Language Arts Projects in Real Time

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There are innkeeping stories I could relate that would take days as we’ve been inn owners for nearly 14 years.  Many of them just make you happy to be a human being, some of them make you embarrassed to be one and some are just completely, totally funny.
  This story is one of humor and as it was happening I was already in complete awareness that it would find its way into my blog.

This very young, and in any language, clearly in love young couple stayed with us for 3 nights last week.  They were from China and it was clear that prior to their travel to the U.S.-a journey 3 years in the planning- the young man had made made it his mission to put the best spin possible on his English speaking talents which were already considerable. Our language is studied by students there.

In our discussion, he revealed that our use of the same word in speaking not necessarily being the same word in writing and hence used very differently posed a significant problem to those newly learning our language.  We talked about several words that he had already written down as “causative problems.”
Reel and real, pain and pane…”They are pronounced the same”, he queries?  I report that they are. “But they mean entirely different things” he says more knowingly.  I nod and smile in assent.
Feeling us on a roll I said….”Move.” One may indicate an individual or company actually changing a living location and another may be as simple as picking up a pen and putting it your pocket.  We laughed about all that and added to the land of word quirks with  Hart as a last name vs. heart as a sentiment and heart as an organ.

He states that he will make a continued effort in what he believes is a language exhibiting many pitfalls to understanding.  I, smile, congratulate him on all his language preparatory work as well as his efforts to continue this work, knowing that while the words did not always convey his meaning or possibly help my own understanding…the willingness he demonstrated in noting the smile on my face and my clearly demonstrated willingness to see and appreciate the smile on his as we navigated the slippery slope of communication transcended this lack of skill as we ascended to the land of cooperation and mutual effort.  
 

Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers

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