October 06, 2015

Højskolen Cronicles #2

Today I want to talk about the language barrier. And respect of others.

First I would like to specify that I speak fluently 3 languages. I am re-learning (or improving, depending how you look at it - I think I pretty much suck at it) German, and I have finally picked up French and I started a beginner course. I wanted to learn French for so long, 4 years I think. But back home I didn't where to start, and in Edinburgh well, I didn't really have time to pick up a language course on top of my job and academic pursuits. So, here I am, finally making my dream come true and learning French. 

So, I am in the this "Boarding school" and there are people here from various countries and cultures. There is this phenomena that happens when there are more than 2 people who speak the same language. I am pretty sure psychologists have made research about it. Well, I can tell you from the qualitative data I have "collected" in the past month here. It gets so much worse if there are 20 people instead of two. 

And then this funny thing happen. You have one or two big groups that speak Danish. You have one or two big groups that speak German. And then you have this one quite big group of people from everywhere that speaks English. And it is not that we couldn't split into smaller groups and speak our own languages, because we could. So, why is this phenomena happening?

What pisses me off the most is when I sit with them and most of the time they don't even try. I mean, these people can speak English. They just choose not to. 

Last night I was sitting with four German guys. A guy asked me a question in English and then he turned to the other guys and continued to talk about the question that he just asked me in German. And I was like, really man? He literally cut me out. For a while I was sitting there thinking sweet god I am so bored I want to start banging my head to wall. I lasted 20 minutes I think and then I just left, cause seriously I am social, but fuck, I would rather read a book alone in my bed than listen to this nonsense a minute longer. 

This morning was another story. I sat next to my roomie, who is Danish, and I was surprised she wasn't sitting with her Danish asocial friends. I stated as much. Damn, it was like a spell, in the span of three minutes they were all there at our table. I lasted 2 minutes. I am really bad in the morning I know, but for fuck's sake I would rather sit alone and watch the sea from the window, than being forced to listen to this Danish no idea what. And I thought screw social norms, I am out. I stood up and went to sit on another table. And to be honest I really didn't give a shit about what they thought. Cause seriously, how rude can you be? Where is that line that everyone seems to be crossing these days and noone says anything?! Screw you people. I might not be nice person, but my momma at least taught me manners. 

Then I thought, maybe is because they come from a big country and they are used to people submit to their wimps. But come on, Denmark is not really that big of a country. Then I thought it was conformism, but that requires a bigger group than just two people. And then at this one point during last week this girl come to my room and starts talking loudly to my roomie. And I was like O_o. First of all stop screaming, and second at least in my room while in my presence you could speak a language I understand. And she said sorry it's just easier. 

And then it hit me! Easier. All these teenagers and barely twenty-somethings.. they are Millennials. And I did a lot of research about Millennials and  narcissistic tendencies when I was writing my master thesis. I finally understood. It's just easier to speak your language without any regard of others that sit next to you and don't understand shit, cause what the hell - why would this be your concern anyway, right? It's all about doing what is easy, and not what is right. 

And again, same as in today's interpersonal relationships, people who do what is right and not what is easy, are at loss. Great.

Until next time,


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