Autumn’s Adventures


Miss Mute
December 27, 2008, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

The one thing I do not enjoy about learning a language is the almost complete loss of my personality due to lack of conversational skills.  When I am in a group of friends I barely speak.  It is not because I don’t have a bajillion things to talk about or because I’m shy or not interested in what is being said.  Obviously this is not the case as all of you know me and know how outgoing, loud, and outspoken I am.  You also know how crudely I crack dirty jokes and have a wit like no other. (feeding my ego here…let me be).
It is so hard to follow a conversation when in a big group because if you don’t pay attention for one second you become completely lost it what is being said.  Also, if I don’t know a word or can’t understand someone’s accent I also lose the subject of the conversation.  Sometimes when I am able to follow the conversation, I think of something to say but by the time I have formulated the correct sentence/response in my head they have either finished that conversation or the timing is off and it would be weird if I said what I have to say.
Sometimes I think people feel bad for me and try to include me in the conversation, but only for a minute or so because I struggle to think of an answer, it takes me too long to respond or I don’t understand what they are asking me.  Other times, people will try to have one-on-one conversations with me and I can handle those but most of the time they want to be part of the bigger group discussion so our small chats only last a few minutes or a few questions and then they return to the larger discussion.
So I spend most of my time sitting there and watching people’s mouths move and their body language and I try to pick out things that I know from what they are saying, even if I can’t follow the whole conversation.  Sometimes it is so mentally draining that I drift off into my own head and daydream or make lists of things that I need to learn and practice or things I need to do the next day.  If I am in a big group with lots of people that I don’t know, I try to look busy by playing on my phone.  I’m usually deleting old text messages or trying desperately to find someone to text with.
BUT regardless of all of these painful and most times utterly boring group discussions, I continue to force myself to be part of them.  As much as I struggle I am still learning a whole lot and making new friends and listening to the natural way to have a conversation in castellano.  It doesn’t get any more raw and real than that and it is too valuable to pass up.

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