Skip to toolbar

New country, new language. What now?

Last modified date

Two months ago, I left Portugal and came to Croatia to do an EVS. One of the things that I always thought that would be a problem was the linguistic barrier. Not just because I don’t know to speak croatian but also because my english was not so good.
The first thing that I figured out when I arrive here was that my english is actually good. Well, good enough at least. So, one problem was solved: I could speak with my colleagues and we could understand each other.
But what about the local people?
There are three main times when we need to talk to local people. The first one is in our daily life, when we go to the supermarket or when we go for a coffee; the second one is when we work in donation center, and the third one is when we go to a home visit.
After sometime here, I found out that almost everyone can speak english, a little bit at least. This was a surprise for me, a good one, and meant that the first two problems were solved.
When we talk about home visits in not so easy. We visit elder people or people with some disability, most of them are poor and none of them speak english. We have always a croatian volunteer with us to break this bridge but is not the same. The home visits is the only time that I feel that I can’t comunicate how I wish, because I can’t understand their stories and I can’t tell them mine. But well, part of my project is also learning croatian and I’m trying, maybe in a few months things will be changed and I will be capable to understand croatian. Although, croatian isn’t an easy language, it’s really hard actually. But now we have a volunteer that is teaching us what is a really good help.

The conclusion is that the linguistic barrier isn’t a really barrier. We are all humans, we can always comunicate in some way and we can also learn. So, like in an obstacle race, we can just “jump” and go through this barrier.

admin