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Bits of Britain, Life Philosophy

Missing My Mother Tongue

One time, while traveling alone in Taiwan half-way through my year living in Asia, I fell asleep listening to the melodic sound of an English speaker out in the common area, outside my hostel bedroom.

I don’t even remember now what accent he had, but I do remember that I hadn’t heard my own language spoken in a week (except inside my head), and it was beautiful, warm, and like home, even from a stranger.

What a sweet, unexpected joy.

When I lived in China, it was so rare to hear English in public, that my ears would always perk up when I heard English. I would let my ears soak in the sounds, the syllables, and the rhythm of my mother tongue. It was like an audio vacation, a portable, intangible, home inside the sound waves.

Now, in England, obviously I hear English everywhere, but it doesn’t sound like home to me, because now I don’t just crave English. I crave the American accent, which is like a vocal blanket around my (sometimes) cold and sad traveling body.

I know it might seem silly, especially to those who have never long-term traveled before, but when you are away from home for so long, your vagabond soul will latch onto anything reminiscent of home.

Have you ever missed your native language or accent before?  Have you ever craved a piece of home so desperately that something so small and trivial (like a specific pronunciation) warms your soul?

3 Comments

  1. “Vagabond soul” — I like that.

  2. I love how language is such a part of our identity! I love when I hear accents that sound similar to some of the different accents in my family!

  3. P.S. I love your new blog design!

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