Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Language Barrier

I have been asked several times about the language barrier. Obviously David speaks Polish and that is of course helpful when we are out together. But we aren't always together. I haven't learned much Polish, but enough to get by on. I know my numbers 1-10, and can figure out some higher numbers on a good day. I can say please and thank you, hello and goodbye. Many people do speak some English, but there are still many that do not. The Poles are fairly friendly. When you enter the stores and shops they greet you with a hello, and they say goodbye when you leave. When i am ordering at a counter in a shop I can point and try to sound out the words, as most things have signs, and they are helpful. Some items are to be sold by the kilo and need to be cut and they are patient with me as i try to communicate how much i want. One time I took Savannah to the store with me, mainly to help carry a back pack of groceries home, but it turned out she was a big help, because she knew more words than I did. It helped to have her tell me how to say "more" as I was ordering sliced lunch meat.

There have been times when someone will approach me and as they are speaking to me in Polish I will tell them I do not understand and ask if they speak English. Often in these scenarios, they don't speak English, and they just keep talking to me in Polish, like I understand them. But I don't. I just try to be polite and then I carry on.

So I could and hope to learn a little more Polish, but I still venture out on my own, it is fun! Kylynn heads out on her own as well and seems to get by fine with her limited knowledge of Polish as well, although she may know more than me.

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