It was late at night after the Good Friday service. I had planned to stay through to the midnight candle-lighting, but I kept falling asleep so decided to head home early.
When I saw her standing along the busy street, I immediately started going over Romanian phrases in my head. “Isus te iubeşte, Jesus loves you” and “Nu e viaţa, this isn’t life” were the two that seemed easiest and most intelligible. But then selfishness crept in, so I decided to lower my head and just hurry past without making eye contact.
As I approached, though, her need for money made my selfish attempt to ignore her fall on its face. She stepped right in front of me and blocked my path.
As part of my Romanian language studies, I like to watch Romanian movies. Ideally, I would watch each movie three times, once without subtitles, a second time with them, and a third time without them. That usually doesn’t work because either I don’t have enough time or the movie doesn’t have subtitles in English.
Although it sounds like just having fun, it really does teach me the language. I learn when to use what phrases. I learn new vocabulary. I learn how to pronounce words. I learn about the culture and mannerisms. A translator we had to hire once said she honestly thinks watching TV is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language. And nearly everyone I know tells me they learned English by watching cartoons. So there’s my argument: seriously, I’m studying.