Saturday, November 8, 2008

Forgotten Language Barrier

Last night our friend Dylan flew in from Florence to stay for the weekend. He goes to school with us back at Champlain in Vermont and is abroad for the semester in Italy. We hung around upstairs in the boys apartment for a while just catching up and getting ready to go out (i.e. the boys bought themselves a couple of mini Heineken kegs). When we finally headed downstairs to take Dylan out on the town we ran into Rich, our nighttime doorman with a particularly thick Dublin accent.

Rich: "What's the craic?"
Dylan: "Uhh..." *smile*

Rich continued talking to some of the guys and I before heading outside for a cigarette while we waited inside for John to come downstairs. Dylan looked at me and asked "Was that English?"

Throughout the night as we walked through the streets of Dublin I kept an eye on Dylan's face. There was a look of complete awe at the fact that he couldn't understand a single word being said around him even though it was all being spoken in the same language we speak. At one point he told me even though he didn't speak any Italian before studying abroad, he could understand more Italian than he could understand English in Ireland.

I suppose after living here for just over two months the unexpected language barrier between English-speaking people has worn off. I've gotten so used to hearing thick Dublin accents that I simply don't hear them anymore, I just hear English words. The strange part about last night for me was that I never realized the adjustment until Dylan pointed it out.