« No normal schedule | PoJoGo Home | Perspective »

Increased Incentive

Joanne 2006-09-07

The language barrier at first was not that noticeable. Having started in Montreal, we were fine, we both speak Canadian. :)

Next stop: Austria. I do not speak any German, with the exception of the usual exchange of pleasantries which seemed to be all that I really needed to know. This being because Paul can get by with what he remembers from visiting as a child and we were almost always with family who speak English beautifully saving me from only being able to tell them thank you and good night. In addition, people spoke some English and if not there was almost always someone who could help translate.

In Germany, there was much of the same with regards to the language and every night we hung out with Paul's old co-workers where of course the conversation could flow freely.

Having arrived in Barcelona 2 days ago, it became very clear almost immediately that the language barrier had just increased exponentially. I expect much of the same, if not more, in the near future as we head on to South America.

This was quite a shock to me as I wrongly assumed that since Barcelona is such a large city and a tourist attraction, we would be able to squeak by for a little while longer. So far in almost every restaurant or shop that we have been in the older generations speak absolutely no English and the younger ones may speak a little. It hasn't been a problem, just very little outside communication taking place.

Last night I was given a new incentive to learn to speak Spanish with a greater sense of urgency. It was around 10pm, people filled the restaurants, cafes and the streets enjoying their usual late nightlife that is common in Europe. Paul and I were sitting on a curb trying to use his new phone and enjoying some people watching. In the middle of the square there was a beautiful Catalunian little boy who must have been around 3 years old. He was exploring every little inch of the area running as fast as his little legs could take him. When he was tired he would sit for a moment on the grass, on a statue, in the middle of the square.... Much to my surprise he had decided that right next to me was a great place to rest. We sat hip to hip, and he looked up at me and started to have a conversation. I of course could not understand one single word; he spoke so quickly and without any enunciation. Moments later he would take off again like a bolt of lightning and then return to sit beside me to chat some more.

I do not know his name, or anything about this little boy. This little boy will also never know my name or the fact that he has given me a stronger desire to learn a new language so that the next time the opportunity arises, I will be able to learn about those around me and share a bit of ourselves.


Permalink by Soul Sister   |  September 8, 2006 05:06 PM

Esta su carta primero en Espanol. Si aprende espanol, que escriba en espanol con su "soal sista". Me gusta escriber en espanol pero mi gramatica es mal. Yo le pierdo mucho. Llame me!

Tiene un buen dia.


Permalink by Deb   |  September 11, 2006 02:59 PM

Heya Guys,

JoeyB, not being picky but if you are going to say you speak Canadian you always have to add "Eh" on the end, as in "I speak Canadian, Eh"... Wow, you just left and you are already forgetting!
I wouldn't worry so much about learning Spanish since as I hear 90% of communication is body language, just be really expressive and smile lots and you'll be fine! Miss you and love you, Deb

Permalink by Jodi   |  September 22, 2006 09:14 PM

See, I told you you should have brought me with you instead of Paul! I would have been a great translator!
Que te lo pases bien,

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)