The title might sound confusing so let me give you an explanation, but first, check out this sign:
Have you ever wondered how your life would be if you didn't know how to read? Or write? We often take it for granted - heck, I know I did. I love reading, I love writing and I cannot imagine my life without it!
A few weeks ago I wanted to put up a sign outside the gate in 3 languages: English, Krio and Thimne. (Keep in mind that my native language is Hungarian.) I wrote a note in English and ran down to the hospital deck to find a translator. I bumped into a German nurse. I spoke to her briefly in German and asked for a Krio speaker. She brought one to me. I told her what I needed, she said (in English) that she could translate. But when I gave her the paper she shook her head. As it turns out she UNDERSTANDS English, SPEAKS Krio and Thimne, but CANNOT WRITE. She was around 30...
She walked away and a few minutes later came back with another day worker. That guy didn't SPEAK Thimne, but he could WRITE. They assured me all is well and I can come back in 10 minutes. I went back a bit later and there was still no progress. I asked why. They told me they needed one more person who could READ my English words... At this point I was so taken aback that I just smiled at them and said "No problem, we find somebody."
What I expected to take only 5 minutes took over 30 minutes and 3 people:
- One guy read the sentence in English
- One girl translated it to Krio and Thimne
- One guy wrote down her words.
It put things in perspective, isn't it? It sure makes me grateful that I CAN read, write and speak not only 1, but in 3 different languages...