Multilingual Nic

by Nic Olson

Where I live, there are at least 7 languages flying around. Mizo, Kom, Assamese, Hindi, Burmese, English, other ones I don’t know, and Englindi(thanks ty). Since there are so many, and it would be impossible to remember even 3 words in each, I figured I’d learn Mizo, the language of the place I live, so I could maybe communicate with people in Aizawl, if I didn’t sound like an idiot.

I have so far learned 10 or so words, a few phrases and am trying to learn more each day. I know Mizo for thank you, hello, goodbye, yes, no, would you like some tea?, yes, I like some tea, sit down, wow, and that might be all of them. But still, it’s a struggle to remember all these. I had a Mizo teacher for a while, she was planning on teaching me a word a day until I left, but, it turns out, that she left before I did. Daisy and her husband got up and headed out one fine Saturday night, leaving me illiterate. Like Rocky Balboa.

Now I have Andrew and Autumn to teach me, as well as a bunch of college guys and girls that speak like 9 languages each. I’d say Becky would be the most reliable, but she likely knows a good dozen languages. As much as I hate French, I now regret only being able to speak one language. Canadians have it easy. Everyone around them speaks the same language, without accents, for miles, and everyone wants to learn our language. French is taught in schools, I still don’t really know why, because I would never use it, but it would still be nice to know more than one language.

The names of humans is also like a language here. The way they say their names is so cool, everyone sounds like a movie star or a kungfu master, until I say their names, they sound like the names of idiot hippy children from Cali. My accent ruins everything. When a girl told me her name was Mashiati, it sounded sweet, but he only thing I could get out of my mouth was Machete. Not as graceful.

The names of towns do the same thing to me. They don’t spell the name of a town the same everywhere. In some places they call it Chanmari, some places Chandmary, some places Chandmarieiy. And that just doesn’t help. Get it straight, India, get it straight. Help a white brotha out.

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