In most places in Greece you will find locals that speak English, and some quite well. Unfortunately, my daughter is not in one of those parts of Greece. She has been struggling with missing the English language during her time there, and has continuously been on the lookout for any English speakers. I can just picture her going about her business with one ear hearing Greek from the person she is with, while using the other ear as a radar trying to pick up any English word in the distance.
My daughter’s primary language was Greek. But me and her father decided to raise her in both languages. He would communicate in Greek with her and I would communicate in English with her. She was able to split a sentence in both languages. For example, she would be talking to me in English and then would turn to her dad and continue the conversation in Greek. She amazed me.
One day, while with her aunt, she picked up on a conversation of some tourists from the UK and began talking with them. She realized at that moment how much she missed speaking English.
My daughter is going through exactly what I went through while living in Greece. The only difference is that she is only visiting, but I can so much relate to how she is feeling.
This takes me back to the time when I felt so alone. I never had anyone to talk to and my husband at the time was always working. I missed hearing English so much, I would put on an American movie or TV show, and when I cleaned our apartment, I always kept the TV going with something in English playing in the background. Pathetic? I think not.
Its more difficult than you could ever imagine. Imagine being in a world where you hear Greek everywhere you go and if you try to communicate partly in Greek and partly in English, the person with whom you are talking to still cannot understand what you are trying to say. It gets so frustrating and even more so when your little bit of Greek is not perfect.
I really thought by now that times would have changed, but I have been told that is not the case.