Over the last few months, I have been stressing myself over the fact that I do not have any language skills in comparison to my European friends (Shocking). I did a self-skills audit, which I highly recommend you should do. It’s an incredibly helpful tool as it helps you conduct a deep self-reflection exercise that forces you to look at yourself in the past, present and future context. It outlines the skills you have, can improve and the ones you wish to have in the near future. This reflection is great as it can help you understand why you’re not moving on in your career or your personal ventures.
In this skills audit, I felt I came short because I was measuring myself against other people without realising that I was already bilingual. All Africans are bilingual, I speak and understand other languages apart from English therefore bilingual.
This is something we often forget and that’s because certain individuals sat around a table and made us believe that our language was inferior to theirs! You are already bilingual! Embracing and acknowledging this simple truth will do the following:
- Help you understand that your CV and LinkedIn needs editing. In an ever-changing globalised world, companies recognise individuals with more languages than one. You never know when Ga or Khosa or Yoruba or Nyanja might come in handy. So proudly put that on your cv. Speaks X language fluently and can proficiently read and write.
- Recognise that if your brain has the capacity to understand two languages that means you have the capacity to understand three or four. The evidence is already there, you just need to allocate the time and give it the same energy you give your native tongue.
- Encourage other people to remember that their native tongue is a part of their identity the same way the English, Spanish, Italians or Germans identify themselves by their language.