What would you do if your soulmate was halfway across the globe and spoke a totally different language that you didn’t understand? Would you try to make things work and go through the daunting task of learning a new dialect , or just stop yourself before the heartbreak? I have heard of and even seen a few couples that didn’t grow up with the same mother tongue but were able to break through the barrier of translation with the power of attraction and romance. I never could understand this, but something at work helped me realize the reasons for this phenomenon.
At my job, the company hosts a lot of foreign workers. While they might understand English, I feel like the nerves of speaking in a new tongue can get their words mixed up. I give them credit though, I can barely say “Como Estas?” after nine years of Spanish.
A middle-aged woman from Japan came up to my work station and started being very friendly. She spoke English very well, but I could tell she was afraid to say the wrong thing. After asking for help, she continued small talk by questioning me about the upcoming holiday of Memorial Day. She knew what the holiday was celebrated for, but she couldn’t find the right words to convey it. While she struggled to translate in her head what she wanted to come out of her mouth, something occurred to me. I could understand actually what she was trying to convey just by her actions and facial gestures. It might have helped that she added some decent, broken English but I felt it was more than just that. I felt like I was connected to her on a humanly level.
I finally could see how people from different areas of the world were able to form a relationship with opposite cultures and languages forming barriers. As human beings, we are all connected to each other. It might not seem like it at times, but we can find commonality in one another. This has happened to me one other time in work.
At my previous job, I around a lot of co-workers from South America. There English wasn’t that great and my Spanish was atrocious. I still can’t understand how I managed to pass nine years in my foreign language course. It was strange that I found myself hanging out with them more at work than the people that actually spoke English. It didn’t matter that we had difficult comprehending one another at some points because we were able to understand each other and form close relationships. They were some of the nicest and most enjoyable people to be around in my whole life.
I think that people shouldn’t be separated in this world by their sex, religion, cultural background, or even language. We are all human beings at the end of the day and we share a deep connection to one another. While it may be difficult to understand why one person goes this way and the other one goes that way, we can all learn and grow by sharing experiences with different, diverse people. You never know, the person you feel like you are completely opposite to could turn out to be the one you care the most about in the end.