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How many languages can you speak?

19 Mar

It seems these days, perhaps as I am based in multicultural Canada, most people can at least manage the basics of three or four languages. For myself English is my native language with a dash of french (Enchanté, comment allez vous? -Tres bien merci et vous?) but lets face it as I am from western Canada it is pretty limited (we are a shame!).

Climbing up a few years from elementary french I find myself in a relationship with a non-Canadian (see multicultural – Russell Peters once said and I quote “one day we will be a world of beige”). Turkish. Now my lovely boy has been in Canada for the past eight years yet his entire family is still in Turkey. So guess what?! No english speakers aside from one cousin! It is such an english speaking world that when us so called english people travel or meet other people we almost rudely expect them to know basic english. Yet when I went to Turkey this past year no one understood me! Alas I was not in Istanbul and around people used to tourists we were in off the grid cities.

This could be considered a most major of topics when dating someone from a different background. I want greatly to get to know his family on an intimate level, and though staying with his parents for two weeks gave me a kind of nurtured feeling it was limited due to language. How am I supposed to charm and sparkle in the eyes of this mans mother?

I embark. Time to pull up my socks and learn to speak Turkish. I have fantasies of being out in public and having my own secret language with lovely boy where nobody understands us and is jealous of our ability to communicate. Visions of being able to learn a new language so fast and fluent because my brain must be so smart and capable (though slightly unchallenged).

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA… etc…   

It is hard to teach a thirty year old new tricks, yes? Truthfully I am having a lot of fun with this, and I am super good at remembering words (like hundreds). Not so good at grammar and forming coherent sentences long enough to hold down an enjoyable conversation (awkward silence is great fun). I pick it up (my computer program) for a few weeks, learn some new phrases and words, and get distracted for a few more dropping my enthusiasm. Yet always come back to learn more I want to master this new language, to be proud and talk to my extended family, with a touch more dedication I bet I can do this!

So Merhaba (hello) Gule gule (good-bye) ve (and) Ben su istiyorum (I want some water) the list goes on and on my friends, do share!