To Err is Human

Day 3 of intensive Catalan.
I  remembered not to speak English first thing in the morning – something in my brain has accepted the challenge and starts the day with Bon Dia.  I told my dreams in Catalan – a bit of a muddle but I don’t think the other person is usually listening much to the details of strange journeys, dreams of a little girl singing to her cat and yet another experience of driving without brakes!  What surprises me is that I think I don’t know the word for brakes, I pause for a moment, then it comes into my head. Like magic!
(Frens by the way)
I have learnt so far on this challenge

  • I know much more than I thought I did
  • If I can relax and just ramble there is lots of vocabulary hidden in my brain. I didn’t consciously put it there but it has been taken in and stored and is accessible, if I am patient
  • It is ok to make mistakes – in fact it is vital.  I have lots of friends here who speak English, some of them very fluently. But they all make loads of mistakes – in pronunciation, in grammar, in vocabulary. It doesn’t make me think any less of them and in fact I am impressed that they speak English so well when I am still struggling with Catalan and Castellano.   

For some reason I put pressure on myself to get it right. It is hard to make that leap into just talking – without worrying about what I get wrong or stumble over. But this is exactly what this week is helping me do. I have taken away my easy option, I have put up a No Entry sign in front of the path of least resistance.I have to take another route and even if it is a bit twisty and turny, we get there in the end.
I really do feel there is something mysterious in this process – as if I am remembering the language rather than learning it.

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4 thoughts on “To Err is Human

  1. Wow – remembering the language instead of speaking it. That is deep. I believe there are no co-incidences, no “accidents” and so perhaps you are indeed remembering it. And “frens” is so like “freins” which is French for brakes. If you know some French that could help too. Sometimes I daydream that I am somewhere in Europe and call on my knowledge of French to get by. Isn’t it incredible how so many languages have similar roots?

  2. It’s the words that join other words together that I forget, like ‘sometimes’ ‘and next’, and I have to think really hard about verb tenses -even though we only know three of them! You sound as though you’re doing really well.

  3. Listen to your Catalan friends speaking English. Their mistakes in English will help you understand Catalan grammar.

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