SoCS – Speaking different languages

I’ve always been fascinated by language.  It’s probably one of the reasons I love writing so much.  Words are beautiful, in any language really.

Did anyone else out there watch The Arrival?  The hubby was pretty bored through the movie, but I found myself entranced with the alien’s language and also how the main character went to so many lengths to understand and communicate.  I believe we all could take a lesson from that.

Perhaps we should think of another person as having a whole different language, because if you really think about it, their language and how they speak is laced with their past experiences, their own beliefs, which is so different from everyone else.  I think we could all try harder to understand each other, rather than assuming we are all speaking the same language.

My hubby speaks 3 different languages, and English was his third.  He used to tell me all the time that the reason we misunderstood each other is because he had all those languages floating around in his head and sometimes things didn’t come out right.  I was inclined not to believe him, especially in the moment of wanting so badly to understand and be understood.  But the longer we are together, the more I know it’s true.

There are certain things in the Persian language that I simply don’t understand.  My father-in-law stayed with us for three months this year, and there were things he said and did that I found out-right offensive, but to him, he was actually giving me a compliment.  He is the sweetest, most giving man, so I knew he wasn’t trying to give offense, but it was still hard to see beyond the moment.

I’ve always wanted to learn another language.  It just takes a lot of work and I’ve never made the decision to put the work into it.  I’m starting to think it might be a necessity, now that I’m part of a family who speaks another language when they get together.  My father-in-law tried so hard to speak English when he was here, but he’s old and can’t hear very well and there were times he would be speaking English and right in the middle of the sentence he would switch.  Then he would look at me like I was supposed to understand and respond.

The other thing that truly bothers me is watching a French film with the hubby.  He speaks French as well and he can understand what they’re saying, but I have to read the subtitles.  Sometimes he forgets and talks to me during the movie while I’m still trying to read everything.  It kind of feels like he has one up on me, you know?  It’s also interesting to find out how many actors can learn the French words, but they don’t really do it well.  I find myself asking if they’re speaking French well, but usually he will tell me before I can ask.  I think we all just assume that they’ve mastered the language, somehow, because we can’t understand it anyway.

Ah, language.  How I love it!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is “language”.

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