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Be from where you are and find friends in other places!
 by Mary Foran

“Catastrophizing” is contagious…! With a Constitution behind you, differences can be worked through and opposing factions civilized.

Language differences can be overcome with a “main” and “secondary” idiom. The main language is the one spoken at home, within “the family unit”. That language may spread out to friends and the community.

Speaking a language is just not the same as writing in your own language, which is why Education and Teaching are so very, very important.

You can have all the Degrees in the World of Education that are possible, and make absolutely no logical sense at all, so beware of “false prophets” in the process.

“Welcome” in different languages

If you learn “The Basics” first in one language, and then try on another language, and then another and another and so on, it will make much more sense to your psyche than trying to learn it all at once. You need a basic foundation and identity to keep your psychological head on straight, and know who you are and where you “come from”.

Some people actually can’t speak at all. They are technically referred to as “APHASIC”! Not being able to speak does not mean they are simply a retrasado mental. On the contrary!

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste”, said the old refrain. Wasting minds on vacuousness and hatreds among linguistic groups is so counter-productive, wouldn’t you say? Try some “lengua” for dinner!

Now, ahem, bilingualism is possible, yes, but why fry your brains?  Be from where you are and find friends in other places!

We are all truly individuals, stamped by our own heritages. A tripping tongue can be as false as a lie.

Linguistic ability is the greatest of skills, but the narration can be skewed. “Medida”, the famous Medieval “Misura” is required in all intellectual pursuits, including “tongue acquisition”. Sure, in Europe, the languages cross all borders, but that is true of the rest of the world as well. Nobody, it seems, stays in one place anymore!

Rally for independence in Catalonia: It seems the linguistic repression during the Franco dictatorship has much to do with the Catalan “hard feelings”

In America, as in “The EE.UU”, English dictates, while other languages agitate to be spoken and heard. Many languages have been absolutely lost or almost obliterated here as the first generation tries very hard to “assimilate”. That’s a fact of life and some would say “The American Way”. Our Cousins the Canadians, for example, have long ago figured out a Francophone Province called Quebec, and managed so far to keep it within their National Borders. Spain could look to that political adventure as a model for getting over all the fuss and bother and creating a spirit of linguistic and cultural adaptation without too many “hard feelings”.

The United States is currently facing the most recent of its difficult times in its tumultuous history.

“Made in America” is the battle cry to somehow get the country back on economic track for ourselves and as an engine of progress for the world. It seems in the face of it somewhat a throwback to isolationism, but in reality it is an effort to re-group and move forward, “one for all and all for one”.

As Guidepost articles have shown, Americans have a great curiosity about the world, and Spain in particular (all that sun, sand and surf, tapas, paella, tortilla española, Flamenco, castillos, horchatas, los toros, Gaudi, Picasso, and need I go on?). Just the artistas themselves are gems! Americans, like people around the world, love to discover and explore, as much as the Spanish and other peoples have done in history and the present. People are just darn curious about people, and that curiosity can never be tamped down, except by artificial means.

Graffiti on the Mexican side of the wall in the Heroica Nogales City that separates Mexico from the States

Trying to stop people from talking with each other is like trying to stop a waterfall from flowing; it can be done, but at great expense and at the expense of a great photo!

So speak with each other in your own languages and speak to others in theirs, and we will most certainly get along much, much better “as time goes by”…

P.S. I haven’t learned sign language yet, but I’m thinking about it! Is there yet a universal one?


> Featured image/Ron Mader, CC BY-SA2.0.  (“A lot of tourists have a consumer attitude — what can I get, instead of what can I learn. We have to put aside our own cultural biases and learn as much as possible from the people we visit. I find that if you stay long enough, learn the language, you get a sense of who locals are as people,” Clay Hubbs, publisher of Transitions Abroad, quoted in Rethinking Tourism.)
> “Welcome”/Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA2.0
> Catalonia/Jordi Payà, CC BY-SA2.0
> Mexico-US wall/Jonathan McIntosh, CC BY2.0
> Sign language/daBinsi, CC BY2.0 


About Mary

Born in Seattle, WA, U.S.A., and a graduate of the University of Oregon in Spanish and General Literature, Mary lived in Madrid, Spain during the 80s, a period in Spanish history which became known as “The Transition”. She taught English as a Foreign Language, and worked as Managing Editor of the Guidepost when it was still a weekly print publication. She did a stint on Spanish Foreign Radio and Radio Cadena, and corresponded for a Financial Times of London newsletter. She still has ties to Spain, loves the people and the country, and has great hopes for the future!