Speak Love

Hello! Prevyet! Anyeong! Maayo! Maupay! Mabuhay! 
Languages are fascinating. Learning them may be daunting, but after some time and lots of effort, speaking them can be truly empowering and liberating. Not that I know a lot. 

My family has to learn a few important languages, though, which I hope will increase in number as they grow up and help their world get bigger. Because I believe learning to speak other languages not only expands our mind but also our experiences and life. 

We started out in Korea, (our first temporary home and the birthplace of our children), and currently, we are between Russia and the Philippines (figure it out...:D), which are, by the way, ours by natural heritage. We learned to love languages and have become more open to learning and speaking them. At home, wherever it may be, we speak plenty of English, mixed in with Korean and Russian, with a smattering of Visayan (a mix of dialects from the Visayas region of the Philippines).

We left Korea last year for Russia and had the wonderful chance to be exposed to the Russian language. The kids' Russian have turned from better to good; and for our eldest, Mikhail/ Misha, to very good. He can converse with his dad now, comfortably switching from English to Russian anyhow he wants as they speak.

As for the girls, they have come with me here in the Philippines and have to switch from learning Russian to Filipino. Amazingly, in just a matter of one month, they are now picking up a variety of Filipino dialects. Angelika, our second, is learning Filipino (Tagalog) language formally at school for  two weeks now. Last week, after attending school for only a few days, she tried to show off by singing a new song she learned at school. She belted, "Ako ay Filipino! Ako ay Filipino!" (I am a Filipino! I am a Filipino!) Singing the same line again and again and again. Seeing that her audience was amused, she sang even louder but missed singing the first word correctly. "Afo ay Filipino! Afo ay Filipino!" Her grandpa walked in and I enthusiastically told him to look and listen to his 'apo'(granddaughter). After that she sang for him, "Apo ay Filipino! Apo ay Filipino!" (Grandaughter is a Filipino! :D). We chuckled at her cuteness. But soon she will talk good Filipino. I hope so.

The youngest, Gabriella/Ella, speaks in multiple languages at the same time. When she's hurt, she goes, "I'm apo!" (which means I'm hurt in Korean). When she's sleepy and wants to sleep, she climbs on my lap and yawn, "Speet!" (which means sleep in Russian). And now she's learning a variety of Filipino dialects too with her older sister. I'm not sure how it'll turn out, but I can see them having fun and I am not worried at all. In fact, I am absolutely in awe in how these children are dexterously managing their languages. There will come a time, I'm sure, when all these languages will come in handy and will surely be a blessing to them and others.

In the mean time, I am trying not to sound silly while talking to the girls in Tagalog/Filipino, which I am embarrassed to admit I am not very good at. I am a Visayan, for goodness' sake! I am also trying to keep up with my own Russian lessons, which is sort of going nowhere. But one day, some day, I will be able to talk too... maybe not so beautifully, but maybe good enough to sound authentic.

Angelika and her jelly friend.
 What's jelly fish in your language?
Besides, I have found that even through language barriers, souls in tuned can communicate in an amazing way. For down, deep, deep down inside each one of us, God has placed a sliver of something in our hearts. It throbs and beats the same rhythm, and it resonates to every kindred soul, speaking words that only the heart can hear. One day, some day, whatever language we speak now, we will understand, we will hear, we will speak--- that language of love. We try to speak it at home. And we hope to speak it, wherever we may be in the world, whatever the language may be spoken at the moment.

God is the author of it. We speak it as we know Him. For "a good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things" (Matthew 12:35), and there is no one who's good except Him who is Righteous. As we know Him, we speak love. He has promised that that time will come when everybody will get to speak His language, "For then will I return to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord" (Zephaniah 3:9).

Got to speak love.

You may also want to read...
On Fishing, Fire and Breakfast
First, Second, Third


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