It has been always a challenged for me to learn another language to be able to communicate better since, I came from a European based BPO in Makati, in there we are calling countries such as France, Belgium (which I live in now), Spain, Portugal, Poland, Italy and many other more. I only then learn to use google translate to ask if the person on the other side of the line speaks English.
I was familiarized with the business establishments we are calling then and now knowing them as I live now, here in Belgium, they are mainly small businesses like pharmacies, barber shops, night shops and worst, sex shops. It is funny after all the years of getting used to hearing European accents, I now must live with their language and learn it. I remember, it was a very beautiful autumn 2014 I arrived here in Belgium.
As I only have in my pocket words like “merci”, “parlez vous anglais” and nothing more. I intended to learn French as my husband is French-speaking pinoy. November the same year I was sent off for a French beginner examination in Brussels. Since, commuting is very comfortable here, taking the metro was not a problem. The language is.
Here’s what I have learned after juggling to learn multiple languages and the wisdom of fulfilment:
1.Kick that start
Beginning my day, with a different smell, environment, people with so many faces. I said to myself “Oh boy! How could I start speaking French.” Mainly, Belgian like speaking English too I insist with my bad French to speak and communicate and it was probably the best way of immersing myself in the language itself, by speaking and using it. My face was blank during the first day of class. My only hope is my teacher was good in sign languages and facial expressions to get his point of dialogue. So, I say, okay! I am on your game. Days go by and I am slowly learning my way and twang in French, and loving the culture too! Every night during dinner time, my husband will ask me what did I learned for the day and he has started speaking French with me 2 hours every night. I learned! I only then have to stop after realising I hate my level 5 professor due to hormonal imbalance. I was pregnant! I can say I made a progress.
2.Be Ready for NEW things
After, enjoying my French class, the government have sent a mail that I had to learn Dutch. Oh no! I don’t want to do it and I hate it. I was focused on my one language and I am okay with it. But, Belgium is a very small country with 3 official languages. I had to do it hand in hand with my integration class. I had no choice but do it, otherwise, I would be fined and pay for not doing it. Horrible but I decided to take it since level 1 and 2 are only the required ones I said why not. After that, I will not be doing any further Dutch lesson. Time goes by and Laia was born, I received an invitation to take an examination for a scholarship program given by the government to workless foreign speakers to look at works in the health sector, choosing to become a nurse or a caregiver. They have 5 months of intensive Dutch or should I say Netherlands (because Vlaams would not like to be called their language Dutch). So…. I took the opportunity after 3 months giving birth I was off for another challenge, I say I could learn it and I am open to change. But, real life will give us all the possibilities to discover what we really meant on this world.
3.Failed to rise
After the 5 months language class, I continued at the Hogeschool (college here), to study nursing. I did training at home for the aged, hospitals, I like helping people. I felt privileged to take this opportunity to study here in Europe but, simply nursing is not for me. I admire people who can take the stress, sadness of old people ending lives, but I saw hope. I saw another chance to take on what I really want to do in my life. A dream that has always been my dream aside from having a family as my greatest gift. I don’t want to forget that I want to write, blogs, books, inspire people, share the skills I have to blessed other people. I failed my nursing course with 5 out 31 exams I failed. My language level is not that high to take this job, the school says to me. I came home broken-hearted that day and all summer when people asked me why and I started again to tell them the story I can’t help but saying “sayang naman”. My hope has begun to rise when I started listing things I like to do, things I am good at. This helped me fixed my broken heart and move to next step up to rise! Yes, my hopes raise like skyscrapers again! The ability to stand again is impossible without the people around me, I won’t be able to make it without them. My husband, my daughter. And friends who believe!
At the end of the day, I did not lose anything from failing my nursing course. I win, chances to be who am I that I wanted to be. Where I excel and I am good at. The adventures begin again now, at this moment foreseeing the future. Then I made this blog to become my writing cocoon. Now, I have something I can call my own. I have learned the languages (French and Netherlands) which I am freely using here in Belgium, I have a way to use both whenever I like it. I will help me in
future with things like helping Laia at school, home administration, learning so many other stuff I could learn.
Life is made of choices and our choices become buy the product of who we are becoming in the future. It constructs who we really are inside our hearts. As I always insist saying, living life fully is not having all materials things we WANT that we don’t NEED. But, fulfilling the desires of our hearts. My desire is to write, what is yours? ©
Enjoyed the post 😊
Thank you for reading!
That’s awesome! I’m so overwhelmed by the idea of learning another language so it’s currently on my list of things to do once the kids are in college, hahaha!
I’ve always wanted to freshen up on my spanish but starting again is scary. I loved this post!
It was very scary at the start, and still my brain have to work extra more while speaking to native speakers. Thank you for reading!
I love learning new languages. I know a little Spanish and French is my primary language.
Ohhhh, nice, it was hard for the start, mais maintenant tout vas bien! Merci pour votre temps! <3
Learning an new language sound overwhelming enjoyable! I’ve been trying to learn a little bit of everything. Thank you for the post!
Great Post! I took French in high school, but have realized that knowing Spanish would have a lot more benefits. It’s scary thinking of learning a new language when I’m in my 30’s!
My mother lived in Paris and went to grad school there. She said it was really hard going to school using her second language, but it made her fluent.
It is such an advantage to know different languages. I had to learn English as my first laungage is português. But this was when I was still very young. Its always an advantage to know different languages .
I have such a fear or of learning a new language it keeps me from traveling. I need to overcome this as I want to travel to Europe so bad.
I always worry about having to learn a new language but don’t think it would be easy at my age! I admire those who can do. I think if I had to learn it just for fun, I’d be ok. For example, if I am just learning from friends and not formally.
I always feel in awe of people who are bilingual! Its something that I have always wanted to be able achieve! After reading your post I feel inspired to take learning a new language seriously. If you really want something you can achieve it, as you have proven. Well done you for persevering!
Great read! I always find it fascinating when people are bilingual (or even more for that matter!). I took 3 years of French in High school along with some Spanish but could never get fluent enough to uphold a conversation. It got even worse once I started to mix French with Spanish on accident 😂
Wow mastering some foreign languages is a dream! With that, getting acquainted with related cultures is comprehended too.. It will sharpen our social sensitiveness and broaden our horizon…
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