Monday, October 15, 2012

Speaking Languages



For week three of the Express Yourself Meme, they asked, "What language would you like to speak, and why?"

My answer to that is Polish. And here's why:

This is my Babcia (pronounced Bop-Cha, basically):
:
Isn't she adorable?

She is my grandmother on my mother's side of the family. As previously stated, I met her very late in life. By the time I was actually standing awkwardly in the same room with her, she'd had several strokes. She could walk, but it was incredibly slow, and her memory was being lost by the day.

Currently, she rocks out in a nursing home in Massachusetts. I haven't seen her in about two years (three, maybe?) The last time I saw her, she was in a wheelchair, withering down to skin and bones. She repeated questions like, "How is your mother?" "How is Jacci?" and she talked about her husband who's been dead longer than I've been alive. Now she is usually in a wheelchair, she can barely feed herself, and she watches reruns of I Love Lucy or whatever else is on the television.

Because her mind has regressed so substantially, I can say few words to her in her own tongue, How are you? and I love you. Her mind carries her native language, and I, as a product of the melting pot of America, have lost my cultural identity. My mother, formerly bi-lingual, also fails from time to time to remember a Polish word. She never taught her children how to speak another language (it's something I'm incredibly bitter with).

At some point in life, I would like to study Polish, to learn the language of my family. Sadly, I don't think I'll learn enough of the language fast enough to be able to have a coherent conversation with my babcia, but at least I'll know that that grain of culture resides in me, somewhere.

For now...It's English for me. (I'm so uncultured).

21 comments:

  1. I know a little French. From a practical side, Spanish would be nice to know. But from a fun side, Italian maybe.

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    1. I don't know any French (other than "My name is..") and I learned some Spanish when I made friends with people from Ecuador, but really...I know English...

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  2. Aww she definitely cute and reminds me of my German grandmother on my fathers side that knew very little english. She would get mad at me when I ignored her because I couldn't decipher her German into English.

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    1. Aww! For awhile she was pretty decent with English, but as the years have been wearing on, it's been harder and harder to talk to her.

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  3. Even being able to say a couple sentences is wonderful. I find Polish difficult because it's so different than English. I learned German because of my grandmother on my mother's side. She and my aunts would tell each other 'secrets' we kids weren't allowed to hear in German. Drove me crazy, so I took German in highschool and it shot off from there :)

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    1. I started learning German in high school because someone (my sister, I think) told me that it was close to Polish...they're both really hard, but still fun.

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  4. I don't think speaking only English means your uncultured. It just means you have a different culture. I'm sure your grandmother appreciates what you can/do say. And if you really want to, you can learn.

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    1. True, but no where around here teaches it, and Rosetta Stone scares me, lol

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  5. Your Babcia is adorable! Thanks for sharing this. Both of my G-ma's passed away so things like this touch my heart. :)

    Thanks for participating in the meme!

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    1. I'm sorry about your g-mas. I never got to meet my gma on my dad's side, so this one was like finding gold :)

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  6. She looks like such a sweetheart. I would love to learn more languages as well. I feel like am impostor when I say "Gracias" or even "Ahola." I need to get over that.

    Enjoy your time with your Babcia. :)

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    1. I think it's fun to greet people in other languages. I say "Hola!" a lot, and sometimes drop a "Guten tag!" It's fun, keeps people on their toes. Don't stop :)

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  7. Polish, wow! That's a different answer, but so cool. Your grandmother looks like a cool lady ;)
    Ninja Girl

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  8. Polish is a very different answer, but I can understand why you would like to learn it.

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Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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