I find public speaking really difficult, and last night I had to do just that..but in German. And then we had to watch video of ourselves speaking after the fact. (!) Ok, only in front of a small class, but my god, it really made the case for being properly prepared.

I understand the point of the exercise –  to develop proficiency in a language you have to build the confidence to try, after which you make mistakes, learn, and adjust. No amount of book nosing will gain you the ability to properly speak a language, it takes SPEAKING to do that. Still, throughout the class I had that feeling I was the unprotected baby bird being pushed out of the nest way up high.  <Fly, fucker!>

Our teacher told us she found learning English really difficult and frustrating, and pow, just like that,  one day she found she could understand people. She had the feeling it is like that for most people learning a foreign language. I wish I had a larger readership to find out how much the case that is.

I had the impression it comes on painfully slowly. I can get farther into a conversation now before either party exhibits that telltale blank look and it becomes too painful to continue. I can understand chunks of weather reports, kids shows, and restaurant menus.  However, to watch a regular television show in German or try to fathom the content of a chat between two native speakers is still so far over my head, it makes we wonder if I’ve learned _anything_ so far.

“They” also say to be able to converse in a language you only need about 1000-1500 words. I think it’s the grammar part that messes with that (tenses, plurals, technical terms and slang anyone?). I can spout random words, but until I can put them together in the right spots, and use them properly – I can’t be understood.

I’m just saying it’s hard but I’m not about to give up.

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