July 15, 2004
Learning a foreign language
I know many of you have tried to learn a foreign language. You know what itís like then to spend a lot of time learning, feel confident in the material you are learning and then be in a situation with a native speaker where you feel like you did not learn anything. The mind just goes blank and the person you are speaking to seems to be speaking some other language than the one youíve been working so hard to learn.
I felt that way today and have felt it with other languages also. When I went to Germany my German language skills were pretty good by testing standards, but speaking and listening to German in Germany was kind of overwhelming. Iíve seen it in class when the teacher asks someone a question at normal speaking speed. Tonight I met with my Korean language partner and it was difficult. Even words I knew, I could not understand when he spoke them. It can be frustrating but at the same time it lets us know we need a lot more work.
A positive thought that came out of my meeting tonight was this...when two people cannot understand each other very well, or even not at all, somehow we manage to communicate. It is the willingness of each of us to keep trying and to learn from each other. If people of foreign languages who barely understand each other can come together and learn each otherís language, share each otherís culture and thoughts, then in the realm of world politics there is hope. As long as there is a willingness to come together and understand each other, it can happen. We may realize we need more work and it can be frustrating, but isnít it worth the effort?
Posted by carl1236 at July 15, 2004 10:47 PM | Love your Neighbor