Back when I was in Elementary and going onto Middle, I was a Vietnamese-American surrounded by a very large population of other Vietnamese-Americans. I was easier back then to switch back and fourth from English to Vietnamese cause almost mt friends would understand it 100% of the time. Speaking was so much easier, talking was more fun, and speaking in a different language acted like verbal encrypted messages. But now, I’ve been thrown into a sea twice as big as this one. More cultures, more diversity, more variations, more encryptions, it was strange, to say the least.
As said by my very wise History teacher, “Highschool is the only place with so many different kinds of people.” I could only agree. There was no more “verbal encryptions” cause not everyone could understand what I was saying in Vietnamese and it was actually a lot harder to get some points across.
I mean I guess I still could have spoken in Vietnamese but that’s kind of a jerk move. Being able to speak another language not only expands your knowledge of one, you get this whole new range of vocabulary to use at your own will. I’ve read stories about how polyglots would switch languages in the middle of their sentences just to better explain something. That is honestly, one of the coolest things in the world.
The English language is very wide-ranged, but not even this language has every word needed to survive life. In fact, there’s probably no language in the world that can contain every word needed. When you can speak multiple languages, it’s pretty noticeable when that second language slips into your primary. But when someone actually understands that second language, Oohh Man, do the doves fly and sing.
Even better though, is when your friends or classmates have a different mother language then you, and then they start using their mother’s language in their speech. In my case it would be Korean. I’ve learned so many little bits and words, here and there just by listening to my friends. And those words that I’ve learned are either much simpler than the American variation, or they are merely unique words that exists no where else. Here’s some examples:
- Shemomedjamo: You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, “I accidentally ate the whole thing.
- Pelinti: Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an “aaaarrrahh” noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”
- Komorebi: The sunlight that filters through the leaves or trees.
Wong Fu Productions is a fairly popular film-making team on youtube. They’re newest video, “Komorebi” talks about how words can have so much meaning, but in the end, words cannot explain everything.
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