How Fluent Are You?
In a world home to hundreds of different languages—some easily identifiable while others remain tucked away into remote crevices of faraway countries—the flash of a smile is enough to bridge the gap between even the most uncommon communities.
A simple phrase like ‘thank you’, for instance, can be translated into over 600 different languages. While we may not ever master every available translation to this phrase in our lifetime, how can something as simple as a smile help us find the common ground we need to help communicate phrases like these in times when our words simply aren’t enough?
The Fluency of a Smile
A smile is so much more than the act of flashing a set of pearly whites; behind it lies the power to express a range of emotions that can sometimes be impossible to achieve through words. Having been raised in Miami, a melting pot of a city where English is but one of a dozen languages heard on a simple trip to the grocery store, I know all too well what it feels like to be thrown into conversations I can barely understand. Growing up in a city that thrives off its colorful tourism, I’ve encountered my fair share of foreign travelers in need of directions and have proudly perfected the art of communication via hand movements and facial expressions.
For instance, I was recently approached by a hungry group of young Italians in desperate search of the best Cuban food in town (key components in this conversation were the words Cuba, food and a lot of pointing to mouth and stomach). None of them spoke English or Spanish (my second language and an honest necessity for South Florida living) and I desperately clung to the only four phrases I remember from my high school Italian course while they looked on in confusion.
Feeling slightly defeated, I figured showing them was better than further embarrassing myself with my less-than-impressive Italian vocabulary, so I led the 4 block-walk to a small Cuban café overlooking the beach for the best Latin lunch of their lives. Upon our arrival, they blurted out a few sentences in their elegant native language that that were way outside of my four-word comfort zone, but it was their wide, shining smiles of gratitude at having helped them instead of shrugging them off that really resonated. I felt the thick barrier of communication slowly dissolve, all because the authenticity of their smiles was the one thing that required no help from a thesaurus to understand.
All in all, it can be difficult to verbally convey certain emotions to others when language is an issue, such as aiding a stranger in need–or in my case, aiding famished travelers in discovering the beauty and utter perfection of Cuban cuisine. It is important to rely on the influence of a smile to help deliver the message when four-word limits just don’t cut it. It’s the ideal addition to any vocabulary, an expression that can be easily understood by anyone despite the uniqueness of their speech. The best part about a smile? It’s contagious in any language. It can act as an extension of our personality. Little was said on that walk to the Cuban restaurant, but the many smiles that were exchanged felt comforting enough to assure myself that I was in good company. There is truly nothing more universal than letting your inner self beam through your smile and letting that positivity reflect onto someone else. It’s an epidemic worth spreading.
Smiles Need Love, Too
As important as it is to spread the wealth of a smile to others, it is equally important to ensure that it, too, is receiving an ample amount of care and attention from its owner. Even the brightest stars appear dim under polluted skies, and the shine of a smile is no exception. Routine maintenance and regular visits to your dentist keep your smile looking as vibrant as the very person who wears it. There is nothing more rewarding than letting the light of your inner-self shine through your smile and project onto others. To help keep yours healthy and pleasantly contagious, schedule a visit to your dentist at Acosta Dental Arts, PA. We offer an array of dental services that will help maintain your oral health in the best condition. Please call 561-622-0301 to schedule your Free Smile Assessment today.