Allo? That’s how you answer the phone if you’re in My Country, or if you’re in the US and someone from My Country calls you! And on Monday, by 8:30am I had received two phone calls from there, one in Jula and one in French. I was getting ready to go to a meeting, but had to keep taking breaks to babble away in those other languages. It’s good that my brain is used to jumping languages now!
My first call from My Country, a few weeks ago, caught me off guard. The number wasn’t saved on my phone, and a brief glance at the caller ID showed me that it was a local person calling, so I answered in English. When she spoke French, I switched, though I couldn’t yet figure out who it was or what country they were in. After a bit I realized that it was a friend I know in My Country. After our short conversation I re-looked at the number on caller ID – the country code was very similar to the local area code, so I had missed that they were calling from My Country and not from just down the street. Oops! Talk about making it confusing! 🙂
On the phone and through lots of texts aren’t the only ways I’ve used my language this month while I’ve been in the US. I’ve also talked French with a few friends from church. But it was most fun the day I went to the State Fair and found a guy selling things from West Africa. I saw from his merchandise what country he was from, so I started talking to him in Jula. It took him a second or two to realize that I was talking his language, then we carried on a nice conversation. But in his country, to be honest, they don’t speak Jula, but it’s basically the same language and we could totally understand each other. How fun!
And yes, when I wrote this post it was 9:30am and I hadn’t spoken anything except for English yet. But I have received a text in French and responded in French and Jula. Does that count?