Between cultures, between languages

European Voluntary Service is all about experiencing new things, new situations, new people. You leave your home, move to another country and start living with total strangers from different countries, some of them you have almost never even heard of  or know absolutely nothing about. For example I have heard so many times a questions like:“Where is Estonia? What is Estonia? You are a country?“. And this is the fun reality.

During the time you live with people from other countries, you have to get used to their culture, their customs and even their eating and cleaning habbits, or lack of them. And then comes the part about the language.

For the last two weeks I have been trying to take part of different language classes that my fellow Timisoara volunteers organize. I have been to every class (Italian, Spanish, French) atleast once, so I have had an interesting experience. Being an estonian, speaking estonian language and knowing almost nothing about latin languages (only heard them from telenovelas and other movie kind of things), seemed totally unimportant before. But being here, meeting those latin language people, I have been starting to think differently. It could be cool to actually learn a new language and know atleast basics of every one of them. I mean, I know it is difficult to learn a new language, but c’mon, how hard can it finally be, when you are learning them from native speakers? Well, it turns out I was wrong. That basic knowledge that I have gotten from movies doesn’t help me in any way.

Soo, French, Spanish and Italian. Can you imagine going to a language class for the beginners and finding yourself in a group of people, who are almost as advanced as the native speakers? Well, it happened to me.. in all of the classes. During all of those lessons, I was sitting there, with opened mouth, eyes as big as saucers and trying to understand .. well, atleast something! Ofcourse it is fun to try pronouncing words in french, it is interesting to try to understand anything about italian grammar rules and it is really sad to find out that mexican telenovelas only made me think that I know something in spanish.


But I can’t say that I am totally useless in the lessons, cause every class, every teacher needs atleast one class clown to make studying a little bit more fun. And though the beginning has been hard and I know that I will not learn much in one month, but I will still stay optimistic and hopeful. There comes a time, when I am able to pronounce R like a french, use Ciao, vuol prenderti un caffè con me?“  when meeting a cute guy in Italy and sing Cancion del Mariachi like a true spanish (except the actual ability to sing)!!




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