“Your Kyrgyz is very good.” “You understand very well but they won’t understand you.” “You don’t speak with an accent.”
These are all expressions that I’ve received recently regarding my language and they’ve come from different sets of people. So sometimes I wonder why it is that people I don’t interact with on a daily basis understand me really well and those that I do interact with daily don’t. Language is such a vital part to any volunteer’s life and yet it can also be a source of worry and strife. It can be extremely frustrating when you can’t really explain yourself, or there is a lack of words to truly describe what you want to say- such is the case with Kyrgyz. Yet, locals don’t really understand it and so they often get more frustrated when you can’t clearly communicate; it, at times, is a very vicious circle.
Yet, for me, it seems that my Kyrgyz is really good, from what I’ve been told, but yet don’t understand why certain people have such a hard time with me. Maybe it’s the accent, maybe my sentence structure, who knows, but it’s interesting. I can communicate effectively most of the time and even discuss health terms usually. So I feel good about my language and where it’s at. This is why I’ve started the hard task of learning Russian, which is so incredibly hard. But, I’ve set a goal that I want to reach when I COS so hopefully I’ll make it. After my time here I’ve learned really how important language can be and how much it can help with life. We are made to communicate and we all have different forms. So understanding that form only enhances life. Language is life.