Imagine yourself having already gone through YEARS of language study from High School to College or University level. So lets assume you have basic grammar and vocabulary under your belt. You are on your way to study abroad in a country whose primary language is that of your study. Alright, so far so good. You have a bit of a chip on your shoulder and believe yourself to be well equipped for the initial plunge, I mean all you have to do is navigate your way through the airport, find a cab and then direct them to the address on your schools orientation pamphlet. Easy enough, right? Well that is what you thought. You get lost in the airport because, low and behold it isn't a mirror image of JFK and no, all of the signs are not in English as you had thought they had to be...man, I should have learned this vocabulary beforehand. You finally realize you can simply follow the symbols and that, OH, that word on the sign next to the bag symbol must mean luggage! You retrieve your bag, head to the taxi booth (good thing this had a symbol as well) and right as you walk up you are smacked in the face by a fast, garbled question from the attendant. You did not understand a single word because it was spoken so fast. You were stunned. The attendant slowed down his speech, turned down his dialect and gave it another shot. This time you got it...man, I should have listened to more native speakers, I just couldn't understand him because he spoke so fast and thick with dialect! He was only asking you where you were headed. You formulate the perfect grammatical response in your head and start to answer him in a split second. Time to let your pride shine through...HA! You get half way through and fumble on a hard to pronounce word, not once, not twice but three times before you sputtered your way through that sentence. Humph! I really should have practiced pronouncing these words more....Then the worst thing for someone learning a language happens.
"Oh! Are you an American? Where are you headed?!"
Now we have all experienced this kind of let down in some fashion. You are learning Japanese to speak with a coworker and your first attempt is so bad that you force yourself to switch back to English. Or your months of preparation for a visit to Greece to see extended family ends up being an entire two weeks of English speaking practice...
These are the three things to take away from this and the three things that will help keep you motivated through your studies.
-man, I should have learned this vocabulary beforehand
-I should have listened to more native speakers, I just couldn't understand
-I really should have practiced pronouncing these words more
Everyone at World Vocab™ has had this kind of experience and this is why we created World Vocab™. Let us help you prepare for your communication challenges.
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