Sunday, June 13, 2010

French is Exhausting

Besides Kinyarwanda, French used to be the official language of Rwanda, but since 2009 it has been replaced by English. Though school children are now being taught English, the older generations have taken longer to adjust and therefore, there is a melange of languages everywhere you go. Around the office, I hear all three languages intermingled and sometimes with Swahili thrown in, just for the fun of it.

Trying to participate in meetings and conferences has been pretty difficult, especially when I'm trying to keep up with the French. I wish I could stay here longer, perhaps then my French would actually improve? Along with trying to translate what I'm hearing, I also have to contend with the scientific and technical language. Anyone can attest that in every sector of work, there's a whole different language. Even in public health, there are dialects between the various program areas.

On top of that, acronyms are thrown about as if they have full meaning and can stand on their own as words. For example: The TWG, will revise PMTCT norms and tools according to the new WHO recommendations. With TA from CDC and PSF, the TWG will emphasis on the quality of intervention targeting VCT, DCT, MSM, CSW and EID.



No comments: