Saturday, January 10, 2009

Problems Arising

I just realized some problems I'm starting to experience at work. Although it IS more fun to have plenty of coworkers and we can talk about anything during our break, but here are some basic problems that I've encountered lately compared to my two other training places:

1. If there are more than 2 other people on the table during the break (sometimes there can be 5 of them!) and they start talking about many topics, if I REALLY want to follow the conversation well, I don't have much time to start formulating my responses. Why? Because if I start thinking about my responses (especially if they're long ones), I'll LOSE TRACK of the rest of the conversation.

Thus I resort to focusing on the conversation and I end up just smiling or nodding or showing the right mimic and blurting out short phrases. So I've become a passive listener instead of being an active participant of the conversation.

This problem is not as bad if there's only one other person with me or maximum two other people with me.

2. If I don't understand some words (which happen regularly since they talk about LOTS of stuff and my vocabulary is still limited - plus in normal conversations people sometimes use the slang words), I feel bad if I keep on asking as I'll ruin the flow of the conversation. ---> I'm pretty sure they won't mind if I ask them, but it just doesn't feel okay to ask all the time EVERY single day, every single break we have...

Thus I only try to guess - sometimes I guess well, sometimes I just don't have a clue of what they're talking about. Sometimes I can remember the word or phrase that I don't know so that I can ask R2 about it when I get back home or I can look it up in the dictionary, but most of the time I don't remember anymore as the conversation shifts to other topics.

This problem can be eliminated if I only talk to ONE other person, since then if I don't understand, we won't be able to carry a conversation, right? So either I have to ask or pretend that I understand hi hi hi hi...I don't mind asking if it's a one-on-one conversation since it's pretty easy to do.

3. More often than not, after our break is over, I start formulating my responses to whatever they have talked about during the break, but then once I know what to say, it's already too late to say it to them, right? It's kinda crazy, but I'm still in this phase of learning this language.

Okay, I just thought I should write these down here to remind myself about this. I'll blog-hop later, OK? I'm so sleepy he he he...


  1. he he he... i knew all the story, i experienced it. That's the problem with learning a language. But in time, everything would be better..:)

  2. Oh gosh, that reminds me that I've pretended that I understood what someone was saying though I didn't have a clue SO many times... But it doesn't make sense becuase I'm much more embarrassed if the other person actually finds out I had only been pretending to understand, than asking a simple question... I'm sure you'll be fine, as you progress, besides once you start asking them about the words they had used more often, you'll probably grow more comfortable with it :)

  3. Same with Jeanne, I know your feelings :D Amel, I just lost my MIL :((

  4. Amel, it doesnt matter where you are or what you do, there is always a problem or two. I'm sure you'll be ok.

  5. Jeanne + Jul: Yeah, you've lived longer in Holland, so you've got past this phase of mine he he he...

    Bitter Chocolate: Yeah, I know what you mean he he he...THANKS for the encouragement!!!

    Febri: Yeah, problems are everywhere. I wrote this not just for my own journal, but also MAYBE it can help natives in any country to understand the problems faced by foreigners who aren't really fluent in their language yet. :-))) So they'd understand IF those foreigners aren't really talkative he he he...

  6. Hi Amel,

    I know exactly what you mean.. but I know that subconsciously you are picking up on some words.. and hey, even if it is only ONE word..then you have learnt something new.

    I think it is helpful even just to see how they formulate their sentences and use the slang. I just KNOW you can and will handle it AND rise above it!

    I have confidence in your abilities!

    I read something today and I will say it here... 'Doubt is not the opposite of Faith, it is an element of it'.

    Have replied on my blog to your Kemi message...

    Love Michelle x

  7. Mrs Arctic Rainbow: THANKS!!! No worries, I'm not depressed or anything. This is just something I need to write not just for my own journal (so when I look back I know how far I've come) plus also to help other people understand how foreigners cope with learning a new language.

    Yups, I know I'll pick up more and more words as time goes by...but to balance out my passivity, I've tried talking to R2 more often in Finnish. :-))))

  8. I know it must be hard to understand everything when several are talking. But I am so impressed that you have done so well in learning the language, plus you know other languages also! I only know English.

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  10. Hi! Care to x-link? I have added you already in my list. Have a nice day!

  11. You're doing far better than I could! I can only speak English and a few basic words in French!
    I bet you're doing better than you think you are. And practice makes perfect, you're probably improving all the time without realising it.

  12. Hi Amel,

    What you are experiencing is perfectly normal, when we are learning a new language.

    I have only one advice: asking what you don't know yet is a way of learning (because you will never forget again) :)!

    But don't worry, if formulating your responses, even if too late, is also another great learning technique :D!

    I wish you a fantastic week, darling :D!


  13. the challenge that you are having during the break will actually help you, I think, b/c it will sharpen your language skills and expand your vocabulary.

    Maybe, somehow, you can look at it as a positive.

  14. Hi, people, THANKS for all your support. :-)))) Someday I'll rise against these challenges, though for the time being I'm walking "in a wobbly way" he he he...