Saturday, October 3, 2009

the gift of language

gabriel (from the french team) apparently is a freelance translator. he's lived in japan, the UK, france, australia, and probably mongolia. we all thought it was really cool. then i realized how awesome knowing more than two languages is. tonight at dinner at carlucci's, we sat around in a circle that consisted of two danes, three french, and two americans. between all of us we spoke danish, chinese, laotian, french and english, and once in a while spoke phrases of spanish to the waiters. and though sometimes there were people who didn't quite understand what the current topic of conversation was, most of the time we'd be talking and laughing about random shit (because I had some wine and brought up very random shit) while alicia translated to the french and i translated her french into english for the danes. it was like the tower of babel, except instead of trying to reach for the sky we had sat down to dinner and accepted our differences in language, and instead explored it. at one time alexandra was writing phrases in danish on a napkin and teaching it to us line by line. we all tried to say the hard vowels with our tongues sticking out and it must have looked pretty ridiculous. but we all stared at the napkin with open eyes completely entranced in trying to pronounce every syllable. europe is pretty amazing. being in a mix of completely different cultures yet the same culture is an awesome time. benjamin (the 16 year old danish competitor) would say, "that's gangsta."

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