My MG and I sat through breakfast this morning and talked for about 30 minutes, if not more. While I am still learning vocabulary to have a strong response to what she is saying, I do understand it, and I can form basic sentences to let her know that I do. This morning we talked about how she was convinced to have a PCV stay with her, and also her grandson and his languages.
You see, at first she did not want to have a volunteer stay with her. She works sometimes, her husband works 2 days on/2 days off, and they are required to provide us with 3 meals a day. This was just not something she felt she could handle. My LTI (language instructor) kept coming to her and trying to convince her that it was something she should do… so she finally gave in. Vica (her daughter studying in Switzerland) said it would be great, and Nadea said I could have her room since she’s always in the capital with her boyfriend anyways. Then she received the phone call informing her that she would be receiving a tall, thin, blonde girl. That got really excited. As we talked, she informed me again that I am her “4th daughter”. Then my LTI told me this morning that she spoke with my host dad and he said he looks at me as if I was his own daughter (I think the skinny blonde with blue eyes helps out a bit! lol). It makes me feel really good knowing my family is enjoying my company as much as I am enjoying theirs. I really do feel right at home here… I get sad when my MG is gone for work!
Then she moved on to the subject of her grandson, who is 11 years old. Until the age of 3, he did not speak at all. They were thinking he was never going to speak at all! Then, slowly, he started combining words in Russian and Romanian. You see, Moldova has their own language, Moldovaneste (I probably spelled that wrong). It is already a mixture of Russian and Romanian. The problem with Denis was that he was hearing all 3 languages and didn’t know what, for example, the correct word for bread was since everyone was telling him something different, so he essentially made up his own language. Then it was basically overnight that it finally clicked with him and he knew who he needed to speak what language to, and he was totally fluent. That’s how learning a language works, especially when you are learning it through total immersion. All of a sudden it clicks and you say to yourself, “holy cow. Everything makes sense now!” And you are no longer translating everything you hear as you hear it. At least that’s what I was doing at first when I was in France, but because I have to think so quick here I really don’t find myself translating- it’s coming in my head as Romanian and also leaving as Romanian. For example, I don’t look hear the words “vin alba” and think “what is that… what is that… oh, white wine”. I hear it as “vin alba” and automatically respond, no, I don’t want any of that. It’s a fun feeling 🙂
Well, I’m off to tour 1 of the 2 churches we have in the city right now. This one is Orthodox! Should be interesting!!