Language Barrier

I have been meaning to elaborate on this topic for some time.

I function in an entirely French environment at work. This is a perpetual barrier in terms of my professionalism, considering I talk in French like a mature grade 3 student. The progress is slow, but seems to be accompanied by a wealth of advice on language learning from friends and colleagues.

Not a day goes by where I am not told that the best way to learn a language is to function in it 100% of the time, immersion and no slips into English. That I must also read, write, listen to the radio and watch TV (if I had it) in French. Difficult when I live with another anglophone and we are brutally exhausted by French come days end. We speak in English all night, then I am confronted with French again all day.

I have days where the French words just fall eloquently from my mouth, awing my brain that had no knowledge of those words before I said them. I have other days where you would ask me if I really had any clue about the French language at all.

As for Kinyarwanda, it is so massively difficult to learn, that I tend to just block it out when people are speaking. I am lost. My mouth can’t make the noises.

it is Saturday and I am working. here goes.

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~ by kcanderson on October 15, 2005.

3 Responses to “Language Barrier”

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  2. Learning a language is an incredibly difficult thing especially in Africa especially at work.
    It is amazing that you are tackling this and succeeding.
    I absolutely respect and admire the effort you make to overcome challenges and more every single day.

  3. Learning is the most special gift given to us on this earth. Learning a language like Matt says especially French (which by the way will come in handy when you come back home)is a great challenge in itself so good luck to you .I am though without doubt sure of your success in accomplishing this task.
    Suzanne ( The new Bride)

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