Languages

It’s great to have posts in other languages translated.  Some can be difficult to understand though.  Others are not translated at all. We might be all tech- wise but i know all these things take time.  I’ll enjoy what we have for now.

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“No one is an island”

Island

I am fascinated by the origin of names and faces, by this I mean I like to work  out where its owners come from. I guess there are a whole lot of people who are curious too. Whenever I go out to banks, offices  etc I never come back  without being  asked where my surname originated from and if the spelling had been changed because the name should have a ‘ski’ or something else at the end not a ‘shie’.  Can you imagine my surprise when I came face to face with the almost co- owner but whose name ended with ……’ski’.

When I say what my birth country is, the response is REALLY!!  It is followed by shock at my saying where I come from.  Then I am told nicely, may be I should consider checking into my ancestral tree because the name sounds like….Polish, South African or Zimbabwe, which are all very far from Ghana.  For me, it’s has been a fantastic means of connecting with people and a great talking point.

The best occasion was at Heathrow Airport when there was a long and amusing chat while my passport was being checked in.  Now, I have a choice of entering the hugging arms of what I call ‘honorary country families.’  I can take comfort in the fact that no one is an island in this world of ours because as I watch TV I hear languages that sound the same, names that are similar but are of different languages and with different meanings. All I can say is  “We are one people.”.

 

The Pensive Traveller

Pensive

In the train carriage sat some weary travellers all going to Germany.  The Turkish lady, a mature woman in her sixties looked pensively at her fellow travellers. The American couple, who were also in their sixties sat in the two-seater opposite her.  In the seat beside her was a young African woman.  Her fellow travellers began introducing themselves and started chatting.

They turned to her to include her in the conversation, but she only gestured with her hands to indicate she didn’t know how to speak the language.  She proceeded to take items from her bag to show them.  “This was going to be like the silent movies.” the young woman thought to herself.  There was a photo of a soldier in a German uniform, next to him a pretty lady and two children.  Pointing to herself and then the man in the photo, we understood that was her son and his family.  It was going to be a family reunion.  How lovely.  She also had a passport and an official looking letter written in German.  Suddenly she went back into that pensive place again.

Though the landscape of Belgium the train moved towards Germany.  This was no Mystery on the Orient Express but it was intriguing.  Neither was it a Eurostar with its modern  amenities.   No matter what era, the gendarmes and immigration officers never change in their thoroughness of their duty.  In they marched and checked everyone, but spent a longer time with the Turkish woman.  She couldn’t speak French or English and the officers didn’t know what to make of her and were about to take her off the train.

Luckily the young African spoke a little French and convinced the officers to see the Turkish lady’s documents and they proved to be in order and onwards went they to their destinations.