Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do You Mind Not Knowing What is Going On?

Show card for my Art in India exhibition.
A Nepali Indian friend asked if it bothers me ”when people just speak in Hindi?” She continued, “I think it would drive me nuts if everyone around me was talking and I couldn’t understand.” This is a good question…

The simple answer is “no, it has not bothered me yet.” I really enjoy observing and using these times to learn and listen. Every time I have wanted to understand more or need clarification I always ask.

So why does it not bother me? Haha probably because I am a bit socially awkward to begin with. I don’t mind observing nor do I mind that isolated feeling while in a large group, in fact I really enjoy it. I love people but am fairly introverted. That “alone in a crowd feel” can be incredibly nice…though I don’t really feel alone with my Indian friends. Most of the time I can pick up enough….though the times I am lost are nice too. Sometimes I just don’t talk even when I do know what’s going on. I suppose it’s less awkward to have the language “barrier” as an excuse.

The most important reason I don’t mind is the answer to the question “what is the best way to learn a language?” To go to the country…unfortunately I tend to do things backwards. I go to the country then a month after returning home decide to commit to learning the language. Spending time with people speaking the language you are trying to learn is really the only way to pick up a language…

The other friend in the car joined in and stated “they don’t do it on purpose, it’s just habit.” We continued the discussion for a bit longer (and by we I mean I continued to ponder over the question in my head…I will share my ponderings in future posts.)

I nodded in agreement as we continued to sing along to Bollywood music and drove off.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

October - December Goal - Separation

My 2 Language Study Plan worked alright for a while but I realized that people in other parts of the world are awake when they are awake and there were certainly nights where I was chatting with people in both languages.

I found that changing the times was helpful but even more so is consciously switching off one for one person and switching it back on for another person.

This is easier said than done. I can't tell you how many times I would use a word from wrong language only to notice when my friend responded with "what are you saying?" It typically would happen when I couldn't think of the right word and I was unaware that my brain just replaced it so I would need to look it up the word in the correct language.

Also talking to myself is helpful. It takes a lot more effort to think in Hindi. Portuguese is getting pretty easy to think in. Krio just happens. And French is quite difficult.

My biggest struggle with the Hindi is still the sentence structure because my vocabulary is decent (except I have forgotten a lot) and you can use English and be understood.

I still don't have Hindi and Portuguse figured out, but I think I will be needing to add in some Spanish to the mix. There have been several times people will speak to me in Spanish. I understand and then respond in portunol or just plain old portuguese.

This is not ok. I am around enough Spanish that I actually need Spanish in my town...so I am also working on separating Spanish and Portuguese in my head. This should not be too difficult, except I do fear loosing my Portuguese before I get decent and not getting it back....ever. Will see.

So my goal October - December Goal (or until I re-write goals):
Speak Hindi and to keep languages separate in messages, conversation and my brain.

Thank guys!!!