February 25, 2008


Inma makes me laugh out loud!

It is not often that a person makes me want to laugh out loud. Especially in Starbucks full of other people.

Inma is from Spain. Young, beautiful, full of life. She is learning English and hopes to be fluent before she goes back to Spain. The best part is, while she is talking, she uses a lot of gestures to fill in the missing words. She doesn’t hesitate to make a face to describe an emotion, or use her hands to better explain a story, or even to use sound effects to make her meanings clear.

The first week I sat and watched her as she used gestures, facial expressions and sound effects to tell her stories, and I wondered if it was just because she was looking for ways to explain her meanings that she was so dynamic.

The second week I asked myself why I don’t use these methods more in my daily talk to make a story more vibrant. I even tried a sound effect or two, but felt a little silly and thought I would just leave them to her.

I am realizing that although a lot of why Inma uses so many methods of getting her meanings across might be because she is still learning English, it’s more than that too.

She is bold. I am not. She likes to step out and talk English, even if she doesn’t know it well. I hesitate to do what I don’t know because I am afraid I will get it wrong and people might laugh. She wants to be understood and will do what it takes to make her meaning clear. I’d rather not even try.

I am not so bold, but when I am with Inma, I find that I am not thinking about myself or what other people think of us, and I find myself laughing out loud.

A good, loud, deep down laugh.

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