Lessons Lost in Translation: Breaking Language Barriers, Building Bridges

Take a journey through the story of a trainer who is not from "here", trying hard to connect with everyone. This article explores the struggle of teaching in different cultures and languages. Dive into the tough parts of breaking language walls while dreaming of a world where differences bring us together. Let's talk about the beauty in sharing our human ways, crossing lines to build a world family that loves our differences.


Eduardo Alvim

11/19/20232 min read

Since making France my home in 2014, the journey of adapting, integrating, and contributing to this beautiful country has been both rewarding and enlightening for me and my family. While mastering the French language "on the job" has been an adventure in itself, the love and appreciation I hold for France and its vibrant, forward-thinking society have only deepened over the years. This connection led us to make the decision to apply for French nationality—a commitment to this nation that I proudly call my own.

Each training session is an opportunity for me to share my craft, creating an experience that transcends mere instruction. During one of these weeks (it doesn't really matter which week), I had the chance to share my passion for Agile principles once more, guiding individuals to embrace Agile mindset for personal and professional growth. That brought me immense joy.

However, amid super positive feedback, one comment struck a discordant note. In response to a feedback query seeking improvement suggestions for my company, a participant remarked about preferring "native French-speaking trainers." This remark wasn't just direct but carried undertones that uncomfortably hinted at prejudice.

It's disheartening when a four-day interaction is reduced solely to questions of nationality and language proficiency. As immigrants, we contribute significantly to our adopted countries in various ways. My efforts, whether in improving organizational efficiency or fulfilling tax obligations, speak volumes about my dedication.

Disregarding these contributions solely based on nationality reflects a narrow worldview that extends beyond my own experiences. It's a reminder of the challenges in a world that should celebrate diversity. I've never claimed to be a native French speaker; I embrace my origins and humorously acknowledge my accent as part of my identity. The training sessions I conduct proudly feature my name, emphasizing authenticity and transparency from the start.

To have someone dismiss the wealth of experience, knowledge, and rapport built over those four days due to preconceived notions is disheartening. It calls for reflection in a world that needs greater empathy and understanding. Perhaps it's a lack of empathy, understanding, or even intelligence?

Borders are man-made; countries, mere spaces between them. To those whose judgments remain confined within national borders, I implore you: expand your horizons. Embrace diversity and foster acceptance. Our world needs more unity and understanding, not barriers based on nationality or language.

Before I conclude, let me share this: English isn't my native language. Yet, I boldly express myself in it. It may be evident to you, my dear reader. I don't conceal this part of myself; I celebrate our differences. Can we extend the same respect to all? Can we appreciate the tapestry of cultures and languages that enrich our world?

Let's construct bridges, not walls. Together, let's cherish the beauty found in our differences.