After traveling to a place where I struggled to say complex things in another language, I’m listening to public radio interviews in foreign countries with a much greater appreciation for people speaking non-native English about really complex issues. I hear people trying to bridge the gap between the sophistication of what they’re capable of saying in their native tongue, and the more simplified phrasing they know in English.
Since a lot of Americans (like me) don’t do overseas travel, and even fewer need to say anything other than basic travel phrases, I suspect a lot of us don’t have the level of appreciation I’m now appreciating. So, in recognition of being one of the smartest idiots in the room, I’m formally nominating myself for this year’s Foreign Correspondent Derka Der Award. It’s an honor.