Language Barriers and Me
by Carmen Marra…
I have always been fascinated by language. I enjoyed learning French so much at school that I decided to pursue a Modern Language degree (German and French) at University, which turned out to be an interesting and rewarding experience in itself.
I currently speak 4 languages and would be more than willing to learn a new one or two (actually I am currently considering Italian and Mandarin but that’s a story for another day!)
Anyway, my own experience of language barriers stems from when I went to live in Germany as part of my Modern Language degree. As far as I was concerned from my previous two years of learning the language inside out i.e. grammar, pronunciation, culture etc, I was more than prepared to start speaking fluent German when I got to Germany. Imagine my horror and embarrassment on arriving at Frankfurt airport and being asked questions to find that I didn’t understand a word that was being said! With my personal experience I can confidently say that being multilingual is a distinct advantage in today’s society. During my stay in Germany I also realised the importance of Professional Translation and its use in a foreign country.
What language was this? Was it the same? And why were they speaking so fast? Also, much of what they said sounded grammatically incorrect and strange. How was I going to live in this country for a year, go to University, to the shops, pay my bills? I was in a panic!! During your stay in a foreign country I will always advice people to stay in touch with a reliable translation agency for translation and interpretation purposes?
I resolved however that I was going to learn the language and do it fast, as well as learn as much about the culture as possible. It took a lot of work and I watched a lot of TV and spent a lot of my time listening to conversations, using sign language and a lot of reading.
I soon of course discovered that the language teaching back home had been very grammar based but most people spoke colloquially – hence the initial language barrier and that by keeping my sentences simple I could communicate effectively.
Finally half way through my stay in Germany, do you know when I realised that I had finally cracked it? It was when I had dream and my whole dream was in German!
That was when I knew I had finally arrived!!
Posted on May 23, 2012, in About Life, Culture, Translation News and tagged Culture, Frankfurt, Germany, Languages, Life, Professional Translation, Translation Agency, Translation Services. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.