I read a sign today that said “a foreign accent is a sign of bravery”. It made me think….
This is very true! To leave the country of your birth, all those things familiar, friends and family, security etc. and move to a country that does not speak your native language, is indeed a sign of bravery. This is particularly the case for refugees, those displaced by events out of their control like war or natural disasters. They are forced to move to a new country and it must be terrifying to not be understood or know what is going on around you, let alone learning how things work in your new country.
People often tell me that I’m really brave travelling on my own, living the dream, moving to Spain etc where they do not speak English, but I don’t see it that way at all. It just reflects their fear as they can’t picture themselves taking a leap into the unknown like I do. All I see and feel is excitement and anticipation of what will happen next. But I have a choice. This is something I choose to do.
I went to bed tonight thinking about that sign I read. Please do not call me brave. I am not in that category at all.
I am finding out that learning a new language as an adult is not easy to do. I’ve had one week of school so far and I’ve crashed tonight totally exhausted by the brain drain. I keep thinking that I have the luxury of being able to afford classes. How hard would it be if you had to learn on the street without knowing the verb conjugations etc.
No, I’ve taken the easy route. I live with a Spanish friend with whom I can practise. I have paid for Spanish lessons and a local Spanish teacher. I feel for those who cannot do this.
Yes, many of those with a Spanish accent have faced enormous challenges and conquered them. We need to be more compassionate and patient with them. They are brave!!! Their courage should be admired !!!!