Speaking from the heart

By Emily Binns
staff writer

The problems in the lives of many teens today are very different compared to the difficulties that have presented themselves in junior Marta Blagovic’s life. Including the challenges of school, friends and family, she also takes on a whole different dilemma. Blagovic is deaf.

Born without any hearing capabilities, Blagovich had trouble learning to speak growing up. she had to learn how to pronounce letters and form words without having the advantage of being able to hear herself or the sounds she was making.

“Most [of my difficulties] came from my childhood and learning how to speak, because I had to learn how to form the muscles,” Blagovic said.

The reason for Blagovic being born without her hearing was unknown at the time of her birth. Her sister was also born with hearing-related issues. Doctors still do not know the cause of either of the sisters hearing problems.

“We do not know why I was born deaf,” Blagovic said. “It’s a mystery gene because in our family, no one else is deaf. So its just me and my sister, [who is] half deaf.”

Despite this challenge, Blagovic has overcome amazing odds to pursue her interests and dreams. One of the most intriguing interests that
Blagovic has dedicated endless hours of time and effort into is learning, living and breathing language. Currently, she knows three different languages and is working on learning her fourth.

“My first language is Croatian, [because] I am from Croatia and grew up with the language,” Blagovic said. “Then I learned English, a little bit of Russian and now I’m learning Spanish.”

Without being able to hear the words she says or the sounds she is producing, Blagovic has been able to depend on her dedication, willingness to learn and those around her who provide her with guidance to master these languages.

“I like learning new languages,” Blagovic said. “It’s something that I love to do very much. I believe I have a talent.”

Blagovic does not plan on ending her education in language anytime soon. After she has finished developing her knowledge in Spanish, which she is currently committing to her memory, she intends to study sign language.

“I don’t know sign language yet, but I want to learn,” Blagovic said. “I think it would help a lot with communication.”

Blagovic would have learned sign language sooner, but she and her mother wanted to make learning to speak clearly and engagingly in conversation with people a priority. For this reason, Blagovic hasn’t had time to learn sign language in the past. However, she is looking forward to studying it in the future.

Blagovic has learned much through her struggles, and has bettered herself by letting these difficulties teach her. Despite being deaf, Blagovich has never allowed her frustrations and complications to stand in the way of the things she loves.

“It’s helped me [by] showing me two different worlds,” Blagovic said. “I know I can do what every other person can do, no matter what.”

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