No Fear Zone with Michael Jenkins: One language is not enough!

No Fear Zone with Michael Jenkins: One language is not enough!

By: Michael Jenkins / @mjjenk

One is not enough!

I found myself frustrated the other day for the one billionth time. I couldn’t speak French and the person I was trying to communicate with couldn’t speak English. It just made me think about all the times I was frustrated in Montenegro my first season in Europe, or how I felt sometimes last season in Germany trying to communicate. Even though English is spoken much more in Germany, I still had a couple of those moments where the language barrier was completely unbreakable, lol. I’ve just come to realize that only speaking the so-called “universal language” in Europe is not enough. Most of us Americans that play over here speak English and that’s it, while some of our European teammates speak two, sometimes three, or even four languages.

Personally, I feel a little dumbed down when my European teammates can hold conversations with their own and  then just switch it right up and talk to us in English. Or when someone says something to me and I have to look around like, “Ummm…what’d he/she say?” or “aye yo…can you translate that?” Lol. It also sucks when the Europeans can understand everything you can say and you can’t understand anything they say. I used to always say “as long as someone speaks English…I’m good.” But I don’t know how much longer I can go on like that. Every summer I tell myself I’m going to try to learn the language of whatever country I’m going to and I never do, haha.

I think it’s time to change that and make more of an effort. Doing that just might make my experiences and career in Europe even more exciting.

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