Monday, November 10, 2008
Ich mag Deutsch gar nicht
So I have thinking a lot lately about the need to communicate. I have often characterized myself as one who does not necessarily communicate very well. Now being in a country where I have to communicate in another language has compounded the problem. Today is one of the frequent days where I go to German in a relatively good mood and leave in a particularly sour one. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I think "oh great, another day of humiliating agony." I have come to truly envy those who grew up speaking two languages. I also have a new found respect for missionaries. I normally attend a German speaking ward on Sundays but this week I decided to go to the international ward where they speak English. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I was at the prospect of being able to raise my hand and participate in the lesson. I could communicate thoughts and emotions and I was understood! I am so embarrassed that throughout the world as an American I expect people to speak English. I expect them to cater to me and my needs rather than making the effort to learn their language. I was thinking about how at home there are often signs in Spanish and before it always kind of bothered me. I thought "if someone lives in America they should learn to speak English." Now however I understand the pure delight that can come from hearing or seeing something in your own language. I get excited when I see a sign in English, my face lights up when I hear someone speaking English, it is so refreshing when someone asks me something in English...I am truly humbled when someone half my age speaks a language fluently that baffles me. Just when I start to understand it, right when it is in the grasp of my fingers, it laughs in my face and runs away singing "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..."