21.3.11

The Sequel, My Language Woes and Confessions

I am not much of a fan of sequels...but I am still a language student (I will be one as long as I am here.) and I am still learning, growing, and apparently in need of some confessing. So, here it is , my sequel to: "Confessions and Woes of A Language Student."

1. When I only understand a few words in the sentence OR when I think I might be able to get away with guessing the meaning from context only, I take my chances. And I guess. I answer back with all the confidence I can muster. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not. I feel like I am on a game show, waiting to be gonged off, buzzed out, told "You are the weakest link, goodbye." It is sort of stressful, sort of exciting- talking is an adventure.

2. Sometimes, I wish I could end conversations with, "I sound less stupid in English." I think though, that God is teaching my humility with my childlike speech. If God is willing to teach me, than I guess I am willing to learn.

3. I am not the most merciful person in the world anyway -but when people start crying and talking AND expecting me to understand, I just want to say, "Either stop crying or stop talking, because I cannot understand you when you do both."

4. I once stood up after being peed on by a cute little boys and announced, "I will read! I will read!" I used the right word for "wet", but pronounced it wrong. I also used the future tense affix. I was panicking, not thinking. It is hard to panic AND think in another language.

5. Even though I have been told that the laughter that inevitably follows me demonstrating my Cebauno skills is happy shock and appreciation- it still makes me feel insecure. Sometimes it is easier to speak English, and just not to create a fuss or draw more attention to myself.

6. When speaking I often translate what I said immediately into English. Even if the person I am conversing with has been understanding me and is not acting confused. Basically I am becoming the world's most redundant person. I guess I feel like if I say it twice, my listener is twice as likely to understand. (In truth though, it probably just makes me twice as annoying to talk with.)

7. I realized the other day that when I work on pronunciation that this is what I would sound like if I was learning English..."Ceiling....ceeeeiling....ceilllling...Cat....CAT...caaaaaaaaat." Yup, I sound like a moron. It is great.

8. Animals speak in different languages too. Don't believe me? Find an international and ask them what sound a chicken or a cow makes. I bet you will disagree with what they say.

9. Sometimes when I understand, I am scared that I only think I understand and that in reality I am really just confused. And in truth, sometimes that is exactly what I am. Confused.

10. I love people who talk with their hands. It helps me understand and follow the conversation so much better!

2 comments:

  1. I understand about 75% of what my parents say in Vietnamese, and can get another 15% from contextual clues. But one out of ten times they'll bust out an idiom and I'll have no clue what they are saying.

    I've heard that you know a language once you dream in that language. I guess our minds work on understanding foreign languages even in our sleep, Miss Lizzie...

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  2. *LIKE* Lizzie! We miss you!

    John and Patricia McClung

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