Pearlie, I have something to tell you

Thursday, August 03, 2017



I had an interesting encounter and chat with a language partner today. I got connected with him a few days ago through www.italki.com, a language community that connects people who wants to learn languages from each other. 

Our language exchange is quite engaging so far albeit just via texting. But what's interesting was today's chat.

Midway through our conversation, he said to me, in English, "Pearlie, I have something to tell you."

My internal siren went off. Metaphoric red flags flailed wildly. 

What does he want to tell me? 

I felt worried wondering what would warrant such a serious question. And what more, it began with an address using my name. 

I imagined having this question posted to me by my parents or husband or manager. 

I'd freak out. 

I was hoping it was due to his English being a second language and that he didn't realize the weight of the question and that it was nothing but an innocent statement of wanting to tell me something. 

Thankfully, it was...phew!

It was about his encounter of connecting with a fraud in www.italki.com and how he stopped it in time and hope that I'd not put myself into any of such traps as well. 

That was when I told him how I felt when he sent me that statement and I explained why we don't say that very often, if at all. 

He was quite embarrassed and of course I told him not to worry about it. 

It was after all a direct translation from his native language and he had asked it naturally wanting to tell me something of interest. 

This really shows me how different cultures are, even on the basis of the different languages we use. The nuance of what we say in our languages is not easy to pick up. 

But it helps that we are allowed to make mistakes and learn from it. 

I have made many myself. 

pearlie

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