I must admit, I’m more than a little in awe of people who are fluent in more than one language. I took a few years of French in high school then a couple of years of Italian in college – both romance languages, and both fairly useless in America.
On the plus side, I’ve been lucky enough to visit each of those countries once and was able to limp by on my remedial language skills. (Even when confronted late at night in the Paris subway by a very irate [sounding] police officer. Word to the wise: hold onto your ticket the entire time you’re down there. But I digress.)
But to claim fluency in either French or Italian would be like saying I make the perfect soufflé because I can follow a recipe: a tiny bit of truth mixed with a whole lot of hyperbole.
The only language I speak fluently is English, although I’ve found that particular situations greatly influence my level of competency. In my native language. Go figure.
Molecular biology, computer coding, plant and grass maintenance, engineering, the physics of golf, the intricacies behind fees/rates of return/compounded interest/savings bonds (sorry, BrightSide)…all areas in which language fails me. People start jabbering on about any one of these and I’m all “What the eff are you going on about? I’m not getting a word of this; let’s get a pizza. And wine.”
Now…creative writing, discussing fiction, baking, soccer, movies (as long as they’re not in a foreign language and subtitled), dogs, the intricacies of English grammar and colloquialisms, insurance companies, medical claims, EOBs, and Apple computers…these I’ve got. They’re in my wheelhouse, so to speak. The language is less – well – Greek to me.
Still. Speaking that second (or third) language sure would come in handy.
Linda’s weekly Stream of Consciousness prompt brings together bloggers for some wordy fun. This week’s prompt is “language.”