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OK so I’m English, VERY English even, (well Irish/English cross with a bit of Scottish thrown in, and a few drops of Spanish blood several centuries ago), although ancestors such as Captain Cook have given me a complete and utter addiction to travel, discovery, exploring, languages, cultures… You get the idea?
Most people consider me an eccentric, adventurous nomad with a great passion for country hopping… They are absolutely right!
This is what leads to my total fascination and all-consuming passion for OPAL! I met the ultimate chameleon in the creator of OPAL – I had the enormous good fortune to study under, and be trained by, the man himself…
Fact: He is a man
Fact: He is French
Fact: I totally swear he is American
Fact: I totally swear he is Brazilian
Fact: I am not schizophrenic!
I knew he was French before I met him. I knew because I had read about him, because another French guy told me, because his name is French. I met him in English, well American… Bearing in mind I have lived in the States, I have worked for American companies, I have many American friends – I KNOW AMERICANS – I know the way they talk, the way they think, the way they move…. HE IS AMERICAN!
It so confused me that I was convinced he must just have a French name, or that one of his parents was American, or he was born and grew up in the States.
Then he spoke to me in French, same thing… HE IS FRENCH! I live in France, I went to University in France, I work here, my OH is Breton, all my friends are French, I understand their culture, mentality, language, way of life.
Then he spoke to me in Portuguese, same thing – HE IS BRAZILIAN…
By now, I was absolutely speechless (a very rare occurrence for me!)… I have never seen someone so easily and totally integrate another person, culture, mentality and life as Yves!
It was the American-French chameleon that so impressed me, and so convinced me that OPAL is truly the Harry Potter of all magicians for assimilating, integrating and acquiring another language.British
“A different language is a different vision of life”
~ Federico Fellini
There is an enormous difference between someone who just speaks another language well, even fluently, and someone who acquires a second 1st language. With Opal you become a native of that country and culture, you take on the movement, the mentality, the culture, the passion (or lack of) that is integral to that nationality. My reaction to Yves the Frenchman and Yves the American was different… when I spoke to him as an American I, myself, had different beliefs about him and his understanding of what I was saying than when I talked to Yves the Frenchman… I presented things in a different way depending on whether he was the American or the Frenchman…
I also reacted differently to him as a person (and man!) and what he was saying depending on which language he was speaking… whether the straight talking Yank, Gallic charmer, or Brazilian sensualist… I could do business with one, feel flattered and feminine with the next, and be engulfed by the passion of the third… As a person I found the American more fun and dynamic than the cool French chic, whereas the Brazilian could happily samba me off into the sunset!
OPAL – A totally unforgettable experience!! .
“To have another language is to possess a second soul”
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