Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Lingua Italiano

This is the first time that I'm attending a meeting which is predominantly in Italian. Of the 22 participants, we are four of us who are totally ignorant of Italian.  A couple of others can understand Italian, but prefer English; some are fluent in both.  Most speak Italian and of those some even Spanish.  So we are divided into three groups, based on language of preference: Italian, Spanish and English.

Since most of the presentations and discussions are in Italian, there is a confrere translating for us. Again a first for me in the use of the translation equipment. I do get what is being discussed but still don't feel part of the group.  But the whole exercise is interesting.

Then in the community, (this is the General headquarters!!) everyone speaks Italian.  So after we help ourselves from the buffet table we look out for for the 'English speaking' tables!  If my stay were any longer than a week I'd have preferred not to sit at the 'English' table, but for now have to!  Last night Fr Ivo led me to the table to sit with the Rector Major.  Gosh, it was weird.  He does not speak English and I knew not a word of Spanish! So he was busy conversing in Spanish with some, I focussed on my plate!   

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