Darling Vanisha made a comment on my last post that inspired me for a new post. It is time for another reflection on language learning.
She asked me if I had a chat with the musician on Saturday. No I didn’t.
First of all, if I may use it as a reason: he is not the most approachable person. I don’t know if it’s because he is simply not interested in talking to people, or if he is just so emerged in his music that the world around him doesn’t matter, or some other reason only he knows. Maybe he is shy even. He doesn’t really look at people, he just plays his guitar. When people drop money in his case or buy a CD (and a lot do it) he gives them a little nod or a quick look, but no smiles or anything else.
Second: We Norwegians don’t really just strike up a conversations with strangers on the street. Basically up there, if someone talks to you randomly it normally means that they are either drunk or suffering some kind of mental illness and you might want to remove yourself from the conversation. Walk away is normally the thing to do, unless you are also drunk or mentally disturbed and have found your counterpart!
But here people might do so, it’s more normal. So let’s say I would try to be more Spanish and actually go talk to this person and tell him how truly wonderful I think his music is (I am hoping that smiles and applause is getting the same message across…) - I have become a bit shy in Spanish! I may not be the most extravert person in this world, but I have never been as shy as I somehow am in Spanish. I am still learning the language and still have a long way before I call myself fluent and I get oh so conscious about everything when talking to people I don’t really know. Don’t know why there is a difference, but it seems the more comfortable (as in knowing the person) I am,
or having had a few glasses of cava first, the less I worry about the words and grammar coming out of my mouth, instead of just jumping in with both feet.
So, the combination of him being a little distant and me being very Norwegian and a little shy answers your question Vanisha!
The more I learn of this language, the more difficult it becomes to speak it! In the beginning I even thought Spanish was kinda easy. I don’t think that anymore! There is so much grammar and so much to keep in mind and I like talking without having to think about every single word before I let them slip out of my mouth… But if you use a tense or even the accent of a word wrong, the meaning can get all changed. My brain seems to be having problems processing quick enough to find the right verb tense in the moment I need it.
As a note of comparison, the Norwegian language has 7 verb tenses where as Spanish has 20!
And I am a perfectionist. I don’t like to do things half way, I like to do things properly, and that is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to language learning. I want to be speak Spanish well, and it can be a bit restraining.
So that’s me. I will keep on going and one day I will get all this right!
Have you ever learned another language and have some useful tips for me?
(Other than" throw yourself into it". Tried that. Not for me.)