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grandie v met a new girl at the pool

her daddy is a soccer coach at the university

who moved here from another country

though i have no idea where

 the language that the family

spoke between them

was beautiful


 i couldn’t identify it


it was wonderful

 to watch the girls play



without any difficulty

in two very different languages

neither one speaking the other’s language


they played and played

and soon

they were singing

to each other


laughing out loud


neither seemed to

even realize or care

that they began


two different languages

they were simply

two friends

speaking a new one together.

 “the language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

henry david thoreau 


38 responses »

  1. I love your story Beth. When my wife’s son was about 4 I would take him to a local park where he would play with others kids for hours. About 1/2 were English and 1/2 French with a few other languages thrown in. They would stop and teach each other the words for each thing they came across. Fascinating process – every day they would come away from the playground knowing at least a dozen new words in another language. As they got older – in their teens – when they had so many words to say and so little time to say them in – they would switch from language to language within a conversation. When ever they came to a concept better expressed in another language,they would switch, sometimes even within a sentence. They knew the difference and could read and write and speak in one language formally but left with their friends the conversation became: “Let’s got to chez moi.”

    Great post Beth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How I wish I could spend time as a child again, yet as kids all we want to do is grow up. I thought when I was an adult I could a new dress whenever I wanted, but of course I had no concept of having to work for that dress or put gas in the car to go buy it. I envy kids. No preconceived ideas. No need to be politically correct. No racism or putting down any culture or thinking they are better than others. It is adults who teach them that. To change the world we have to teach the children. By the time they are adults they are too programmed to change – sincerely change. You can’t teach an adult to not be racist if he is – it is what is in their heart. We can’t change the cops who want to hurt people. We can’t change the prison guards who want to kick the dog and live in the world of animality. Children pick up languages because they can sense what it means. That is why we need to teach them while they are young.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello ksbeth.
    This was beautiful.
    As a language teacher myself, I often encourage my students to revert to being children, to lose their sense of embarrassment, or whatever it is that overcomes us when learning a new language as an adult, and simply try to communicate.
    If the two parties both want communication, as they did in your lovely story, then communication will happen, no matter which language they speak.
    We have so much to learn from children!
    Regards. Marie.

    Liked by 1 person

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