The universe has approximately 8 planets, 169 countries, 807 islands, 10 billion people and the internet allows us to connect to almost every place in our planet. Social Media has enable us to reach out and meet people from different cities, countries and cultures and that’s how I met who my friends know as “soccer guy”.
I have no idea how we ended up having each other in a social app, all I know is that he sent a message and we connected… or so I thought. The messages he sent were in Arabic and I replied in English. Didn’t take that long to figure out that it was going to be very difficult trying to communicate and develop a friendship. To my surprise, neither of us gave up trying to get to know each other.
Now here comes the fun part: he is six hours ahead of me, so every time we talk, one of us is falling asleep. The language barrier itself is another funny thing. He speaks Arabic, like 10 words in English and maybe 5 in Spanish. I can speak Spanish, English and a few words in Arabic, most of them romantic or very basic. We can understand half of what the other is saying. We have to make up for the rest. He talks to me in Arabic and I love it but can’t understand 3/4 of what he says. The same with my English, he just looks at me and laughs.
You may be wondering how we are able to video call and have a conversation. Easier said than done… we use 2 phones, one to video call and the other to translate and show the other (or play the audio). In my opinion, Google Translate gets approximately 20% of translation wrong. It doesn’t help that he is Egyptian and his Arabic is a bit different. We try to get meaning from the other 80%.
He says our language should be Arabic but he will try to learn English or Spanish out of love. He is perfectly romantic (in his language) and he knows I only get half of what he says so he laughs and says “I love you so much” and while I know he doesn’t mean it, it sounds sweet and it’s too damn funny.
While we are lost in translation most of the time, we have fun. We congratulate the other on all the wrong dates (holidays) , we talk about our (yes ours) cat that I think is missing, the apartment he is saving money to buy because he doesn’t get that vacation means I will go there for like a week or two and the marriage that I think we both agreed to without realizing what we were saying yes to. Though we managed to clear all the misunderstandings, this is a funny guy I would love to meet.