My New Identity

Figuring things out. Photo taken by Claire Turck

My identity has changed a lot since I have come to France, or at least when it comes to my host family.  Normally I am a shy person at first, but once I get more familiar with someone I talk a lot more and am very sarcastic.  Since I am handicapped by my inability to fluently speak the language here, everything is a little more difficult.  I find that my ability to joke around has been compromised and as a result my identity has seemed to become a more serious person when I speak French.  This makes it a lot harder for my host family to see my true identity and at the same time I feel like I am living with two different identities.  This is because when I am at home to my host family I am more reserved and simply polite, but when I am able to speak English, my true identity returns.  This is something that is universal, and I am able to see this in other people as well because there are two British girls who live in the house as well and I see it with them as well.  When the three of talk English amongst ourselves, we are all animated and very different from the three of us when we talk in French.  Even though we try as best as we can, because of the language barrier that exists in another country we lack the ability to fully convey our true identity.

~ Jordan Hammelman, ’10

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