Imagine. Your sister-girlfriend has a job assignment in Rome for the next 2 years. You decide to go and pay her a visit for 3 weeks and explore Rome. She throws a party to introduce you to all of her newfound friends and co-workers. Across the crowded room you spot someone smiling at you that looks like this:
He is standing with your sister-girlfriend and her new man. They start to walk over to you. You become excited……. all over. When they reach you and start the introductions you realize that you and Mr. Everything-Italian-Men-Are-Suppose-to-Be do not speak the same language! OMG! What is a hot and bothered woman to do?
Girlfriend, RUN to the next language class or grab a self-study language program (Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur will do) and get to it as soon as possible!
A similar situation happened in my personal life and I learned how to speak Spanish sufficiently in 3 months so that I could begin to know someone who became very special to me. We both learned each other’s language so that we could communicate better and learned about each other’s culture. This has led to my meeting other persons of the same culture to form other close friendships in my life. When I have traveled to countries where Spanish is the primary language, I have been able to communicate with ease. The experience really enriched my life.
I know as Americans we tend to think English is spoken everywhere and to learn to speak another language is optional. Some of us even have a low opinion of persons who speak our language with an accent even though they may speak 2 -3 other languages. Yet, when I have traveled abroad and spoke the native language with my accent, it was clear to me that my attempt was appreciated by the native people. We need to change our views on speaking more than one language and be patient with those who speak our language as their second language.
If you have ever studied one of the Latin-based languages, you will recognize that English is a tough language to learn. Also, you will know why they call the Latin-based languages the “Romance” languages because the way they phrase is so beautiful ….. especially when they are talking about LOVE.
So take the plunge. Study a foreign language. Learn a cultural dance. Share a cultural meal. Be prepared for the “Hola”, “Bonjour”, or “Ciao” that might walk across the room into your life. Don’t allow cultural differences and language barriers to limit what could be a wonderful experience in your life.
****About the photo: My photographer sister-girlfriend, Veronica Owens, went on a photo shoot journey across Italy and sent me my gift request of a photo of a handsome Italian man.
How do you feel about learning another language?
Do you think it would be beneficial to your life?