As a kid, I quickly realized that there was some general confusion going on in my house, and I had to attribute it to the fact that the people who appeared to be in charge, spoke completely different languages. With a mother from Iran and a father from Alabama, the contrast was pretty hard to overlook. After all, without any Arabic translation services in the house, it was a bit hard to understand what meant what.
The irony of my being raised in a bilingual house was that I never was actually taught Arabic, meaning that I’m not bilingual, but rather…whatever speaking only one language makes me. If you ask my mother why she didn’t teach me Arabic, instead of speaking to me in broken English she will tell you that she wanted me to be American. Of course, my being a traditional American was pretty strongly compromised as soon as my mother turned out to be from Iran, nonetheless, my English has turned out pretty well.
While I never will agree with my mother not teaching me Arabic, I have learned to live with it. When people ask me if I can do Arabic translation for someone I just tell them that I changed my name to an Arabic one in hopes of lengthening my airport travel times, and they always understand.