Chinese fluently?”

To be honest, it’s not that simple. Hearing three different languages in a day can get overwhelming. I eventually resorted to enrolling myself in an extramural Chinese class.

My Saturdays became more meaningful as I sat there, listening to my professor for three hours. It made me realize that I had so much more to learn. Hundreds of words I didn’t even know existed during my 13 years of studying in a Chinese school were suddenly introduced to me (or maybe I wasn’t really paying attention to them as I did not see yet the value of learning the Chinese language). I got to converse with classmates in Chinese, which we don’t usually do when I was studying in a Chinese school. (We prefer to speak in English or Filipino.)

To be exposed to various cultural backgrounds has truly been a fascinating experience. You get to convey your emotions in different languages and share the cultural differences with others. My ultimate goal in life is to travel the world and experience culture with the greatest authenticity, but before that, I shall start by exploring the world I have now—be it in Chinese, Filipino, or English.