Saturday, July 21, 2012

Separated by a common language

Just back from a trip to Toronto!

Had a great time visiting the Bata Shoe Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, dining with friends, catching what breezes we could on rooftop bars (in the middle of a heat wave), and walking, walking, walking!

Being in English-speaking Canada as an American really makes you realize how very important it is to communicate clearly! Yes, we speak the same language, with more or less the same accent (I grew up on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, after all). But I found I needed to listen closely to actually hear what is being said. Spoken Canadian, after all, can be different from spoken Mid-Atlantic or Midwestern American English.

That's one of the wonderful things about travel: you see with new eyes and hear with new ears! When we don't do this, and kinda-sorta listen, putting our ears on auto-pilot, we miss out on the nuance that can reveal so much. If we can listen attentively, taking in and responding to different cadences, accents, and vocabularies, we will no longer be separated by a common language (with apologies to GBS). And nothing will be lost in translation.

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