You feel that, at least, you understand better how human communication really works. Something that should be of growing value in a world where communication is increasingly focussed on and synonymous with machines.
That's all very positive. But there is a further benefit: bilingualism forces your sense of humour to be extra keen. And the target, more often than you might care, turns out to be yourself.
Here's an anecdote to illustrate.
The other day I went for a constitutional on the hill behind my place. It's hard to believe, but only a few hundred meters away from my house in a satellite town of Canberra, after crossing just one usually busy road, I enter into another world. Beautiful vistas, stately eucalptus trees, wattles blooming and wildflowers during spring... And of course, to give it a fair dinkum Australian flavour, kangaroos grazing and roaming in small mobs.
On the day in question, I was listening to a podcast from some German radio station. It's a great way to keep yourself informed about what is happening beyond your neck of the woods. And it helps me keep my German up-to-date. Useful for when you're a broadcaster in that language.
So I pull out my earphones and stride towards two leisurely walking ladies, who look like the owners of the offending dogs. I'm full of resolve to remind them of the notices and why they've been put there.
I barely manage to contain my indignation. With the sternest voice I could muster I remind them: This is a nature park. There are kangaroos up here!
The two women look at at each other and then at me, taken somewhat aback. By now I'm in full fling, and I try to drive it all home with an irrefutable punchline: Up here dogs must be kept online.
Two faces suddenly become blank. Then puzzled. Finally a trace of what might be terror.
I continue on my safari, feeling smug that I'd stood up not only for order in the neighbourhood but also helped protect Australia's most emblematic species of fauna.
After walking twenty, thirty metres, I'm suddenly struck by a thought : Why did those ladies look at me as if I'm a lunatic? And then the full realisation hits me: I wanted to tell them to keep their dogs on a leash. In German the phrase is an der Leine halten. When I'd switched from hearing German to speaking English, I automatically assumed that the German word Leine corresponds to the English line (for example, eine Wäscheleine is a washing line). Wrong, Dummkopf, wrong!
I now only hope the two ladies didn't follow my inadvertent advice and put their beautiful shepherds online. But if you should come across them on eBay, please let me know.