CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 1052
What languages do you speak?
I am fluent in speaking, reading and writing English, Greek and Spanish. English is a given, considering I live in America, and work as a public servant, in a position were language fluency is essential. I know Greek because it is part of my heritage, part of the culture I grew up with, that surrounded me in my childhood and beyond. It is a language that I feel deeply to be my own, even though I am a Las Vegas native, because my aunt made an especial effort after the death of my parents, to enforce on me the importance of knowing it. It remains one of the few contacts I have back to the family I know very little about. Knowing Spanish is the result of the same basic reasons as knowing English, except of course, it was more voluntarily my choice to obtain knowledge about. It is very helpful to know many languages, because the ignorance of people who believe that English will always triumph when spoken, is large and profound in its ineptitude.
In the course of dealing with crime, I meet many living people, whether they are victims themselves, people who are witnesses to a crime, or those who simply happen to be relations of the person who has been affected by such an occurrence. Many people constantly move in and out of Las Vegas, at an astounding rate that the lax and the unobservant barely notice as long as their basic needs and wants are met. There are the short staying kinds of people such as tourists and visiting relatives, people who come and stay and then move on just as quickly, leaving almost no trace behind. Then there are the other people who move here for longer periods, or who have even been here from the beginning. Those people are those such as the workers of many variations who run the backbone of the city, including but not limited to public servants such as myself, and the other more easily recognisable and more numerous kinds. People like hotel employees and sex workers, the very later operating both within and outside of the confines of the law, providing the city with a different reputation than what it might have otherwise. Just as more costal locations do, we get our fair share of illegal immigrants and transitory migrants of a more unidentifiable kind.
Summing these kinds of people all together, not all of them come from backgrounds of great education and wealth, and even if they do, it does not always mean that communication with them will occur in English. Being that many people do speak English, usually it is not much trouble finding a way to get the word across, to converse and ask enquiries of this living victim or that specific witness. However, if English can not be used, there is still a good chance that Spanish has a relevance or potential ability to get the act of talking underway. As for Greek, well, if I put aside heritage and culture, it is still an important thing to know. Just as Spanish fails, I know of many employees of the lab who speak different dialects, and they can sometimes take the place of a translator. If, for instance, a murder occurs within the strictly Greek speaking section of Las Vegas society, I am generally more available and easier to find than a Greek translator may be. Being that I have grown up here in Las Vegas and know, so very much of the Greek community, both young and old, it makes it simply easier to call me instead, to get me converse with that past generation who didn’t care as much for the language of English that is my original tongue, and which I would have needed to embrace fully, even if it were not.
If I lived in a community that spoke only one language, and if the chance of my leaving such a community was very small, then I would probably only speak one language. However, I was born into and raised in a multicultural community, I was born of parents who spoke both Greek and English, who had lived here for so long that they also saw the point of passing on such knowledge to me in my infancy. I was not the child of parents who only wished to enforce one side of my heritage, who wished to force on me only my life here or a life that they would have liked me to have lead if we had lived back in the old country of generations passed by. My parents were not like that, and while my aunt was probably a good measure stricter than my mother, she was not a backwards person either. In my youth, she encouraged me to be educated well, and to speak well in many languages. Greek held a soft spot in her heart, and she passed the same liking of it onto me. I find no trouble in fluently speaking three languages, and knowing the rudimentary basics of many others.
I live in a city that moves, it feels, sometimes faster than time should really move. With this rapid shifting of life and society, it is needed of me, in the important public servant role that I am in, to try and help the public I serve as best I possibly can. As I can serve, as myself, better speaking three languages than I could just concentrating on one, I keep up my fluency in Greek and Spanish as best I possibly can. Las Vegas is no longer exactly the society my parents lived in, nor even the one I grew up in, and as crime continues, as I am still needed in my particular job role, it is still required that I try and do the best job that I can. If I am required to change with the times, then change I must, but even as life becomes faster, and so much more different, I will maintain what I know until death welcomes me with outstretched arms. Just because so much of Las Vegas moves in and out of the city in rapid motion, it does not require of me to become ignorant and minimalised in my obtained knowledge in the process.