Friday, 31 October 2014

Difficulties in comprehension

As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm still having some difficulties in understanding what other people are saying (mostly this applied to French-speaking people, but sometimes people trying to speak English is actually more difficult!).

A lot of the time, you can work things out by context, for example if they keep using a certain word while doing the washing up, you can guess that it's a related piece of vocab. Gestures also help a great deal, here. But when lots of people are talking, or someone is talking extremely quickly, or even shouting, I still find it almost impossible to understand.

My worst fear, however, is having to answer the phone at my project. A lot of the time, people are out of the house, and so if the phone rings, I have to answer it myself in case it is urgent - but there is no sense of context, and the line is often not very clear at all. Just today, someone from the local police called, and I had to answer the phone - in professional situations like that, it's quite embarrassing to have to ask for them to repeat what they've just said, especially if it's urgent.

On the bright side, I can feel that I am improving, even over the telephone, I suppose I will just have to wait for it to feel natural!

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