I started another informal class at the University of Texas tonight. It’s a French class and for beginners. I’ve taken French off and on for years but I’ve never been able to get beyond beginner.
I asked myself why and the answer is simple. It’s fear. Fear of sounding dumb. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of being tongue tied and making people frustrated. Fear. It’s why kids learn languages so quickly. They aren’t afraid of trying. They don’t worry about what other people think.
The class is too easy in some ways but when I try a group where people are fluent, I can’t keep up. So I have to find a way to learn and progress. I also have to walk a fine line and not be overbearing in this class. It’s easy to want to answer the questions because you know the answer. But I know how it feels to be totally lost in translation with people speaking at what sounds like lightening speed.
So as I give it a shot again, I hope it sticks and I don’t forget it and I hope I no longer worry about sounding stupid.