Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunday Scribblings # 159: Language.

I speak three languages; Polish, French and English.
I learned them in this order, but ever since, the order of which language I master best, has been reversed.
I write in English; stories, poems, my blog!
I speak in French & Polish to my parents, as they do not speak English fluently.
Polish is a necessity when I go back home, to the small village of Pleszew, & my grandmother, cousins, uncles & aunties, welcome me once more. I don't have the luxury to speak in any other language, as they do not understand. When I stumble on a word, I get frustrated, because I feel like I don't have such an expansive vocabulary, as I do in English & French.
I understand Spanish, thanks to high school courses and a University class, & I can even communicate my basic wants/needs, ask for directions etc...

Languages can be;
  • Barriers: Many people only speak one tongue or dialect. When they travel or relocate, they cannot experience a country to the fullest, as they will always be an outsider looking in, until they learn to love, live, breathe in this new language.
  • Daunting to learn: Especially as an Immigrant. My mother had to learn French when she was in her 30's. It was emotionally & mentally challenging. She never lost her European accent. Whilst, my sisters and me were still children when we were thrusted in a French school. I remember, no one understood me! I would cry at night; I couldn't make friends, I was the weird kid that couldn't communicate. It was a very lonely time, even lonelier for my mother.
  • Blessings: It provides variety, it offers a challenge to exercise our minds & discover new ways for communication. My father speaks; Polish, French, Lingala, Batetela & Swahili. He understands English, but has difficulty speaking it.

I want to perfect my Spanish & learn Swahili. I will, in due time.


Whitesnake said...

They say English is one of the most difficult languages to learn and although I have always spoken english I can undertsand why.....

Granny Smith said...

I'm happy to find someone with an assortment of languages and an appreciation of all of them. I like the design of your blog, the photographs and the music.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm sure you'll learn them easily, because your brain is already ready for them.

floreta said...

dang, you're a superstar! no wonder.. you totally deserve that noblesse award!! :)

SweetTalkingGuy.. said...

Great post and your Father sounds cool too!

The American Sandwich

Fledgling Poet said...

Three languages...that's inspiring! You're very lucky that you've held onto all three languages into adulthood.

Fresh said...

Speaking many languages is a sign of cultural wealth. Learning a new language is not only learning a new way to describe things and express oneself but also a new way of thinking. I think English is easy to learn but not so easy to master. French is definitly hard to learn, and probably harder than German. I have always considered congolese tribe languages in a different way as they are mostly spoken and not written. I leanrt both lingala and tetela by myself as my parents never spoke it to me. I just wanted to understand what my parents, uncles, aunties and other relatives were talking about. Indeed it enabled me to communicate with my grandfather when I met him back in Africa. Some of my relatives fluently speak five languages or more. I'm now looking forward to improving my German in order to speak it fluently. I also want to learn Portuguese and Swahili (most spoken language of Africa). We could learn swahili together ;)

Nana said...

You miss me, I see :) Thank you for sharing your view on languages, perhaps, you will start a blog of your own?
@White Snake, actually, English is one of the easiest languages (at least for me). Especially written english is much less complex than French.
@Granny Smith: Reading your blog, I can see that you appreciate languages as much as I do. You're amazing!
@Rinkly Rimes, I surely hope so!
@Floreta: Aww, thx you hun!
@Fledgling Poet. I agree, I was worried I would lose my Polish, but my worries were for naught (thank God) :)

ChefDruck said...

I am so happy that you commented on my Sunday Scribblings post as it enabled me to find your wonderful blog. Seems that as you were struggling to learn French as I was struggling to learn English.

Now I aspire to speak Italian and you aspire to speak Swahili.

Our linguistic journeys keep on overlapping.

Looking forward to reading your next Sunday Scribbling posts.

Lion-ess said...

amazing... I'm trying to learn turkish. it's so frustrating.. I feel as if I'll never learn. I wish I was introduce to languages when I was younger.

My friend is Albanian who was born in china and went to a french school in china. So she can speak and write in manderin, albanian, french and english.

My wish for my kids is to learn to speak and write fluently in English, Turkish, Manderin and Albanian for starters. I'm going to surround them with languages.