A little upset...

  1. Sorry I just need to vent. Over the course of last night over to today a total of four people have completely misunderstood what I was trying to say. Last night it was on the relationships forum and I can completely understand how he/she took my words out of context, so i'm not blaming him/her in any way. But today, I took my dog out for a walk in the morning, bumped into a neighbour and we started talking. He asked me why do I like having a pet, as in what sort of joy I get out of it, and I didn't quite know how to explain that. What I was trying to say was I am happy to give an animal a home, but I think what he thought I was trying to say was that I like the idea of dominance and I look down on things? Either way, it was completely not what I said, and he got so angry at me, and I walked home feeling very crestfallen.

    Then I went to the shopping centre and an elderly woman asked me how I was finding Australia, so on so forth because I'm asian. I said I like it here, it's peaceful and different from Taiwan, where I was born, but I miss some aspects of Taiwan. She got horribly angry at me, telling me to go back if I don't like it here completely!

    I don't know... i've never had so many people take what I say in ways that are completely contrary to what I was trying to say. English isn't my first language, and i've always been proud of the fact that I can speak this language fluently, but now i'm not so sure. I've started picking out all my grammar mistakes, going very hard on myself when I accidentally say the wrong word... I don't know how I can let people know what I really mean anymore. There is absolutely nothing good about my English if no one knows what I'm saying.

    I'm sorry... I just feel very down.
     
  2. Misunderstandings between cultures and languages are totally normal. The way you write, your English sounds excellent so I don't think that is the issue. Maybe you're feeling a little homesick right now, so these feelings are compounded at the moment. Just take it easy and be kind to yourself. Do something nice for yourself.
     
  3. Hey, cheer up! I read your past posts and I agree with you and understand what you are saying. Sorry it seems your words are being taken out of context. I say ignore the judgements and move on to another thread! You have every right to express your opinion on the forum and to others on the street. Some people do not like it when you express your true feelings about things or perhaps the manner in which the comments are expressed. It is hard to think in one language and culture and express it another language. Please do not feel upset and insecure! Keep chatting to people on the street or on the forum!

    Do not worry about the one or two people picking at your words on the forum- it happens to everyone! Of course it it continues, I would PM one of the MODS and ask for advice.
     
  4. Helium - Don't feel bad. I've had days like that and I was speaking in English to others who spoke English - as a first language. There are just some days when things in your brain don't seem to come out of your mouth the way you meant them.

    You do a great job of expressing yourself in English, in my opinion. Amazing that you were not brought up speaking it. Maybe tomorrow (today now) will be a better day. :smile: And keep posting, okay?
     
  5. I have been noticing a few misunderstandings lately too, everywhere. I wonder if the holidays make people tense or something.
    I have to go into work & try not to dump a pot of hot coffee on someone, who perhaps I misunderstood.
    Or maybe he really deserves to get scalded, I'm not sure.
    Hopefully, today will be a better day for you.
     
  6. It does seem that these kind of things go in runs. I have no problem understanding your English at all, in fact your posts are very well written and quite thoughtful. I suspect there was just something in the air today and tomorrow will be better.
     
  7. ITA!:yes:
     
  8. LOL this really made me laugh - I know this feeling!
     
  9. I have days like that, too, and English is my first language! I perfectly understood your post. Of course, the difference between writing and speaking is that when writing, you have more time to compose your thoughts. I think the lady at the shopping centre was rude.
     
  10. Thanks everyone, I feel much better now. I spent most of the day by myself today, and most of the talking I did was to people like that, plus the weird frequency of it all... it's just hard to believe that people who are not like that do exist when you go through a day like this.

    I guess it's just I learnt English through learning grammar, and vocabulary, and sentences, all by rote. I don't know where it comes a time when I can 'stop learning', as in stop sitting down every night with 50 more words to learn. Since I moved to Australia and once I found I could converse with people and understand them I said to myself 'I can stop learning like that'. But then today, when so many people shot me down and I had no rebuttal whatsoever (when i'm angry, my mind goes blank, and my thoughts turn to Chinese and it's too slow for me to translate that into English in time), I thought 'oh my gosh, maybe I shouldn't have stopped studying?'

    Just for a minute there, I felt like I was back at the start and that I got absolutely nowhere in English. But your assurances have led me to believe that it was just a few people who misunderstood me and that it has nothing to do with my articulation. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that means to me. I really don't want to go back learning vocabulary lists again.
     
  11. Don't be hard on yourself. It seems to me that a person's (including mine) sentiments can more easily be misunderstood in writings like emails and postings here.
     
  12. Disagreemets happen. That's life, isn't it? Has it occured to you that maybe people misunderstand what you said, and the intention with which you say it, not due to your language but rather, due to how you phrase things? I certainly have gotten my fair share of flack both ON and OFF this forum due to the way I phrase a sentence or a thought, but I don't think it's ever occured to me to think that the world misunderstands me simply because of my grammar. English, by the way, is also not my first language. I guess I myself have just figured at times, geez, maybe I did deserve that reaction. I certainly don't think this is the case with you and your neighbor and the grocery-store lady, however, since it sounds like you just ran into bizarre people by coincidence.

    Sorry that you're feeling down. I hope you will be able to see your Taiwan family for the holidays.
     
  13. Don't worry!!! These things happen...English is not my first language either, and sometimes there have been misunderstandings.

    I found it hard to get used to American English because people from South Asia speak more British influenced English. The pronunciations are different and sometimes colloquialisms make their way into the language which locals understand, but when spoken someplace else make absolutely no sense...

    The biggest blooper I ever did was use one such colloquialism in the US by mistake...back home the Anglo-Indian phrase for graduating is "going down". I said something to my SO about him having "gone down" many years ago and guess what he thought I was complaining about....???:p
     
  14. Sorry I know I phrase things wrongly... there is absolutely no other reason why misunderstandings would happen. That's what makes me worried though... how do I phrase myself properly so people understand? I thought I had learnt almost everything in English and I come to an obstacle that I can't seem to break.

    Hehe that's quite funny!
     
  15. Your written English is excellent! Just think how many of us (I'll raise my hand) speak only one language. It's unfortunate you had several situations like this. It is probably more a problem the other person is having, rather than anything wrong with your expression. I hope that makes sense.

    I absolutely agree that with people being extra busy and stressed around the holidays, people are impatient and on edge. Today is a new day and can be a better one. Best wishes.