As a linguist with YLC, I am passionate about the idea of language as a bridge to connect people and empower communities.  So, I was shocked recently when I googled “language learning as a bridge” only to discover a debate raging in seven of the first ten hits as to whether language was a bridge or a barrier.

The atmosphere at Neighbors Cafe and Community Center during April’s First Friday in Lancaster bore witness to the bridge-building power of language!  That evening, YLC partnered with their most gracious host, Timm Wenger, to celebrate their first ever Conversation Café.  Folks involved in the planning spread the word and even the signs displayed outside brought in a diverse group of participants.  There was a variety of language levels in the room, but everyone could *defenderse* (defend themselves), as we say in Spanish!  People came to represent the lands they called home, either because they were home before moving to Lancaster, or because they had become home due to frequent or prolonged visits.  About a dozen Spanish-speaking countries were on display, and quickly the topic turned to food!

At the mention of favorite foods, cherished restaurants, secret recipes and specialty shops, everyone had something to say about the treats that delight them the most!  Soon people were exchanging information and making plans to enjoy some of the diverse grub that makes Lancaster such a delicious place to live!  Many people exchanged contact information, made new acquaintances, and invited each other to similar events around town.  It was a true bridge-building experience, bringing neighbors together through language, and helping two great organizations live up to their missions.

So if you’re someone who still sees a barrier where there could be a bridge, please reach out to us today.  We’re happy to provide wraparound language services, including:

. interpretation services: face-to-face, virtual and telephone

. document translation, transcreation and translation

. public, private, two-on-one and customizable language learning solutions

. customizable language, culture and DEI workshops for institutions, businesses and schools

If that list leaves you wanting to know more, contact us today!

Also, if you’d like to know about future language cafés or the other ways YLC collaborates with businesses and community organizations in Central Pennsylvania and beyond, please be sure to keep following our blog and check out our Instagram and LinkedIn feeds below!

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