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Ayesha Sayed

Student, UAEU

TEDCRED 500+

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As a trilingual or bilingual, what role does language play in the creation of your identity? Which language do you think in?

I've grown up speaking 3 very diverse languages, I feel that they've created three distinct worlds in me. I find myself moving in and out of not only languages but cultures as well.
What role do languages play in your life? Do you find yourself thinking in more than one language?

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  • Jan 8 2012: I've been bilingual most of my life. I speak, read, write and translate from English to Spanish and vice-versa with equal ability. This is a very interesting topic, and one that requires a great deal more writing, but let me say this: both languages have enriched my life, but I have kept them separate. When I arrived in this country from South America in 1977, I realized very early on that full cultural and linguistic immersion in the American way of life was going to be necessary. Early on English defined my identity. All of my friends were American, and only spoke Spanish at home with my family. A few short years after my arrival I considered myself American. I became American. To this day I consider myself as such. Both languages, however, have been extremely important professionally for me over the years. There's a great deal more to write about languages, their use and cultural assimilation. This short paragraph might bring up some interesting questions and controversy. I welcome a discussion.

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