Life in Three Languages

While going through old files, I came across this little poem I wrote for the annual Thanksgiving celebration when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Macedonia. It’s no great literary work, but it means something to me and I kind of like it, so I thought I’d post it. The three languages are English, Macedonian, and Albanian. I needed to use all three every day. The Macedonian is written in more or less phonetic transliteration from the Macedonian alphabet, which uses Cyrillic letters. The Albanian is in the actual Albanian alphabet, which, obviously, uses Latin letters. People really did call me Erika od Amerika/Erikë nga Amerikë (Erika from America).

Life in Three Languages/Zhivot vo Tri Jazetsi/Jeta në Tre Gjuhë

Erika from America
Is what they call me here.
Ludjeto tuka dobri se.
Jeta ime është shumë mirë.

Erika od Amerika
Jas se vikam ovde.
Njerezit janë mirë ketu.
Life is good this way.

Erikë nga Amerikë
Është emri im tani.
I mi se dopadja.
Now, it sounds like me.

Sometimes, if I’ve had a difficult day,
I miss my family, my friends, and my beach,
No naskoro podobro e,
Dhe mund të qesh sërish.

Ponekogash, malku teshko e.
Ndonjëherë, është pak vështirë,
But no matter how much I sometimes complain,
The truth is I really like it here.

Mnogu blagodaram
For this life I’m living.
Jam mirënjose shumë.
This is my Thanksgiving.

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