Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Language Barrier

  I promise a very long post about my first few days in Israel and Europe…but first: The Language Barrier....
If I had to describe my Hebrew, I would say that it was good enough to start Rabbinical School, but nothing to write home about. Normally I am able to find other words for what I want to say [example: instead of asking them to "split the check", I told the guy that "we did not want to pay together" which as far as I know, uses more words], which makes me long winded but you can comprehend me.  This language barrier is expected, and is a chance to grow my Hebrew skills. 9 times out of 10 the person I am talking to is more then willing to listen to my 7-year-old-sounding Hebrew and respond slowly so I can catch what they are saying. Sometimes they laugh and say in English "you want to practice your Hebrew, I want to practice my English", and we have conversations each of us hearing the language that is native to us, and speaking a foreign tongue. It is sometimes frustrating when I forget a word that I know because I have not used it in awhile, and sometimes I do just want to default to English, but I am trying and that is what I suppose counts.

That is also not the language barrier I am talking about. Nor am I talking about my feeble attempts to remember High School Spanish, or how lost I was in Italy. No, I am talking about the language barrier between me and my washing machine.

I woke up my first morning back from Europe with more laundry then I knew what to do with, and set about the task of starting it right away. I rolled out of bed and went over to the laundry nook, where to my shock, the washing machine was written in.....GERMAN. I expected English, I 1/2 expected Hebrew, but German? I got my landlord to show me how to work the machine, but I have no clue what cycle my clothes are actually being washed on. I just throw everything in and pray to God it all comes out okay.

I promise a post about Europe and some of the more serious things I have been ruminating about, however I felt like that story needed to be shared.


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