Foreign Language

I use the English language, even though those in Great Britain or elsewhere may argue that I abuse the English language. So from my perspective someone that uses a language like Spanish, Greek, Swahili, etc… is using a foreign language. In most instances we have word meanings that are the same, but use different words for that meaning. As a result we don’t communicate well. Everything other than the most simple thoughts is lost between us.

Those French people have a different word for everything – Steve Martin

In this situation you expect the communication to be difficult. You extend more courtesy. You assume them to be intelligent, they are just using different words. You seek something, anything, in common upon which you can build.

Then you encounter someone that is using words that are familiar and comfortable for you. You believe you understand what they are saying. It becomes foreign, however, when you begin to realize what they are communicating. You can’t understand why someone would believe what they are saying to you. You can’t imagine that someone would use the words which you are familiar in this way. They have hooked words together to convey a thought that is foreign to you.

If this someone is just a chance encounter we can discount them and move on. We tell ourselves there is no reason why what they believe should affect me. This situation is different when this someone is a friend, family member, or an associate. Particularly when we know this someone well, or we thought we did before they started speaking this foreign language.

What do you do when you encounter someone that speaks a “foreign” language?


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