Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Language Challenge

IC cannot sleep last night. She was worried.

Tomorrow, a Turkish mom is scheduled to pick their group up after their school's swimming lesson.

'Papa, could you please pick me up instead?' she asked.

'Why?, O's mama would be there to pick you up,' Papa said.

'I am afraid that she would not understand me when I speak in German to her. And then she cannot drive me direct home,' IC replied.

Papa calmed her down and informed her that O's mama is the daughter of an old bank customer and that he knows her and that she could speak German because she's born in Germany.

A bit reassured, IC got to bed.

This morning, IC asked me again, 'What if it's O's papa (he's Turkish, too) would instead come to fetch us? Could he speak German, too?

I told her that it is definitely the mama who would be there as the papa would be at work by that time. And reassured her that she could also ask the help of her teacher and classmates if there's a misunderstanding or she could use her cellfon to call us.

What made her worry? A few days ago, she called up a classmate. On the other line was her classmate's Turkish mama, who spoke to her in broken German. Her classmate was not yet home. IC requested for a return call and IC's been waiting for a return call since. It turned out that the mother didn't even inform her daughter that IC called up! That caused her to worry about when learned that she is scheduled to be fetched by a Turkish mom.

German is not an easy language to learn. I have been here in Germany since 2001 and have taken German language courses but I still stumble sometimes. I ask people to correct me, to help me out in finding the right words if I stumble. I listen to the native German speakers to learn the nuances of the language better. I have even picked up the dialect. But I am still learning. Oh what fun, this language challenge!

At home, I mostly speak with the girls in English and sprinklings of Tagalog, to add more fun :-)

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