Baby Steps

As I scramble for reasonable excuses for the lack of posts on my blog as of late, I come to one very Look Upsad realization. That realization is that I am an extremely boring person.  Its true, really, I am. This seems bizzare that you would need so much convincing of the truth on this matter but please believe me,  I am really really boring! I just have a talent of tricking you all into thinking interesting things happen to me left and right.  Mind you things do “happen” to me, like food poisoning, but who wants to read a blog about that! LAME!!

I have been getting lots of questions about language and where I stand. Let’s just say I am like a 7 month old baby language-wise HAHA. I study often but should study more.  I have noticed a recent change in myself though.  I can suddenly understand quite a bit more of whats being said around me. Just seems like I am not scrambling quite so hard to understand the meaning of an entire sentence as opposed to knowing only one word. I must say when you start to learn a new language its really exciting to hear a word you are familiar with.  You find yourself having a mini conversation in your head that sounds a bit like this:

“OH MY GOODNESS!!! That person just said the Khmer word for BIG. WOW, and I knew it too! They said big and I totally understood them. YESSSSSS, who’s the best, oh yeah oh yeah!!” *initiate mini dance party in head*” I am going to be soooooo good at this language and……oh……um….uh oh, hold on!  They are still talking and none of it makes sense! Quick, say something in Khmer!  Ok, think think think!….uhhhhhhhhh oh no I can’t remember anything and they are looking at me like its my turn to talk. SPEAK you idiot! Stop drooling, uh oh, SARAH, come on, this is becoming soooooo awkward just staring  with your mouth open and saying nothing! ok, ok…um……. *You then open your mouth and say*

…”uh…BIG?!”

*back to brain conversation* ” BIG??!!! Seriously, that is ALL you could think of! You know if you would be a bit more humble and stop praising yourself in your own head you may have gotten more outta of what that person was trying to say to you! But nOOOOooo, your standing here and…..OH NO!!!  They are still talking and I didn’t even grasp one word.  Arghhhh, why do I do this to myself! WHY did I ever think I could learn a new language?? STOP nodding your head as though you understand what this person is saying!!!!  STOP IT SARAH! Ok think, um just smile *STARTS TO SMILE* Now let this person know you don’t understand….”       You then proceed to squint as though there is a light in your eyes and shake your head no.  You even start mouthing words really big, ENGLISH words saying you don’t understand.  That’s right, because my instinct is too dumb to realize un-uttered English words mouthed are STILL not going to be understood by a Cambodian!  I would then walk away as that person laughs at me!

The appearance of language learning  Stage 1 : Interested yet confused, scared and awkward.

The appearance of language learning Stage 1 : Interested yet confused, scared and awkward.

That is stage one!  I am past that stage, thank goodness. I quickly learned how to say ” I don’t understand” in Khmer! Problem solved. Haha. As I was saying though I can in fact understand small conversation.   Yesterday I was told in Khmer that I speak very well and very clear. I then proceeded to stumble over my tongue, said a word or two that I made up on the spot and pretty sure I spit a little!   Let’s just say learning a new language is a real life challenge.  There isn’t much of a fast track and it is extremely humbling, because everytime you think you got it,  you realize you are still like a 7 month old baby. A baby that is struggling to make understandable face gestures and noises to declare simple thoughts like “me hungry!”

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2 thoughts on “Baby Steps

  1. Julie says:

    Oh my! Can I relate! except for us the peoples hands are flying instead of mouth. One step forward 2 steps back then all of a sudden there is a day when you think you have taken 2 steps forward and someone looks at you like they understood you! Yeah! Keep it up.

  2. Amber says:

    This post cracked me up because it gave us a look inside that head of yours!!! and you are just as crazy as the rest of us!!!! Plus the picture of the little dog is sooooo adorable!!!

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