Bilingual. Bilingüe. ثنائي اللغة. இருமொழி. ದ್ವಿಭಾಷಾ. nói hai thứ tiếng. Двуязычный: bilingual students contribute unique cultures to Marian community


Today, almost 6,500 languages are spoken worldwide. What is even more surprising is the diversity of language at Marian. According to 323 student survey responses, 18 different languages (not including English) are spoken by Marian students. This includes languages like: English, Spanish, Arabic, Catalan, French, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Urdu, Tamil, Kannada, Nuer, Dinka, Sign Language, Mina, Acholi, Russian, Ewe and Fante. Although all of these languages are vastly different, the Marian bond is stronger than any language barrier. 

1) What language(s) do you speak?

2) How fluent would you say you are in said languages?

3) Where did you learn this language?

4) What are some perks of speaking this language?

5) Any other interesting facts about your language?

Haley Ertzner ’20ertzner_haley20046

  1. I speak Spanish
  2. Very fluent
  3. School
  4. Better job opportunities and able to talk to more people that are diverse
  5. In some parts it’s a lot easier to speak than English

Nisrine Bango

  1. bango19006 Arabic
  2.  I’m pretty fluent. I can understand it very well and I speak it on an everyday basis at home.
  3. I consider it my first language because that’s what I was mainly raised speaking.
  4. You can communicate with more people.


Agoum Monydhel ’20

  1. dsc_0002 I can speak Arabic and Dinka. Dinka is a tribal language back in Sudan.
  2. I could say that I am fluent in Arabic, and partially fluent in Dinka. I born speaking both of these languages.
  3. My parents came from Sudan to America speaking these languages.
  4. When writing Arabic, you write from right to left, and there are many letters in the Arabic languages. Dinka, there are 26 letters just like the English language.

Shruthi Kumar ’20

  1. dsc_0071shruthiI speak Tamil and Kannada.
  2. I would say I am very fluent.
  3. I don’t remember ever learning it, I just grew up speaking it.
  4. When I go to India, people find it unbelievable that I live in America and speak my native languages. Also, if you’re in public and your parents are being embarrassing you can tell them to stop, without it being awkward to other people.
  5. Tamil is one of the oldest languages, dating back to ancient times. There are two “dialects” in Tamil, there is an everyday dialect, which is what I know. And the other one is more formal, like people who read the news on TV would use.

Emily Nguyen ’20

  1. sp-emilynguyen-2Vietnamese (we are going to assume that English is a given)
  2. Fluent enough that I can get around, but I am pretty illiterate. I can sort of sound things out sometimes but mostly I can’t. I can understand the language when listening, but struggle to coherently spit it back out.
  3. My parents and grandma and– basically my entire family.
  4. The ability to speak more than one language is pretty awesome, and since my entire family speaks Vietnamese, it makes communication a lot easier. (Especially when it comes to delicious food you want to eat)
  5. Vietnamese has three different accents and various dialects. There’s the northern accent, the middle (we’re just going to call it that) accent, and the southern accent. There’s also a southern dialect that is distinct from the northern, but technically speaking the northern dialect is correct. I speak the southern dialect with the southern accent. Vietnamese language programs are taught with the northern dialect and accent. It throws me off…a lot. Also, some words (microwave, remote, library, just to name a few) in my world (and apparently other fellow Vietnamese but I have no concrete evidence) are called by the English name with a Vietnamese accent. So, for example, we say “laibrary” (try and put a Viet accent on it) instead of library and yeah.

Claudia Archer ’20

  1. dsc_0017I speak English, Catalan, and Spanish.
  2. I am fluent in English and Catalan, and I have been learning Spanish since the 1st grade.
  3. I grew up in Omaha, so English is my first language. My mom is from Barcelona, and the main language spoken there is Catalan. My mom talks to her parents, who are in Barcelona, everyday on the phone. Because of this, from a very little age, I was able to pick it up (without anybody teaching me). I am learning Spanish in school.
  4. Some perks about speaking these extra two languages is that you can get better job opportunities, as well as more experience. (Catalan isn’t a very common language for people in America to use.)

Mary Said ’20said_mary20164

  1. Arabic
  2. I’m about as fluent in Arabic as I am English, I know a little more English though
  3. My family is from Israel and I grew up with it
  4. I can annoy my friends by speaking really fast in it.


Nina Oleynikov ’18

  1. nina-oleynikov-4Russian, English
  2. I have a good understanding of those speaking to me, formulating sentences can be harder, and I actually can read Russian: a.k.a when my dad texts me sometimes in Russian.
  3. My father and his side of family, grandparents, aunts and cousins.
  4. It’s a special part of my russian culture/ tradition that I can share with that side of my family
  5. As a dancer I have lots of Russian teachers/pianists, and frequently I’ll have short conversations in my ballet classes which is fun.

Arij Khan

  1. arijkhanI speak Urdu.
  2. I can understand and speak it pretty fluently, however I can’t write or read it.
  3. I learned it from my family because they came from Pakistan where it is spoken.
  4. I can understand my parents’ conversations and I can also speak to my grandparents and other family members from Pakistan.
  5. I actually learned Urdu before English, but I became more fluent in English when I started school.

Geonasha Agbeletey ’20

  1. agbeletey_geonasha20207I speak Ewe, Fante, and Tre.
  2. I am very fluent in all of them.
  3. I learned them from my parents and from the country I am from.
  4. Some perks of speaking these languages is being bilingual.

One response to “Bilingual. Bilingüe. ثنائي اللغة. இருமொழி. ದ್ವಿಭಾಷಾ. nói hai thứ tiếng. Двуязычный: bilingual students contribute unique cultures to Marian community

  1. I was surprised at the level of diversity at Marian! Many people across Omaha would judge based on rumors and appearances. This article shows that no matter if you are a minority, anything is possible and each demonstrate quality leadership skills. Thanks and keep up the good work Susana! Be proud!

    Liked by 1 person

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