Imagine being in a place where you can’t understand anything anyone is saying, or maybe you can pick up one word out of every sentence, but not the whole thing.
There are lots of language rules that can make conversation with diverse groups of people a challenge. Think of the ways we pronounce the words rough, bough, cough … three different sounds even though they are spelled about the same.
That can be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be!
In Des Moines area elementary schools, lots of students speak another language, in addition to English. Three of the most common are Bosnian, Spanish,
and Swahili. While learning a whole new language can take a long time, there are lots of ways you can make your friends feel more comfortable just by taking the time to learn a simple phrase or two in their native language.
Wouldn’t you be relieved if every stranger you met could at least say hi to you?
We’ve provided just four simple phrases in four of the most common languages used in Des Moines area schools. You can practice them and use them to make new friends and schoolmates feel welcome and accepted.