Thursday 21 November 2013

Lost in Translation

                                                                                                                                                               // image: //

I find myself sitting in a in a busy room, full to the brim of fast talking friendly faces. Everyone speaks at once in varying tones and volumes, about various topics, overlapping each other in a disarray of sound and facial expressions. Some people use their hands for emphasis. There is laughter, lots of laughter. The dynamic of the group a tangled feast of words, jumping from one conversation to the next at unwarned intervals, when interest peaks. I follow the smiles, a wink of encouragement, a squeeze of my hand for comfort. Of course, it is a little tricky to follow, the speed, the volume, the mass of voices. Try this in a foreign language.

They say learning a new language over the age of 25 is considerably tricky, I'd like to use the more specific description of ridonkulously challenging! Of course, I should be grateful really, it isn't Polish or Finish, one of the near impossible languages to learn, but it's certainly hard enough. I am determined though, and I have a great reason to want to get this right. Opportunity. Most people in England don't get such a chance to study foreign ways of life, after school. We settle in the comfortable fact that so many places speak English, and learn just enough of the please and thank yous to get by on our holidays. And although at times I complain that its too much, I become overwhelmed with the sheer enormity of the situation and get annoyed with myself that I'm not fluent yet; it's all about perspective. 

I look at my life now, it is so far from what I would have imagined for myself, a total curve ball, so many opportunities I didn't even suspect would appear. But then thinking about it, I'm not entirely sure what I had in mind. I have a tendency to float along with the breeze, and panic as soon as the climate changes, I forget to pack my brolly and get drenched along the way, but can darn well appreciate a rainbow or a sunset. This is where my partner in crime comes in handy. He anchors me to something stable. Sure, I have a vivid imagination and can get lost up in my head at times but he gives me something to hold onto, something real and honest and strong. I'm sure I bend his mind sometimes too, who is this emotional freak? Haha! But life isn't black and white, and I sure as heck am giving him a crash course in reading between the lines.

I am a bit of a head in the clouds, nose buried in a book kind of gal. I have always enjoyed learning, a curiosity for knowledge, giving me the childhood nickname 'input'. This actually comes in handy right now! And although I love reading of exciting tales and explorations across the sea, I truly never saw myself as adventurous! And now look. My little world collides with that of a Dutch medical student. Boy, we have many differences. I like to think I am the sweet to his mean (hihi). Him, the straight talking, no bull shit, scientific minded and stubborn as hell with opinions at the ready, clever clogs doctor. Me? I studied textiles and art and costume design! I worked in theatre and ballet and play with fabric and buttons for a living. I read horoscopes, wear sparkly nail varnish, collect fairy tales and like to draw. Yeah we are pretty different! But I feel we balance each other out at times. Perhaps a spoonful of what we need.

One thing's for certain, I didn't see it coming. Before you know it, you've thrown the dice and life as you know it is gone, and there is no turning back. I wonder, every now and then, how it would have been, if we had looked at the distance, at the differences, and decided it was an effort too much... At times, we butt heads, push each other towards thinking about the 'what if', that never was, but we are like magnets drawn together. So, down the rabbit hole I tumble, phrasebook under one arm, and a tight grip on Richard's hand. I'm gonna kick this languages butt!

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  1. Tori, Tori, Tori, this was one of those rambles that just happens to fill a page! Haha! But persevere I will indeed!! Thanks for your support chicky xx

    1. It was a very good ramble :D I admire you for doing it, I am terrible with languages, so well done to you for taking that step!!

  2. what a lovely post... you write so wonderfully!

  3. Oh gosh thats really kind of you :)

  4. This is such a lovely post. I, like you, am also trying to learn a language, and I'd love to be immersed like you but I can imagine it's difficult at times. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time though.

    Hmm maybe...

  5. Oh wow, what language are you learning Emma? It is really helpful being surrounded by it as much as possible, but so far I have found practice and patience come in handy!