Lost In Relation

| Related | February 5, 2014

(Our family is from several different races and heritages who speak a variety of languages. My parents and I, who live in China, are visiting family in the UK. All of us speak English so that is our main language of communication.)

Uncle: *in English* “It’s great to see you again.” *in Irish* “How are you doing?”

Me: *in English* “Great to see you, too. What else did you say?”

Uncle: *in English* “Oh, you don’t speak Irish.” *in French* “How are you doing?” *in English* “You speak French right?”

Me: *in French with incorrect grammar* “I don’t speak well. I’m doing fine.”

Cousin #1: *in Japanese* “Do you speak Japanese?” *in English* “Japanese?”

Me: *in English* “Uh, can’t speak that.”

Cousin #2: *in Cantonese* “Cantonese, right?”

Mom: *in Cantonese* “I can speak Cantonese. But Mandarin is better for my husband and daughter.”

Uncle: *in Mandarin* “Mandarin is hard.”

Aunt #1: *in Mandarin* “Not for me. I speak Mandarin fine.” *in Taiwanese* “Do you speak Taiwanese too?”

Dad: *in Mandarin* “Was that Taiwanese? We can’t speak it. My brother does though.” *in French* “Oh, and my French is okay, but I rarely use it.”

Aunt #2: *in English* This is very interesting. What languages do we all speak? I speak English, Irish, some French, some Japanese, some Thai.”

Me: *in Thai* “Hello! Goodbye! Thank you! Please! Good morning!” *in English* “That’s pretty much all I know.”

(We spent most of our time practicing and learning languages together. Among all of us, we spoke 13 different languages. All of us were only fluent in one to three but we spoke a few more languages with varying degrees of fluency ranging from just a few words to intermediate.)

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