This I Believe

Zoraya - Omaha, Nebraska
Entered on January 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Deliver the Message

“I am boring” I said to my cousin Jose who began laughing unstoppably. I laughed along with him, to share the mutual joy, without realizing that my statement was grammatically incorrect, actually what I had really meant to say was, “I am bored”. When I was learning English, I frequently made embarrassing or foolish statements, and I blamed my mother, who forbade me to practice the language at home.

My mother announced the permissible, “at home you will speak solely Spanish, and at school you may speak all the English you would like”. I detested my mother’s idea. Whenever my cousins spoke English to me, I had to respond in Spanish, it wasn’t an ideal conversation, even though I was solely six years old.

A perpetual thanks to my mother; I understand how devastating it can be for a family or someone whose native language has perished through the generations. Countless families have informed me of the regret they feel to have lost a part of their heritage, their native language.

I flip through the channels of the television hoping to find Italian movies and Portuguese news, it all sounds like Spanish, except a few words here and there. I am multicultural, and sometimes I am perplexed by which fashion to follow. I believe in bilingualism, it has expanded my knowledge of countries, and cultures, which have ameliorated and enriched my life.

Today, the benefit is mine; perhaps my mother never realized that I would grow up to be a medical Spanish Interpreter. As an interpreter, my responsibility is to provide verbal communication between non-English speaking patients and medical staff in the hospital and clinical environment. The task sounds effortless, but really it’s not. An interpreter is responsible for delivering the message between parties, regardless of what his or her value may be as an individual. Despite this fact, I am proud to provide this service, and thanks to my mother’s discipline, I am able to deliver the message.