Local, regional and national identities are ‘reshuffled’ each time an individual changes language or dialect in order to obtain a job, to qualify for a position, or enter a school. Every crossing by an individual of physical and language borders to survive or start afresh as a migrant and every application for citizenship or test of language proficiency are acts of self-‘translation‘ and transformation. Such acts entail - next to possible net gains in ‘employability‘, or the possibilities of integration or assimilation - a loss of memory, of self-expression and all that is contained in an individual's particular voice and its lived particularity.The changing status and role of learning for adults moving across linguistic and political boundaries in the greater-than-EU27 ‘West’ - young adult students of the former ‘Eastern Bloc’ (Ukraine and Bulgaria) - are the subjects of this micro-research project. This paper will focus on experiences of transition and transformation - a form of self-‘translation’ - undergone by these individuals who are ‘peripheral’ citizens in the mainstream political and economic landscapes of the EU27.The paper seeks to show how biographical narrative interviews, sensitive to the changing language resources of migrants, and sensitive, too, to the use of these language resources in the co-construction of new learning spaces, help researchers in adult education to hear how learning and identity formation can be told. In the narratives of the young adults interviewed here, learning is shaped and expressed as biographical learning, and both difficulties and success have their place in the shifting contexts in which learning takes place.