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  • Erasmus+

How many languages are on the tip of your tongue?

What if learning doesn’t have to be in a classroom? What about learning how to say waterfall in Latvian, while crossing the longest waterfall in Europe? Or learning a song in Slovenian in a few minutes?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 5 seconds

How about putting our language into motion? Incorporating words? How about rethinking communication and our words? What is a language? What does it mean to know a language?

We spent 8 days in Ružēni, Sabile, in a small “farm” in Latvia, isolated from any and all distractions, to become real linguists, in the Training Course “Language Within Us”. Participating in this Training Course was like living in a 6-month Erasmus, compressed into just a few days. Less time, same (or more) intensity.

Here, I (re)learned how good it is to have a meal accompanied, calmly and in the open air.  How good it is to disconnect from everything else and just focus on one task, on someone talking to me. I was inspired by the sounds of those who surround me and, even though I often didn’t know what they were telling me, I knew they were full of meaning.

Ružēni has more stories to be told after these 8 days. Who says nothing happens in small villages? It all depends on who is passing through. Thanks to our friends at Radi Vidi Pats (which, by the way, means “create your own environment”), we had the opportunity, during COVID Era, to experience the freedom of the Latvian Mountains. We even learned how to call cats in Romanian and Latvian… We might’ve not returned to knowing how to speak with perfect grammar, however, we certainly have many new ways of expressing ourselves after this linguistic retreat.

Most importantly, I realized that time really is an illusion. Eight days either seems like a year to us, or just a few hours, and we are left with mixed feelings: wanting to go home and tell everything we have lived through, although part of us is still there. And what is certain is that no language is capable of reproducing or translating what is created in an Erasmus+.  It’s good to realize that a universal dialect of trust and discovery is created. There is no room for miscommunication, and each phoneme vibrates and reverberates, even if without any kind of grammatical rule, purely and simply thoughts, reflections are created and activated.

The Training Course “Language Within Us” was held under the Erasmus+ Program and Agency for International Programs for Youth. If you want to know more about this and other programs, visit our Erasmus+ page and contact us. Don’t miss these opportunities!

Liliana Macedo