“…other foreigners will learn the trade language, but not [the heart language.]”
In November Elizabeth & I began learning K-language. Starting to learn a new language has been really challenging, but well worth it. One of the biggest challenges with learning this language is that each village speaks a slightly different dialect of K-language. Our first language helper is from a different village than the one that we’re living in now. So we’re having to “relearn” some words so that we’ll know the dialect of the people that we’re living with. Thankfully even though the dialects are different they are similar enough that people from different villages can still communicate.
One of the rewards of learning K-language is it has helped to develop deeper relationships with people here. K-language is our house helper’s mother tongue. Every morning when we greet her with “Tum kass cha?” (How are you?), her whole face lights up and she laughs with delight at hearing her own language.
The people who live in the village have told us that other foreigners will learn the trade language, but not K-language. All of this reminds me of the importance of communicating with people in their mother tongue.