Friends with Languages
Amico, ami, amigo, dost, vriend, freund, cara, jingu and arkadas. Language lovers would have already recognised the meaning of these words. Today’s multicultural work environment is quite fascinating. I work at a London based Translation agency where my colleagues come from different countries and speak different languages. Being an Indian I believed I knew everything about Languages. After all I come from a land where over 200 languages are spoken. I have lived in England for nearly three years and have met people from different cultures and societies. I have friends who come from Italy, Spain, China, Bulgaria, France and Nigeria. English is often described as a very funny language. But I never forget to thank the Romans and the French who travelled to England centuries ago and discovered this great language.
I am sure I would have struggled to make so many friends from different nationalities if not for my ability to speak the English Language. But let’s not get too carried away. Each and every language is equally important. Coming back to my Friends…we recently visited the famous Wimbledon Tennis tournament in London and enjoyed our day out. However I still remember the funny moments we had during our visit. Imagine an Indian, French and Italian speaking English in their accents. Well it can get really funny. Because remember neither’s first language is English. For example my Bulgarian friend likes the Sunshine and hot weather. But we all know the English weather and always wonder why the ‘Sun’ never shines over this great country of England. So I told her how India is always so hot and if she visits India she might actually get ‘bored’ of the Sun. Here is where the different ‘accents’ come in to picture. She heard ‘bored’ as ‘burnt’ and my Italian friend heard it as ‘bowled’. We all cracked up.
Friends from different cultures and religions make this bond of ‘Friendship’ even stronger. Imagine you have so much to talk about…like different festivals, culture, religion, crowd, transport, economy and my favourite topic ‘Food’. I would imagine people from the western countries find the Indian culture intriguing. But when I tell them about the Indian population and how crowded the place is they look at me with a sense of disbelief. Once I was talking to my friend from Somalia and jokingly told her how proud I am to have friends from different countries who speak different languages. But when I look back at that conversation I actually realise I was not wrong. I do love my ‘Multicultural Friends’.