Is there a downside to being bilingual?:


A pretty minor one; you’re more likely to get words stuck “on the tip of your tongue”:

Bilinguals’ virtually doubled processing load could lead to general difficulty producing all word forms or to difficulty only in specific conditions. In Experiment 1, bilinguals and monolinguals completed diaries of naturally occurring tip-of-the-tongue states (TOTs), and in Experiment, 2 Spanish-English bilinguals and monolinguals produced the names of pictured objects and people’s names given their descriptions. Bilinguals reported the same number (or fewer) TOTs for proper names but significantly more TOTs than did monolinguals for other words. With monolinguals as a baseline, proper names were harder to produce; thus, for a harder task, bilinguals showed relatively better performance. Bilingual disadvantages may be limited to representing multiple forms for individual meanings; proper names improved naming because they have essentially the same form across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

Source: “Proper Names Get Stuck on Bilingual and Monolingual Speakers’ Tip of the Tongue Equally Often.” from Neuropsychology

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