Inflections of home
By Linda Wegner
If there is one thing I love about my personal and business friends, it is the diversity of culture, personality and language that they bring to my life. In particular, I love their accents. While some of them speak “Canuck English” with no hint of a drawl, a brogue or a twang, there are many who bring the fragrance of their homeland into each conversation.
For example, when having tea with one friend in particular, I make sure I ask a few questions that I know will elicit a positive response; the way she rolls “aye” off her tongue sounds so grand. Then there those special friends who speak my husband’s native language.
Be it Hochdeutsch or Plattedeutsch – the high or low version of German - I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I understand enough to figure out most conversations. My Toastmaster friend, Eve, and the lilting Swiss German version she speaks eludes me, though. Even a two week stint in that beautiful country wasn’t enough for me to master more than one or two words in the dialect.
This past weekend I had the joy of attending a women’s retreat and although I’d never met any of the ladies before, I was surrounded with warmth and a lot of beautiful accents. There was the musician from Brazil whose music and speech encapsulated all I have imagined Brazil would be like. There was the lovely lady from Norway whose demeanour and speech reminded me of a precious friend, now deceased. Gals from Chile, Australia and Poland added to the mix.
“He who loves purity and the pure in heart and who is gracious in speech—because of the grace of his lips will he have the king for his friend.”
Nothing has power as a gracious word, spoken in any tongue, to make us one.