Gained in Translation
When communicating cross-culturally, we often hear about things like language barriers and the tendency for information to become lost in translation. Legitimate challenges do exist when speakers of different languages work together. I wonder, though, do we ever stop to ponder the benefits of our linguistic diversity?
I was encouraged to consider this recently when one of my students was speaking Chinese in our ESL (English as a Second Language) class. It was evident that he had something important to say as he peered eagerly out of the window, struggling to find the right word. He persisted in his attempts and eventually pronounced, “seven colors in the sky!” while pointing upward.
As the class gathered around, I realized not only was there a beautiful rainbow overarching the upper school circle, but that I had just heard one of the most poetic descriptions of a rainbow I could imagine. Seven colors in the sky . . . surely, something was gained in that translation.