If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?
“You mean I have to choose … just one?” Sadie sat with her arms folded, a pout kissing her rouged lips. “But I’m travelling all over Europe, and I need to have every language if I’m going to do it properly. I want to buy the complete package of languages, please.”
Jorge, the language broker, understood her frustration. He’d seen it all before. Intrepid travellers strutting into his little language shop wanting the complete language package but not understanding how it worked.
“Look,” he responded with all charm tinged in Spanish melody, “The complete package comes one language at a time. You cannot buy them all at once. It is too overwhelming. You will need to pick a country … a language.”
Sadie sighed. Perhaps she was biting off more than she could chew. She looked in her purse and pulled out a treasured, tattered map of Europe. How long had she wished to travel to its many richly textured countries and savour its culinary delights with the advantage of knowing each of its many languages. The language broker’s magical powers would make it possible, yet not as she’d imagined.
“If I buy a language from you, you can guarantee overnight delivery ~ however it is you do it ~ and it’s mine for life?”
“Yes, this is so,” Jorge, a master of languages, confirmed.
“And I will be fluent?”
“And then I can come back at a future time and buy another language exactly the same way, and it would be mine for life as well?”
“Again, this is so.” Jorge smiled. “You can have as many languages as you wish, but I cannot give them to you all at once. Information overload, you understand.”
Sadie was, indeed, beginning to understand. She really wanted to soak in all there was to experience in the many countries on her bucket list, but perhaps she had been thinking of going about it the wrong way. Her life was about travel now. She had all the time in the world. Why shouldn’t she take one country, and language, at a time and truly savour all it had to offer.
“Señor Jorge, you have helped me to see the light,” Sadie smiled in return. “I will, in fact, only invest in one language at this time, since it is mine to keep forever and I can add others in the future.” She reached into her wallet for a credit card. “You say your language impression code takes only a couple of hours during sleep to implant and is completely harmless?”
“Completely,” he assured.
“Any other people around when it happens?”
“You may have as many people in the room as you wish,” Jorge detected a hint of vulnerability. “You need not worry. My methods are non-invasive and restorative. You will feel better when you awaken then you did before you slept. A whole new world will open up to you. Now … what is your language of choice?”
Sadie felt a conflict of nations roaring inside her, but knew in her heart what she wanted.
“Italy, please. I want to speak Italian.”
“Italia ! Buona scelta. Posso andare avanti subito. Amerai l’Italia ei suoi tesori di storia e molti e bei luoghi.”*
Jorge smiled. “Tomorrow you will understand.”
He reached for her credit card.
Yes, Italian would be my language of choice. I would love to listen to Italian opera and understand what’s being sung without English subtitles. Not to mention I love the country, its food and its history. How many more reasons do I need?
Grazie per la visita …
©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015
*Italy! Good choice. I can get on that right away. You will love Italy and its history and many treasures and beautiful sites.