Oct 2, 2008

Foreign languages are great...

Except when people mistake you for being fluent.

I am a semi-tutor at my school for the korean people so when they have problems or questions with their english homework, they come to me. I try my best to explain it using every resource I have and I don't end my "lesson" until they understand and can use what I taught them. Maybe that is being too thorough and nice.

I'm saying this because for the past two weeks, all the new korean friends that I have made do some things that aggrivate me. They ONLY speak to me in Korean and they do so at a native level speed so I can catch maybe one or two words. They abbreviate the phrases they are using, speak using different dialects, and talk rather quickly. The thing that gets me is that no matter how many times I tell them I can't understand what they are saying, they continue to speak it to me the same way using the same expressions. Then, they get upset with me because I don't understand and instead of returning the same courtesy I give to them, they just say "Anyway. Don't worry about it." and move on...leaving me behind.

I don't appreciate that.

Can anyone relate to this?

3 comments:

nenuphar said...

I totally understand...because I'm one of those people that can imitate accents, I speak (French) with a fair amount of native-like accuracy, but that doesn't mean grammar is a cinch for me. And comprehension is the hardest part of language for me. Usually, it's the other way around for other people...which probably explains why people don't understand and get irritated with us, not realizing we just operate differently.

I try to explain all this to people so they'll lower their expectations of me, but it often doesn't register. I can hardly string a little sentence together in Korean, but all my Korean friends say, "You speak so well!" Nuh-uh.

Nicholas Cripps said...

Um... I do have a Japanese friend who did that... in the end I kinda felt annoyed and embarrassed coz I couldnt understand what she was saying...

Theresa said...

yep, i get that alot too. i try to end the conversation every time i think they're gonna say something i don't know. haha.