Talk: to employ speech; to communicate by speaking


Talking.  It’s something I’ve done relatively well since I was tiny.  I’m female, and as such I’ve always had many more words to speak each day than most males.  Despite a childhood stutter and some time in speech therapy my tongue has generally always obeyed me and run at a rapid rate.  You should have heard how fast the talking went when I got together with best girlfriends in middle and high school years – we baffled most boys and many adults.  I’m an extrovert at heart, taking my father’s gift for talk and mixing it with my feminine gift of relationship as I grew up.  Talking, yes I’ve been good at that…in English.  Talking in Hungarian?  That’s something else entirely.  Talking in Hungary?  Also vastly different, even when done in English with other English speakers.

Coming home from a weekend retreat with some other Americans now living in Hungary, we came to talking about talking, and how we all do it less and less the longer we’ve lived here.  Most of us were extroverts and had once talked a blue streak easily.  Keep quiet out of necessity long enough and it creeps into who you are.  I suspect this is something that happens in places with really hard languages – and Hungarian is known to be one of the hardest languages in the world to learn to speak.  My grasp of Hungarian has grown, I can follow simple conversations and my ear has gotten quite used to it – I can pick out a foreign accent among many all speaking Hungarian.  And yes, it makes sense that I stay quiet within Hungarian social settings – but why am I also much quieter among others who also speak English?

And then there’s my dwindling skill in my own language.  We often forget words, simple, basic words in English.  We laugh, and maybe come up with it in Hungarian – or exclaim the forgotten word several minutes later.  And I know my grammar has gotten weaker, not to mention my usage of higher vocabulary.  It has also been a stressful few years for our family, and it seems, all these things combined, my old stutter has snuck back – making me even more hesitant and slow to talk.  I find myself frustrated after a phone conversation, or one face to face, that I didn’t ever say something I meant to.  I ponder all this as we look ahead to our upcoming summer visit to Colorado.  A huge part of the joy in such visits is in conversations, the face to face time, the talking.  I will certainly still enjoy such wonderful times, but I may be a bit quieter than in seasons past.  And who knows, maybe it’ll just make me appear wiser? “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” Proverbs 17:28.  Well, I blew that by sharing all this, maybe I won’t post this blog after all.