In season six of Modern Family, crotchety old Jay and his Colombian wife, Gloria, are arguing over her son’s Spanish tutor. When it brings up a bigger issue—that Jay doesn’t understand how hard it is to always speak in a second language—Gloria snaps that she is very smart in Spanish. Seeing her point, Jay decides to give lessons a try. Later, when he apologizes to her (in Spanish), she hugs him and laughingly says, “Oh Jay how I love it, now you sound like the stupid one!”
I wish this wasn’t so right! Until you’re fluent, some of your personality and smarts are unavoidably lost in translation. There are just too many opportunities to look like an idiot.
Keep reading for ten tongue-in-cheek ways that learning a second language does you no favors.