Every time I get mad of not understanding what is happening around me, or someone makes a remark of the effort they are putting to speak English to me… I think of the same question: Why I find it annoying to speak about language matters?
I have put an effort on learning Dutch. I studied half a year in school and took private lessons, however, since I haven’t been learning for a while, my progress has been slower recently. My level in Dutch is high enough that I can’t fully block what is happening around me, but low enough to not to have courage to speak it too much.
No blame for the Dutch, they have treated me well by speaking English all the time and the times they forgot, it doesn’t really matter. I guess in my home country, it is harder to get people to speak English anyway. Many countries still struggle with shyness of speaking other language, or the lack of learning other languages…
Should I speak English to be polite or Dutch for you to learn? Should she say to me if she wants me to speak English? Should I ask everyone in this table to speak English because she is here? Will I ever be fluent enough that they don’t switch to English? Will they ever know how this feels? Does it stay like that or do I feel 100% like home once?
Annoying to speak about language matters?
First of all. It is annoying because
- I still have not figured out, should they speak Dutch for me to learn or English to be polite
- It makes me miss my language and how free I feel while speaking it
- My English / Finnish vocabulary is not comparable
Besides these, it took a year to figure, but because
Other people have the power to decide for you whether you want to listen, comment, answer or pay attention… How many times have you heard, or said yourself? “We spoke in English, because it was boring and nothing important to you”... See, there it is. A decision you made, or they made, for them or for you.
Just to clarify, I’m not complaining. More like thinking.