Sussex Interpreting Services have shared their thoughts on how to connect with a neighbour where English might not be their first language…
A Universal Language
“Certainly language barriers can prove tricky to navigate but often all it takes is to have something in common – a shared interest which can bring people together. This could be shared love of cooking and a willingness to try new types of cuisine – in a multi-culturally diverse city such as Brighton and Hove, there could be a lot of diverse culinary knowledge among the tenants in the block of flats where you live. You don’t necessarily need to speak the same language to be able to enjoy a meal or even cook together. You will be able to learn new cooking ideas from one another!
Similarly, you may have a shared love of sport or music – both of these interests share a universal language. Again, this could be great opportunity to learn more about music /sport from around the world and to enrich your enjoyment of these interests!
Through connecting with your neighbours, who knows, you may also be able to find the perfect language exchange partner – with over 100 different languages spoken in Brighton and Hove, the chances are you may find someone living close by who either speaks a language which you already have some knowledge of but would like to improve, or a language which is totally new to you but which you like the sound of!”