Tuesday, September 26, 2006

words and communication

since i'm spending a fair amount of time working on romanian, language is on my brain. which is a good thing if i actually want to learn the language. but can be frustrating. since sometimes it would be nice to be aware of other things. oh well. i have this assumption that because i am in romania, i will hear romanian. so when i hear something else it surprises me. like when teenagers get on the bus and are 'practicing their english' (and probably being 'cool' too). or when i actually listen to the words of the music that is played everywhere. often it's english. or spanish. and sometimes it's romanian. since i'm trying to listen to the romanian around me, hearing english throws me off guard. weird.

another thought about language. europeans often take opportunities (as they come) to visit other countries and other places. i assume they learn some of the language, but you can't be prepared for every situation unless you do a thorough, intensive study. so, i wonder if europeans are more accustomed to hearing various languages than americans. if i was working in a store and somebody came in who didn't speak a word of english (or maybe only two words), it would surprise me. in large cities this is less true with the immigrants from all over the world. but -- in europe it seems like people are more willing to try and communicate. pointing and using cashiers instead of just saying numbers. and since i've heard a few different languages, i can sometimes guess at least general areas people are from, which is fun. but growing accustomed to hearing a variety of languages and not always understanding will take some time.

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