The project mobility LET'S BECOME A MULTILANGUAL FAMILY which took place in Antalya, Turkey was truly a blessed experience for all of the participants. From day one we had a lot of games and activities that included going out in the city and exploring the culture. Antalya is a very interesting place to do so – the place has the typical Turkish atmosphere mixed with tourists from all around the world which brings a variety of cultures to one place.
During our activities connected to learning languages and celebrating the diversity of cultures we spend a lot of time talking with locals and for the first few days it was a bit difficult because only a few of them knew English and mostly the ones that work with tourist. After a while we realized that for me and my Bulgarian team it was actually easier to communicate with Turkish people because we have so many similar words in our languages. Basically connecting Turkish words that we learned with English words that we know and Bulgarian language all together was the perfect way to talk to locals especially when we had to interview them for a research or ask them history questions about a city game that we played – and all of them were more than happy to help! Whether it was because they are used to tourist not knowing their language or because they are just patience people who take the time to listen and try to understand what you ask them most of them were very patient with us.
On the European language day which was our last activity day of the project all of the countries made posters to show to locals and tourist about the importance of languages and how they bring people together. For us the idea about the poster was more than obvious – similarities between Turkish and Bulgarian language. We actually discovered that we have even more similar words then we thought in the first place! So we choose some of them for our poster and while we talked to other Turkish people we realized that they didn’t have a clue about the fact that a lot of our words are the same.
It was an interesting experience educating ourselves, the other teams, locals and tourists and a great reminder that we should embrace our diversities a
nd celebrate them in similarity. This youth exchange was one more proof for all of us that the opportunities of the world mean nothing if we are not ready to take them and in order to do that we often underestimate the power of knowing languages and the number of doors the open for us.