I am not a person of language skill. While I was in the top set for French all the way through comprehensive school, it doesn’t mean I actually remember any of it or have managed to use any of it very successfully in my life.
At the same time, if it’s slow, or written down, or simplified in some way I can sometimes – sometimes – make some sense of it. I might be able to extract some kind of meaning by comparing words to ones I know, assuming a lot and guessing a bit. It works, sometimes.
But there are places (did I mention I went to Japan) where things are just on a whole other level. There’s no common ground between English and Japanese – aside from the odd western word thrown in to make you think you’re more comfortable than you are – and as a result it ended up being genuinely funny how bewildered I was on a daily basis.
That’s not a sentence, that’s just a stream of noise. I tried – I genuinely tried to listen to a conversation between a couple of people, each within a meter of me either side. I tried to get something out of it – to draw something, an inkling of what the sentence was, what the structure was, just a word.
I got nothing. And I found it utterly hilarious how totally crap I am at this stuff. And I know I’ll never learn another language, unless I piss off to another country and pick it up by accident.
4 of 14 catch up entries left to go.