Americans have such a reputation for being monolingual that sometimes people mistake me for non-American when they find out I know Russian.
“Wow, that’s so cool you know multiple languages!” someone said to me once.
“Thanks,” I said. After all, who doesn’t like to have their ego boosted like that?
“Do you ever mix up your languages?” she continued.
“Sometimes.” It’s true, I’ve accidentally inserted Russian words into English sentences and vice versa.
“Really, that’s so cool you’re bilingual. And it’s great you barely have an accent in English!”
I nearly burst out laughing at this last point. “Actually,” I said drily, “I’m a native English speaker. Russian is my second language.” To this day, I’m not sure what to think of the alleged slight accent I supposedly have in English.