What if you needed help to get organised and you couldn’t find someone who spoke your language?
It’s something that’s been on my mind.
My father could speak seven languages but wasn’t able to read or write any of them. Growing up in rural Lithuania, the youngest of five children, he didn’t get much of a formal schooling. By the time he turned 16 he had fled his home country and landed in Germany via Poland, ending up in the US Army before emigrating to Australia in 1950.
My mother was fluent in both German and English, working as an interpreter in Germany before she and my father came by assisted passage to Australia. They lived amongst other Europeans, assimilated well and welcomed many friends into our home. I grew up hearing many languages and gaining snippets of linguistic knowledge. Maybe that’s why I have an aptitude. When my husband and I travel, “he’s logistics and I’m language”.
Anyway, that’s it for the history lesson. It simply shows where my interest in languages comes from.
My parents were lucky. They had a knack for languages and managed to understand and be understood in their chosen home, albeit with heavy accents.
But what if you couldn’t easily understand and be understood? What if you could only understand Mandarin or Spanish or Auslan?
Sure, there are work-arounds. There are apps to translate to English and back again. There are Auslan Interpreter Services. But it’s not as easy to communicate by apps and interpreters as it is when face-to-face using your native language.
Thankfully there are wonderful organisers who are bi-lingual. Nathalie Ricaud from Get Organised & Beyond in Singapore speaks both French and English. Chantal Imbach from Photos in Order and Fotos in Ordnung speaks both German and English. What a wonderful asset they are to the organising world.
Recently we were thrilled at Hoarding Home Solutions to train a deaf support worker whose first language is Auslan. Now she helps her deaf clients get organised and deal with their extreme clutter in their native language.
The organising industry needs more language diversity, so that someone who speaks Mandarin or Spanish or Hindi or any of the other 21 Indian languages can get the organising help they need.