Permission to sound like a three year-old

When you’re a kid no one expects you to know anything. You can just kick back, observe, be cool with the fact that you can’t understand much, and then pipe in when you can. That’s kind of what it’s like to be a non-speaker of the local language. I learned snippets of Spanish and bits of Kaqchikel , and now I’m picking up Chinese. Stuff like toast, egg, cheese, bathroom, welcome, let’s go, excuse me, how are you?. and (crucial) I don’t understand. One of my favorite words so far sounds like you’re saying “bang” with a British accent and it means “awesome”.

As someone who thinks a lot about language and conveying meaning, it’s just plain liberating to be able to walk around saying BANG! or (English translation) TOAST CHEESE EGG! New words feel good on my tongue.

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