I have finally finished several rigorous months of training here in Washington, DC before heading out to our new adventure in Istanbul, Turkey. This training included professional and language training.
So as we prepare ourselves to leave, I am now, officially, a speaker in 3 languages: English, Tagalog, and Turkish. I feat I never thought I would accomplish.
Often people ask me, “Was it hard?” or “Compared to English or Tagalog, how hard is Turkish?” Well, as anyone would tell you, learning a new language is hard—no matter what the language is. Some languages are harder because they use a different script (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Korean…). Luckily, my three languages use the same basic Roman letters with only a few differences.
It is funny though when I see someone that is Filipino, I can understand what they say perfectly, but when I go to speak my Tagalog is laced with Turkish vocabulary because that is all I have been speaking for the last seven months. Most of them are kind enough to nod and at least pretend they understood what I just said.
We are going to miss Target, Café Rio, H-Mart, Safeway and Trader Joes. But we are so excited to move to the land of kebab, baklava, spices and ornate rugs! In the Foreign Service life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. We are constantly on the move and because of that, our memories are usually attached to sometime reference like “…Oh that happened when we were in Manila. Or that happen after we left Beijing”
So here is to another chapter of our lives! Woohoo!