Saturday, November 12, 2011

"They won't speak with me!"

I have encountered several people suggesting different things and reasons for why foreign people won't talk their language with you, but insist on using English.

"However, some people (especially my close friends whom I normally speak English with) basically refused to speak to me in Hebrew. Even when I spoke it to them, they answered in English, as if they didn't even notice that I was trying to practice."
Amy (PinkPumpkin)

I'm trilingual. Our home language is Swedish, my internet language - obviously - is English, and my native language is Finnish. I find it extremely hard to remember that I can't just use any language as it pleases me, in Sweden with Swedish people I should use Swedish; with my parents and Finnish relatives I should use Finnish. I forget. I have been explaining things in Swedish to my Finnish SIL, who looks at me like "what the heck is she saying?" and I have been wondering why, until my sister pokes me to the side and says "Psst, Ket, you're talking Swedish..."
My husband tries to learn Finnish and having a Finnish wife would be an excellent opportunity - you'd think. It's not that I don't WANT to talk to him in Finnish, it's that I forget. In my head the language of communication with him is Swedish (sometimes English), not Finnish. Even when he tries saying something in Finnish, I respond in Swedish - and this is not because I don't understand he's trying to practice, it's because I'm used to understand what he says, AND used to using Swedish, so if he says anything I understand, he must be using Swedish. :-D

So, Amy, I believe this is what happened with you and your friends. They weren't trying to practice their English and they weren't trying to honor you by using your language, or make you feel at home, or anything like that. They just understood perfectly well what you said and just automatically understood you were speaking English... that's how good your Hebrew is :-D
When you happen in a situation like that, just keep using Hebrew - or what ever language it is you are trying to practice - and if you want to make it really funny, make a really stupid beginner mistake and see how their brains goes a couple of rounds without clicking... "hey... wait a minute... there's something weird about this situation... what's happening? OMG, SHE'S SPEAKING HEBREW!!!" :-D


I have a slight dyslexia, or something of the sort. I believe I read things that aren't there, and I often forget letters or switch places of letters... It's not that I have difficulties knowing exactly what letters we are talking about, or that I didn't know exactly how to write things or read, but - it happens.
My husband bought a loaf of bread yesterday, a white "fluff" toast. It's called "storform" in Swedish "big shape (bread tin)" and I kept reading it "stormfront" :-D
Yeah... "aryans" are like white fluff-toast; bland, white, fluffy, adopts the flavor of anything you spread on it and gives you indigestion :-D


5 Strategies for Visual-Spatial Learners
- illustrated flashcards, language memory games, draw pictures, use models... sure, nice, when it comes to nouns, but what about all the other parts of language? How do you illustrate "tel" or "sûr"?
Nah. Sounds like Ryan hasn't really understood how the visual-spatial mind works. Well... of course the ideas he gives work too, but need to be expanded and adjusted, some quite a lot, for adult language learners who have advanced past "beginner" stage could use them.

OK, so my suggestions for strategies for adult language learners with visual-spatial mind
(I decided to post them as their own post)

He doesn't seem to have much understanding of intrapersonal people either.
Intrapersonal people would probably NOT learn a language so that he/she was able to COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH OTHER PEOPLE. So - discussing with people - traveling, finding the natives in your hometown, skyping or even chatting -  is totally uninteresting, doesn't lead to much anything worth knowing for the intrapersonal person.

Luckily for people their mind doesn't work in only one way. Most people are a mix of several different "minds", so even intrapersonally intelligent people can learn to discuss with people ;-)
(His other suggestions sound better to me, but what would I know; being intrapersonally, visual-spatially and musically intelligent and having a musical/mathemathical mind etc. ;-))

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