A past Tyrolean experience… by Adeline
So, I use my past Austrian experience. Not really Austrian but Tyrolean. A bit like a Canadian experience that would take place in Quebec. Not really Canadian but Quebecois.
You know it was in the Mountains. But the real mountains. If unfortunately, you find yourself at the top it is dizziness guaranteed.
Ok and Silence our subject of study where is it in there? Please be patient.
Well at the beginning you do not understand what happens. Clearly you can be a hundred people at the table and ... no one is talking.
Imagine the difficulty. The food offered by Mrs. Rosemary and Mr. Peter is delicious.
Imagine how anguished I was.
With my hands moving aggressively, my beginner German and my lonely desire to speak. Maybe it was going to de-stress me I thought.
Yes, but with my uncontrolled hands having knocked over a few plates, I perceived myself as a real savior to slip them a few words. With my beautiful and charming accent.
So I start. But that is curious because I am understood only by a small part of the table.
Someone even had to repeat after me in an unknown language. And there they all understand each other. Finally, I understood a few words. A real gibberish!
I am silent while thinking of a trap. So, I hide my self and go aside to listen to them. Yes, maybe they want to reject me by preventing me from speaking and understanding them?
But I listen to them and there I notice one thing: they all have a throat problem.
Yes, they don't say danke (thank you), rechnung (invoice). They are more dankrrrre or rerrrrnung. And it didn't stop for a moment. So I was crying. I felt rejected and isolated at this moment. And anxiety was at its peak.
We were a hundred people and my first sob. They get closer to me. And Silence takes place. It rages through its brutality. Not a Silence of prayer, relaxation or meditation. One of the spokespersons for the evening said to me: what is it, Adeline?
At that moment I explode in tears and explain that I don't understand anything and when they talk together, it's even worse.
So this same delegate of the evening replies in a serious and very official tone, we can say Germanic without any racism or insult, please)
Adeline, we apologize but we cannot speak otherwise. It's our dialect. We were born with it.
Is it really true? And the hundred people bow their heads up and down, in silence of course.
Oh, thank you. As I want to learn everything, I ask him: how could I learn? Could we start now?
But Adeline, you can't learn it, you are born with it. We lose it from generation to generation. You know the head of the Oma family; she speaks a more advanced dialect than these children. And then for these little children, they don't speak it almost like that, but understand it almost entirely.
At this time something curious happens to me: I don't know what to say. What to say about their silence and the effort that I impose on them not to speak their language (their dialect), and of my impossibility of being able to learn it despite all my motivation and my ultimate wish to integrate.
I ask you dear little voice to leave and let my dear readers conclude silently on this little experience of a young Parisian girl in the land of the great Tyrolians. The only people sharing my frustration were…. The Germans! So I tried to find myself in a country other than Germany and speak German while staying in Europe. There was no other.