Have you ever understood anyone speaking not your language?
It can happen and it did happen.
Many years ago one of my neighbours was from Mexico. She moved to the UK with her husband and her little boy, about three years old. Whenever I saw her on the stairs or the road, she was talking to herself. My neighbours and I thought she might be insane but she wasn’t. One day I gave her a leaflet about the English course centre which I was attending at that time. I cannot describe how her face changed that day. She smiled and thanked me and I felt her words were coming deeply from her heart. From that day, we became friends though we didn’t understand each other that much, she used to say that she doesn’t know why she understood me more than anyone else in the city. Honestly, neither do I. I just used to repeat what others said to her. I wish I could have her details to keep in touch because once we moved I don’t know whether she was still in the UK or went back to her country.
I remembered her and remember how we can understand others with a different tongue on the day of Eid. I was sitting next to an elderly woman. Probably, she was from Pakistan. She couldn’t sit on the floor, her daughter and granddaughter brought her a chair. So I was sitting on the carpet next to her on a chair. While I was talking with a friend on my other side, she tapped on my shoulder and talked as if she knew me. I understood from her looks and the tune of her voice that she didn’t like how women are chatting and didn’t listen to the Imam’s Eid speech. This was true, I was talking too but this was because the Imam’s voice was too low, probably he didn’t notice that his speaker didn’t work well. I nodded and admitted that she was right and repeated in English what she was saying in her language. She held my hand and smiled at me which I think meant she was happy I understood her though I couldn’t speak her language.
Can this be a universal language? I think there can be a language that we can feel even though we don’t understand.
Wishing you all the best,