Being at University reminded me of something. It reminded me that there is more to the world than just the folks in the island of Montreal. It reminded me that are more languages than just English and Le Français.During my first year at Concordia, I met a lot of people of whom were from outside of Montreal and sometimes from outside of Canada. While they shared the common language of English, they also each had a vast knowledge of another language or two.
Among my friends were 我的中国朋友. They were from different parts of 中国, but shared the same language whereas I did not, despite calling myself 中国人.
While speaking in English, they often asked why I did not speak the language. Jokingly, I would say that I never fully learned, or that I was never taught how to speak. Puzzled, they continued their conversations in 中文.
On a more serious note, it reminded me of how language can create such a strong barrier between people. For me, it create a barrier between most 中国人 as well as many of my relatives. It reminded me that there is always the possibility that they could have a conversation about me without my knowing.
To learn a language takes time; I know all too well. However, time is becoming more and more precious as time takes away health points for many precious family members.
As it stands, I have a partial, maybe a fraction, of an understanding for the language; nowhere near enough to understand even a part of a text/conversation. To listen is to take in remaining precious moments. To learn is to expand on knowledge. To connect is to treasure the moments before they disappear for life.