It was nice outside last Saturday so we headed outside to the park where we were joined by several other foreigners who were enjoying the weather beside a group of elderly and somewhat intoxicated Korean men playing Yoot… a typical spring Saturday in Seoul. There were foreigners from the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, England, Mongolia, and Australia and we were all conversing in our native tongue: English. Thinking back, what to an unknowing passerby (especially to a non English-speaking gentleman or lady) would seem like a gathering of identical English speakers, had turned into quite an eclectic group of expats. Each of us, besides sharing the same language, were from completely different parts of the globe, brought up immersed in entirely distinct cultures… and yet we were conversing as neighbors that have known only one town would.
We talked about all things without pause. There was no need to clarify meaning because we all understood each other perfectly well! South Africa, New Zealand, England, United States, every hemisphere connected in a peaceful web of total connection in language. Of course this makes one wonder about the wars have been caused simply by discrepancies in language and whether or not a single world language would really be a loss to humanity. However, what has been on my mind for the last couple days was an exchange between myself and an Englishman. As Spanish from Spain is to a Chilean, so too is English from England to an American: seasoned and distinguished-sounding, ancient and beautiful. Continue reading