This is a “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” type posts… as I really do want to hear your best multi-lingual story…
My most memorable multilingual experience was in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the early 1990s. I was there for an academic conference, staying with relatives and catching a bus to the campus each day…
On one bus trip, the driver had a wide smile, jovial manner and a comment or two or three for just about everyone getting on and off the bus… in different languages! By the time it he was on to the 5th language… I simply had to ask his story.
He was a refugee from Africa and picked up languages in his many years going from the land of his birth to first South Asia then several countries in Eastern Europe then Western Europe and eventually Canada. Shared it brought him pleasure to chat and tease his passengers, keeping his linguistic skills sharp while enjoying a joke or more. Those who knew him clearly appreciated the banter. Those that didn’t were startled initially – not expecting an African Canadian would speak Polish or Bengali.
Everyone left with a smile and their day was a bit brighter. Language is an amazing connection… anywhere in the world.
Now… your turn!