Becoming and being bilingual isn’t always an easy experience. But to fight the winter blues, I am going to focus on the wonderful experiences that being bilingual offers. If you do a quick search on Google, you will find many blogs and websites that discuss the benefits of bilingualism. In this post I am going to write about my personal favourites:
- I can binge watch TV shows in 2 languages (without subtitles)
I admit, I spend way too much time binge watching on Netflix, when I should be working or sleeping. “Just one more episode,” I say to myself; or “Help! It’s already 3am!”
Online, I can watch Israeli TV shows too! Double the temptation! Last night after rewatching Star Trek Enterprise (highly recommended), I watched a couple of episodes of Betoolot, an Israeli TV show (also highly recommended, but not available with English subtitles).
Nowadays, I don’t have many opportunities to speak or hear Hebrew, so watching Israeli TV is a real treat for me. That, and there are some really good shows. You know Homeland? Well, it started off as an Israeli series called Hatufim.
2. I can read novels in 2 languages
When I am not watching TV, I read novels, lots and lots of novels. I read a new book every week or so. I am most happy when I have one book started and two waiting to be read in my possession or on hold at the library. This weekend I read Human Acts, by Han Kang, translated into English from Korean. A beautiful, if depressing book. I just started Michael Chabon’s latest, Moonglow.
But, reading novels in Hebrew is not as easy to achieve as watching Israeli TV. I buy a pile of Israeli books whenever I am in Israel, and my family brings me books when they visit. The first Hebrew eBook site opened a few years ago (https://www.e-vrit.co.il/), but I am not a big fan of eBooks. So between family visits and trips to Israel, I feel the loss.
You know what?! Now that I think of it, I’m just going to buy an eBook in Hebrew. It’s better than nothing.
3. I can talk to my cat in 2 languages
Have you ever met a bilingual cat? My cat, Pashosh, is fluent in Hebrew and English. Depending on my mood, I’ll speak to him in either language, but I’ll often use both.