One interesting thing about not being able to understand what people are saying all the time is that I do pick up on things that aren’t communicated verbally.
In a person’s voice I notice its pitch, rhythm, and expressiveness. And I discern a person’s personality faster because I spend less time thinking about my own response to what they’ve said (since I didn’t understand what was said in the first place).
It’s actually kind of fun. Their words don’t blind me from the truth that I see and it’s cool to get a feeling for someone that is not informed at all by what they say.
We think of our own abilities to speak well and communicate as being critically important but a lot of what we communicate is out of out control. We don’t think too often about how ingrained our selves are in our behavior, movements, pauses, expressions and energy.
Anyway, it’s fun and affirming for me to figure a person out in spite of the language barrier!