Language Barrier

28 Jan

I cant believe that the second week of classes are almost over. It has gone by so quickly. I am starting to feel like I have so much that I want to do that I don’t even know if 4 months is going to be enough to do it.

I booked my flight for spring break yesterday, I am so excited- I am going to Spain with a few friends that I have met over here. And Rome is next weekend. There are so many other places I want to go to! When my brother Rich comes to visit we going to Paris. I would also love to go to: Sicily, Cardile (Italy), Milan, Amsterdam, London, and Greece. Haha we will see though- like I said, I feel like I may have overestimated the amount of time that I have to do things here.

I am enjoying living in a home stay very much. It is very interesting to see the way that the people live here. Sometimes little things are hard for me to understand though. Mostly because of the language barrier that is most definitely still there. I really like my host mom’s son, Jacopo. He is 25 years old and he goes to college in Florence. When I asked him if he worked as well as going to school he replied, “kind of, I play soccer.” I told him how in America we call that a scholarship, when you play a sport and your school in a way pays you. Then Jacopo explained to me how he doesn’t play for his school, he plays professionally for Pisa, Italy’s team. Which I think is really impressive. He asked me if I wanted to go to meet his friends this weekend and I am actually kind of excited to. At the same time I am nervous though- it is hard for me to keep up with the Italians when they speak. Because they speak so quickly a lot of times I cant understand what they say. And sometimes I don’t even have to vocabulary to respond correctly. Luckily Jacopo speaks English I guess. Haha he said he would be my translator.

Living in a household with people that speak another language fluently has given me a very different perspective on people that have the courage to come into another culture. It is definitely not a good feeling to be sitting in a room with people and not fully understand what they are saying.  It is lonely almost. I feel like it is impossible to fully become a part of things without knowing the cultures language. It kind of makes me think about all of the people that have come to Purdue from another country. So often I just thought they were shy, stuck up, or even just disinterested. But being here has made me realize maybe they just simply didn’t know the words to speak.

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