I was talking to a customer at work who is from Portugal, and we got talking about communication and languages. I commented on how well his English is, considering he knew no English when he came to the country.
I mentioned how I have tried learning Spanish 3 times, but I can never seem to pick up the language. What he said to me has made me start to look at communication in a different light. He said to keep my mind open, and to stop trying to translate while learning a new language. His example was that an eftpos card is now called a ‘pepe’. No reason why, it just is. But calling it something different doesn’t change what it is, an eftpos card will always be an eftpos card, no matter what someone calls it.
I have been trying to adopt this way of thinking since our talk, and I am beginning to see things in a new light. I have also managed to learn to say Hello, Good morning, Good afternoon, Goodnight, and How are you, in Spanish. It may be small, but it’s a giant step for me.
It has been a real eye opener.