Monday, October 26, 2009

Language barrier, Part I

I haven’t talked about the language barrier for a while.

Let’s, shall we?

Sometimes I get into trouble because I know there must be an easier way to go about doing whatever task I’m trying to accomplish, and I just don’t know the phrase. Or even a single word that would help me out. But I can think about how I might have read a similar phrase in a book, or written something down, which helps. Sometimes.

Other times I come out with gems like Shto v sostave etoi shtuki? [What makes up the composition of this dish?] (This was one of the times Cookie Monster laughed at me.)

Another day a lady next to me was being served before me. A eto shto? [What’s this?] Cookie Monster gave the name of the cookie. A vnutri? [And inside?] (Cooke Monster listed the ingredients: mukha, sakhar, iaitsa, moloko… [flour, sugar, eggs, milk..]

So much easier. And it doesn’t sound like a textbook of chemical compounds... Honestly, a great majority of my mistakes (I’d say…83%? Anyone? Lawyered?) results from me falling into a language class mistake where I’m trying too hard to use full sentences and full verbs (because that’s what students are supposed to do to learn the language) when it’s much more natural to use three words. I think the other part of it, in addition to being Pavlov’s dog from language training, is that since I’m so self-consciousness about my accent, foreign appearance, grammatical mistakes, etc., etc., I overcompensate and try to make long, complex sentences to prove I can.

*facepalm*Stupid*facepalm*Stupid. (heh heh. Anyone watching the new Top Chef? Bueller?)

Continued tomorrow.

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