I struggle on an almost daily basis with the language barrier.
Now you may be fooled into thinking that this is simply a vague metaphor…a creation of our imagination to describe a certain feeling, when we cannot deliver our thoughts to another human. Well I can tell you now that the language barrier, is so very real – although I’d probably describe it as a language battering ram, if anything! As it hits me with such force, and leaves me very, very confused…with no idea what to do next…
I’m trying my best to learn Korean, but it is all happening very slowly…I need someone to constantly lie to me, you know…tell me I am amazing even though I am terrible, otherwise I just feel like setting myself on fire in protest. Or at least ripping up the book, and quitting.
I remember one time I spent ten minutes, trying to get the Korean pronunciation for syrup right in a cafe…sheerop, shurop, sherrup, shar…errr…in the end I just pointed, and smiled. The lady immediately understood: “ahhhhh, shueropu?” Yeah, sure. Whatever. Urghhh!
It certainly makes me thankful for being back in the UK, where I can freely speak English without the language battering ram smashing into my face – reminding me how stupid I am, and how my pronunciation makes me sound “like a crazy alien” (actual quote from a bemused Korean guy).
Funnily enough, I have just read a story on this subject which intrigued me a lot! You see apparently a young man was in some kind of horrific accident…the news said it was a car crash, but we know that we can’t ever fully trust the news – what is more likely is that it was the language battering ram! The reason I say this is that the guy woke up from a coma, and for some bizarre reason he found he could speak fluent Chinese. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?! And now he is working over there on television! I mean, I wish my Korean tutor would have told me it was that easy!!!!
I have to run, I am off to play in traffic! Wish me luck!