Language Matters: Do You Sound Like Yourself?

I whine and I complain. Although I know darn well that there’s no point. The only thing that will fix it is time, patience, and perseverance.

I’m talking about my Spanish.

At this stage, I’m not exactly getting a lot of sympathy either. The consensus among my Spanish friends seems to be that my Spanish is “good”.

That’s certainly very kind of them, I appreciate the thumbs up and a pat on the back just like the next person, but I don’t agree, and it’s got nothing to do with false modesty. What they are doing is comparing their English to my Spanish, and of course my Spanish would be better than their English, because most of my pals have never been to an English speaking country other than for a brief holiday. I, on the other hand, actually live here in Spain and need to use the language on a daily basis. In other words, they are comparing apples to oranges.

I wasn’t really sure how to convey the nature of my discontent succinctly, until, about a month ago, I came across this quote by jazz musician genius Miles Davis:

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”

MilesDavis

Now, I cannot read a musical score, never mind hold a note, but the direct parallel for me as a language learner is quite striking.

What I want, quite simply, is to sound like myself when I communicate in Spanish.

My level of frustration is directly proportional to the discrepancy between what I am able to say and what I want to say. My conversation partners are largely unaware of my internal battle; what they hear coming out of my mouth are (fairly) intelligible sentences. On a good day.

What they don’t hear are all the words and thoughts that died a silent death on the way. I avoid “risky” grammatical constructions, and that great expression I stumbled across in a book last night and which would come in so handy right now, has left the memory banks for good. I sound like I’m cranking up a spluttering, second-hand speech generator by its rusty handle instead of being plugged into the mains.

Those unsuspecting friends of mine remain blissfully ignorant of the colourful diatribes that ricochet through my brain. My unvented sarcasm pools, like congealed blood, at the back of my throat, never reaching the vocal chords. My true personality thrashes around, bound and gagged, in the frayed straightjacket of my linguistic incompetence. Which goes a lot towards explaining, I guess, why people are still willing to hang out with me.

The unnerving – but also exciting! – dimension of this is that I’ve no idea, as yet, what I’ll sound like in Spanish once I do actually manage to sound like myself.

For me, there is no joy in staying on the well-trodden path, in regurgitating prefabricated phrases. What I love is messing around with words. But rather than contorting the Spanish language into a dissonant artifact that is going to grate native speakers’ eardrums to shreds, I’m dying to inject a dash of originality here and there, to break the rules in a way that is only possible once you actually know the rules. To have fun with language is an integral part of my being, and as long as I can’t do that, I’m just not going to sound like myself.

It is difficult to explain this process to someone who hasn’t been through it themselves. Some bi/multilingual people will describe it as “having different personalities in different languages”. This doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head, though. For one, it makes it sound like we have a mental disorder.

To me, fully integrating another language feels more like having a new module, a powerful processor, the mother of a mega-chip, hardwired into your PersonalityCPU. As the new part gradually comes to life, it starts to fuse organically with the existing linguistic units. Once the process is complete, they are quite capable of running independently of each other, while, at the same time, forming a multidirectional information superhighway so much bigger than the sum of its constituent parts. If this sounds like a paradox, that’s because it is. It leaves you forever changed, yet it’s still the same you.

When I look back at the first two monolingual decades of my life, it seems like I’d been cramped into a titchy hovel. Then Project English came along, adding not only a swish kitchen, but a whole new storey to the building.

Right now, I’m constructing a verandah, a conservatory, a patio, a pool – I’m landscaping an entire garden, in fact. As we all know, building works are a messy affair. There’s piles of rubble, mountains of dust, and raw, ploughed-up earth that is going to need smoothing over and planting.

But I’ll get there. In a few years’ time, I’ll be watering my lush flower beds and munching on my freshly harvested strawberries, while chattering to my Spanish neighbours across the fence. And I’ll sound just like myself.

 

You may also be interested in my specialist language blog, see here: http://multilingualbychoice.blogspot.com

 

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79 thoughts on “Language Matters: Do You Sound Like Yourself?

  1. June

    “My unvented sarcasm pools, like congealed blood, at the back of my throat.” I hear you, sister! Even when I’m talking in English here I need to censor to use words and terms that will be understood. All my little gems are wasted as I can only say them in English and any wit is lost in translation. People probably think I’m cracked, tittering away to myself! We’ll get there eventually…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      That’s the flip side of the coin! I’ve just made friends with an Australian couple, and I’m delirious with joy about not having to modify and censor my English when I meet up for breakfast with them 🙂

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Thanks, Kim, I’d been brooding over this for quite some time, until I found the quote. Sometimes you just don’t know what you want to say, until you discover that someone’s already said it, and in one neat sentence 🙂

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  2. linnetmoss

    Came for the pic of Miles, stayed for the amazing prose! Great read this time. Very pungent stuff. Now there is just one problem: I can’t get the congealed blood out of my mind… it’s like an earworm.

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  3. con jamón spain

    “They are, of course, comparing their English to my Spanish’ Now, that’s an interesting way to look at it. We struggle to say almost anything – so don’t beat yourself up.
    (Tutu – one of Miles’s later records is brilliant, along with pretty much everything else – although some of the jazz-rock Bitches Brew stuff needs a little getting used to).

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  4. Expat Eye

    I guess the downside of getting really good is that you vent all of your sarcasm, frustrations etc – people are horrified and then you have nobody to talk to anyway 😉 But then that would inspire you to move to a new country, learn a whole new language and a find a different set of people you could scare off in a few years time – endless possibilities! 🙂 Good luck with your lush flower beds 😉 (You just had to get flowers in there somewhere, didn’t you?!)

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      1. ladyofthecakes Post author

        My brain’s already starting to rot… a couple of months ago, I couldn’t remember my PIN to save my life. I had to put my muesli back on the shelf 😦

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  5. fancyfrivolous

    I feel your pain! I was born in the Balkans, and although my first language is Serbian, I speak it with the style and vocabulary of a child. Going back to visit my family is always frustrating because I know that when I speak to them I don’t sound like myself. In their eyes I’m the kid who got away and got her head filled with silly, western, liberal ideas, and my language is silly enough to match.

    Language is so fascinating to me. They are tools with which we express ourselves but I think it goes much deeper than that. I think that they shape us and our understanding of the world. The language we think in describes the world to us in our heads and it affects our view of it. Being multilingual is like being very well travelled or well read-it gives us a broader spectrum.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      You know, I think it’s always like that when you go back to visit your family – I still have this problem, almost quarter of a century after I left, and my German is fine 😉

      I do get what you mean, though. In a case like yours, the effect is amplified x1000.

      And yes, we do understand our world and concepts via language, everything is filtered through your language spectrum, I completely agree.

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  6. joannesisco

    You did such a great job of expressing what I feel every time I visit with my husband’s family. They don’t speak english and my french is pretty rudimentary – even after 30 years of marriage. I still feel that after all these years, they don’t really know me – nor do I know them. I will have to remember that line about wanting to be able to sound like myself 🙂

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      1. joannesisco

        I agree. We tried in the early years to speak French at home. I simply got too frustrated by not being able to be myself … especially when we were disagreeing about something 🙂

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  7. wannabe polyglot

    I’m so with you on this one!! I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been trying to think how and when I started to sound like me in English, but I don’t know. It’s a gradual process and you’re struggling to accurately convey your thoughts every day until you don’t. And then you don’t even notice.

    It’s funny, I remember dating a guy in Australia many moons ago and I struggled so much and ultimately broke things off because I was convinced he didn’t even know the real me. I don’t think that is entirely true this day, but it is different somehow. And unless people are bilingual they won’t get it either.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      You reminded me…a while ago, I read a disturbing blog post from a blogger in Japan, who was called upon to help a friend with some marital problems. He was British, she Japanese. Essentially, they just could not communicate. Sounded all very uncomfortable… and BAFFLING! Doesn’t worry people if they haven’t got a bloody clue who this person is that they are married to? And I doubt it’s that uncommon….

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      1. wannabe polyglot

        It baffles me too. I guess it depends on the type of person and what kind of a relationship you want too. But for me, if I can’t have a proper conversation with someone it’s not happening. End of story

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  8. Karolyn Cooper

    I once shared a large student house with half a dozen British students, and one woman from the Netherlands. I believed this woman to be the most miserable, unfriendly, boring person….until she phoned home. This was long ago, before mobile phones, so she was phoning from the one shared landline in the hallway. From my room I could hear her talking to her family and laughing, and I felt so stupid and guilty because I obviously didn’t know the real her.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      We’ve all got so many sides to us 😉

      I was also sharing halls with a fantastic mix of people. The Taiwanese girl had big trouble communicating, and I felt a bit sorry for her being left out at times.

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  9. pollyheath

    I loved reading this post — it’s full of such interesting ideas. I agree that there’s not much fun in a language when you’re either translating or still picking your way carefully around the more difficult intricacies. I’ve definitely never totally mastered a foreign language, so I can only dream about what it might be like. Someday, perhaps…

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  10. nancytex2013

    Bravo on a wonderful post! There were so many things I love about it, but in particular, this: “My true personality thrashes around, bound and gagged, in the frayed straightjacket of my linguistic incompetence.” was absolutely brilliant!

    As a very young child I learned my family’s native tongue, Macedonian, from my immigrant parents who spoke only that at home. I learned English from my little playmates, out on the street, playing from sun-up to sun-down, long before X-Box and video games and thousands of TV channels. Up until I married in my early 20’s I could think in two languages without even thinking about it, if that makes any sense. I didn’t translate things in my head. I just had two versions of me: Macedonian Nancy for my parents/aunts/uncles; and Canadian Nancy for the rest of my universe.

    When I met my then boyfriend (now husband) at age 16, then his parents (Portuguese immigrants with very limited English) I used my keen ear for languages to learn their native tongue. Within a year I could understand every word spoken in that home. By the end of year 2, I could speak with a good degree of fluency.

    Fast forward into many years of marriage, two kids (who my Mother-in-Law shared in rearing) and having spent approx. 80% more time with the Portuguese family than the Macedonian family and now I “think” in Portuguese and English, but I struggle to translate words in my head, in Macedonian. If you don’t use it, you lose it. (Or at least I do..)

    Such a fascinating topic. I have huge respect for you and this massive undertaking. Clearly a passion project for you. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. The Wanderlust Gene

    Such an interesting post! I know the war you’ve been waging between what you say and what you’d like to say if only you could say it in a way that’d be understood across the fence. Interestingly, I could that culturalisation and creation of a new voice happens, even if you don’t change your language! My Sinhala never progressed beyond the playground really. Though I could decipher the letters well enough to go shopping with confidence and write my maid notes expressing ideas or moral tales, my everyday ‘adult’ conversations were conducted in English. What I noticed was that it wasn’t the English of my native place, but a filtered hybrid that reflected Sri Lankan cultural perspectives. I’m sure I must have picked up a bit of an accent, or perhaps more likely the tonal inflections of melodic Sinhala and the colourful Singlish which my English-speaking friends used, but it was the way I expressed ideas with my new voice that made me more understandable to the people I met – no matter their level of English.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      That’s another really interesting perspective you’ve presented there, how one’s English changes when moving abroad. My British friends moved to the US a couple of years ago (they leave in Key West now,you may have seen my posts from there), and they speak differently now than they did in the UK, especially with regards to vocab choice. You adapt to your surroundings, you want to be understood, it’s only natural.

      Not sure what is happening to my English here in Spain… I’ll tell you in half a decade when I’ve figured it out 😉

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  12. Jackie Cangro

    “My level of frustration is directly proportional to the discrepancy between what I am able to say and what I want to say.”
    Yes! That’s how I feel when I’m trying to speak Italian with a native speaker. I know I must sound like a nitwit. I want to tell them that I really do have deeper thoughts on the subject at hand, but I can only string together 2 syllable words. Of course I can’t tell them that because the word syllable itself is 3 syllables. Sigh. 🙂

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Yup. My first year here in Spain was pure torture, for that very reason. I find I’m lacking mainly adjectives at this stage. That’s why I’m reading like crazy!

      Are you currently doing a course,of how are you going about learning Italian? Just curious…

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  13. Renee

    Fantastic post–I definitely agree!
    I’ve also found that if I try to explain the concept that I’m a different person in English or that I have more profound realizations I can’t verbalize, people are confused. I’ve given up on explaining and just let them believe that the person they talk to is who I am. I think my Costa Rican friends would be surprised if they saw me in the context of my own culture.
    It’s interesting because my English-speaking friends ask me if I’m “fluent”. I don’t think I’m anywhere close. Sure, I can have a conversation without faltering, as long as we don’t hit on a specific topic I don’t have the vocabulary for. Fluent is such a fluid word. I won’t feel up to my definition of fluent until I can work with Spanish words like I can with English words, and like you said, “break the rules in a way that is only possible once you actually know the rules.”

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Thanks for commenting, I love hearing about other people’s experiences. And I especially love if they are agreeing with me, lol.

      This fluency thing – it’s a treacherous concept. I’m now what you would consider “fluent”, which means I can speak in coherent sentences and don’t need to search for my next word every two seconds, but it’s not enough.

      Fluency is also overrated. I’ve listened to some people speak English (and German) “fluently” and it sounded absolutely shit. This always worries me, because once they have reached this point, they clearly aren’t thinking about what they are saying, nor are they revising it internally, so they are stuck and probably won’t improve. On the other hand, I’ve listened to people speak haltingly, but quite well. And I believe that those have much more potential to truly master a language.

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  14. Wendy Kate

    Interesting post! I work at an international school and love hearing how some of the students can just effortlessly switch between English and Spanish, even right in the middle of a sentence!. I have been living in Spain for 10 years now – I hate telling people that because my Spanish is still so basic.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Code switching… I do that all the time, but only with some people. Can be great fun, especially if you’re playing with the language(s), and you’re not purely forced to switch because you just can’t think of a word.

      What do you teach?

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    2. Kim G

      I was just in Laredo, TX, technically part of the USA, but in many ways part of Mexico. And there, people speak mostly Spanish, but switch back and forth between Spanish and English with dizzying speed, sometimes even dropping the words from one language right into the middle of a sentence from the other language, all without missing a beat.

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  15. bevchen

    Well, you certainly have a way with words in English! “My unvented sarcasm pools, like congealed blood, at the back of my throat” is the best sentence I’ve read all week!

    I still occasionally have trouble expressing myself in German the way I’d like to. My German is pretty fluent, but when lots of people are talking at once it sometimes takes me a while to gather my thoughts, so I end up either saying a simplified version just so I can get my say before it’s too late…

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Glad you enjoyed it… I wrote that at 3am with only 3% of my neurons still active. I guess that’s the only way to do it.

      Participating effectively in group conversations is still a big challenge for me in Spanish. It’s not just that I’m not fast enough, but also there are quite a few colloquial expressions that I’m not getting. I know I’ll get there, but I’m very impatient…!

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  16. Pingback: Nothing, really | Confuzzledom

  17. Anna

    Wow, what an epic essay. With swish! And an awesome analogy in the end.
    I really liked studying a language in a school format and then writing long essays on complicated topics – that’s what I did at uni in Madrid. That helped me force myself to sound like me, so try and sound complex and sophisticated (bc clearly I am all those things ;-)). I sometimes get the idea of reviving my Spanish – the thought is still floating around – but right now my two ‘native’ tongues make me feel pretty adequate.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      At the moment I’m reading complicated things, but not writing them. Maybe that’s what I need to tackle next. I’m conscious that I’m not nearly writing enough in Spanish. Partly, my reluctance is due to my fear of having my errors actually recorded in ‘black on white’.

      Three years ago, when I decided to focus seriously on my languages again, my goal was to reach a high level of competence (i.e. native speaker level) in five languages over my lifetime. I’m now no longer sure whether this is realistic. I think I’ve left it too late 😦

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      1. Anna

        I remember having those goals 🙂 Re: languages, career, grad school, travel… then life happened. But then in the most unexpected way life happened again and the career component just…dropped me in the right place at the right time. And strangely demotivated me from other stuff like grad school and languages 🙂 I WAS gonna get onto the travel train this year, then suddenly we got into War of the Worlds, and that plan got…let’s say, delayed? for now?

        ANYWAY.

        How about you start with food? It’s something you know and feel confident about knowledge-wise, which should be affirming enough to apply to language. Take a topic similar to ‘which nation eats the most…’ and write that, but in Spanish, from scratch. Dont worry about the mistakes. Just write how it comes out in your head. This is literally how I got my Spanish to written/grammatical fluency, writing policy papers on Russia-EU partnerships, post-Franco economic development, and Zara’s micro-manufacturing approach. It’s easier to start on paper – and then in no time you’ll be dropping in pluperfect subjunctive in your over-cake chats in no time.

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      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        I, too, have shelves goals and dreams for long stretches of time – can’t do everything all at once! – but the trouble, is, the stuff you really care abut keeps resurfacing. Also, as you get older, you suddenly realise that you’re running out of time.

        Writing… I know what you’ve said there makes perfect sense, it’s a great strategy. I think what I’ll have to do, once I get to Madrid, is take a serious course in something I’m interested in but haven’t tackled yet, quite possibly philosophy..

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  18. barbedwords

    Excellent post, very interesting and beautifully written, loved the idea of learning a language like building a house. People here must think I’m a total idiot when I speak to them in Italian – actually, maybe I do sound like myself?? 😉

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  19. Giovannoni Claudine

    I know it can be frustrating (I feel that myself) when I wish to speak and write “in a clear and concise way” english…
    Languages are so different one from the other, here around we have the chance to learn I – F- D already with 6-12 yrs. old, after we start E. My oldes child has aditional latin and greek, with time he’ll need to make choices.
    But spanish and portuguese aren’t a piece of cake… at least, until you throw you headlong…
    It’s important to practice… I wish you good luck!!! 🙂 claudine

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  20. Kim G

    Your English is excellent, well better than that of many native speakers. I never read one of your sentences and think, “that sounds weird or foreign.” So obviously you have high standards.

    As for fluency, I think I’ll agree with some of the other commenters. Before I had really learned a second language, to me fluency meant something like arriving in a city. You either cross the city limits or you don’t. There’s no in-between. Now I realize it’s a much more subtle concept. I’m pretty fluent in Spanish conversation, but if I had to discuss repairing my car, I’d be back to something like, “you know, that thing that goes around to make sure the spark hits the right cylinder at the right time,” rather than just say “distributor.” So fluency is more like playing a musical instrument. Even accomplished, professional players continue to take lessons because they can always get better. Also, is a twelve-year-old who only speaks one language fluent? In some senses yes, but in other senses no. If you spoke German like a German 12-year-old, you’d feel horribly restricted too.

    With regards to my own journey into Spanish, once I realized that Spanish required a new mindset, it helped enormously. In English (and I’d imagine German) there are loads of words with subtle differences, so you can be VERY precise and explicit in what you say. This was recently brought home when I was asked to explain the difference between “long” and “lengthy.” I thought a minute and then responded that “lengthy” had an unsaid “too long” included, but otherwise meant the same thing. My experience of Spanish is that such very subtle distinctions are either left to be tacitly understood, or are simply lacking. Once I gave in to the idea that what I was saying wasn’t going to be as precise as I was used to, it became easier for me to be me in Spanish. But that “me” became a bit more of a Latin “me,” a bit more laid back, a bit less precise. But otherwise just as ironic and witty as in English. Frankly the opportunity to escape yourself a little bit is one of the joys of going somewhere else, immersing yourself in another culture, and learning the language.

    Great, great post. This merits a “freshly pressed” in my opinion.

    By the way, as a parting thought, Picasso once said what you did. “To break the rules, you have to know them first.” And if you look at his early work, it was academic and realist. Only once he had mastered those rules did he break out and create something really different.

    You too will do the same.

    Kim G
    Zacatecas, ZAC
    Where we are enjoying lunch in a restaurant with amazing art covering every square centimeter of wall space.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Kim G

      P.S. Have you ever read “Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish” by Joseph J. Keenan? I know you are well beyond beginner’s Spanish, and yes, the book is geared toward Mexican Spanish. But if nothing else, it’s a funny read, and I still periodically pick it up and learn something new.

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    2. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Thanks so much for for your detailed insights on your journey into Spanish, it’s immensely appreciated! That’s why I blog, first and foremost, to have these kinds of exchanges 🙂

      The thing about rule breaking, I did read that somewhere, but wasnt’ sure whose quote it was. Certainly not mine, coz it’s kinda clever.

      I’d write a much longer response, but after a long day travelling, I’m totally wiped. And nobody understands that better than you 😉

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      1. Kim G

        At this point, yes. I totally understand, LOL. I’m now about two cities behind in posting to my blog, LOL. Saludos y abrazos.

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  21. expatlingo

    What a great post! You vent your frustration beautifully. I wonder what my Mandarin self will be like once I meet her (didn’t we calculate that it would take 15 years more for me to hit Gladwell’s 10,000 hour sweet spit at my present rate?)

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  22. Kristin

    That’s a great quote! And I know what you mean. I also was just recently thinking about people who are satisfied when they can make themselves understood in every day life. Which is great, I guess. But I am with you on that one. Also when it comes to sarcasm. Very often I just keep my mouth shut because I don’t know how to properly express what I mean. On top of that, there are cultural differences, of course. If I make a sarcastic remark during my English classes, my students don’t get it for the Mexican humour is very childlike, I’d say, and they don’t know a thing about sarcasm or irony. Thanks for sharing your struggle and frustration!

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Thanks Kristin! I knew you’d have something to say about this, having gone through the process yourself. Interesting re. differences in humour. I’ve also often thought about the stereotype of the ‘humourless German’. A misunderstanding, I think, because German humour can be quite dry, and unless you have an in-depth understanding of the culture and the language, you won’t get why something said with a straight face is actually quite funny.

      Then again, the Spanish laugh at things that a German wouldn’t find funny, like people being conned and cheated. They even have an expression for this “la picaresca española”, and it’s apparently hilarious when someone trusting and unsuspecting (and not necessarily stupid) gets done over.

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  23. archecotech

    With each word in this post, I felt pressure coming off my shoulders. My back is a little straighter I’m not crazy, I’m just in the process of learning to jump the wall just a little taller then myself. I must admit it only feels like I’m just breaking dirt. The soil is rocky on top sitting on top of a gold mine. The pick in my hand doesn’t seem to be doing the job except breaking up the monolithic rocks in my mind. What I am finding is that I have to change what’s already up there first, before I plant the seeds to my second garden. Anyway, I’m going to be using this post to teach my students. Hope you don’t mind. Excellent job exposing the difficulties in learning a new language.Just hoping the other side of the wall isn’t just another pasture but a home to dwell in.

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  24. archecotech

    Reblogged this on Life in Russia and commented:
    With each word in this post, I felt pressure coming off my shoulders. My back is a little straighter I’m not crazy, I’m just in the process of learning to jump the wall just a little taller then myself. I must admit it only feels like I’m just breaking dirt. The soil is rocky on top sitting on top of a gold mine. The pick in my hand doesn’t seem to be doing the job except breaking up the monolithic rocks in my mind. What I am finding is that I have to change what’s already up there first, before I plant the seeds to my second garden. Anyway, I’m going to be using this post to teach my students. Hope you don’t mind. Excellent job exposing the difficulties in learning a new language.Just hoping the other side of the wall isn’t just another pasture but a home to dwell in.

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  25. Pingback: How To Start Reading In A Foreign Language | Lady Of The Cakes

  26. Pingback: Is Learning Three Romance Languages At The Same Time A Route To Insanity? | Lady Of The Cakes

  27. Em

    Reblogged this on happilylost and commented:
    This is the most precise summation of how it feels to be a semi-fluent speaker of a foreign language. The struggle to be understandable is only a very small part of the battle. The hardest part isn’t what you are saying, but rather how you say it so that it sounds like you. To be original in a language is on par, or more advanced, level-wise to being able to speak eloquently in said language.

    Another interesting point is the idea that, even when we develop ourselves in another language, we won’t necessarily know what we will sound like. We can’t sound exactly like how we sound in our first language, because that is impossible; the twists and turns such as idioms, verbal expressions, syntax, semantics, etc, between languages don’t coincide. Phrasing a thought in your second language the exactly as you would in your first language is folly- you would sound like a complete and utter moron. You have to understand the language first before you can adapt it to your personality.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      That is a good point – there are many expressions, words and sayings in our native languages which, even though part of our register, we wouldn’t use because we don’t like them, for some reason, they don’t “suit” us. It takes a long time to get that feeling for another language and treat it with the same discernment. Thanks for commenting!

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