Just a thought – A new language can be complicated to learn

27th of June 2018

Just a thought

I am Icelandic but I don´t speak Icelandic every day, in fact I speak the language quite seldom.

When I think about all the foreigners that live in other countries and don´t have the opportunity to learn the language, the one in the new home land, I wonder how they adjust.

How do they communicate with the officials?

How do they communicate with the people?

In Spain there are at least 10 thousand Icelandic people living at the moment and they are most likely more because these numbers I have are 2 years old.

What happens is that the immigrants make small communities and they don´t mix with the inhabitants.

Sad, but in many cases true.

So, my point is the importance of learning the new language to become independent.

Learning a new language can be complicated

Some are used to one, English, and others are just not motivated.

What I find interesting is the different attitude I get from the locals.

Some are friendly and really nice when I make the mistakes and conjugate a verb wrong. These people correct me and tell me how difficult the Portuguese verbs are. Those are the ones I like the most.

Then there are those who make fun of the mistakes and that discourages me to speak their language. I don´t like those people but to tell the truth, they are foreigners that have been living for a while in the country and think they know everything. Those ones have never spent Christmas with the locals. Those people go to the bars where the foreigners come and those people are the ones who blamed me for Iceve. I.e. they are British.

I don´t mind those above too much.

They are just who they are and I don´t mix with them.

Then there are the people you consider your friends and you think are supporting you.

These friends can sometimes be a bit bizarre. They pretend to support you but when you rely on them they turn out to be something else and even using you, because you are an idiot and allow them to use you.

I am an idiot, I know that.

It is not the friends who use me; it is me that allow people to use me.

Strange and sometimes it takes a while to look back and realise that you did not get all the information you needed or you did not get the support you needed and you were told when you asked why the situation was like it was, that this was the Portuguese way.

Well,

True friends help you when you try to learn the language where you live. It can be complicated or it can easy. The support is the most important thing.

When I feel distraught and afraid to make mistakes using my new language I know I am not among friends.

When I feel confident and make mistakes, grammatical mistakes, without blinking I know I am among true friends.

My point is this:

Help the people to adjust to the new community by helping them to practise what they are learning. Don´t make fun of the mistakes. Correct them without degrading them.

Learning the language makes the new ones confident and happy. They can contribute more to the community and they feel good.

Making the immigrants welcome could be a worthy goal.

To my friends in my little village and the ones around the country that have accepted me and my limited knowledge of their language I say thank you. From day one the people in the village have been encouraging and they have never mocked my effort.

The people in Rua Coimbra, the people in the library, the people in the city centre, the people in Porto, the people in Coimbra, the people in the hospitals and everyone else who has been supportive to my language study I send a big thank you.

The weather is changing.

The summer is going on holiday again here in the central Portugal.

How can this happen?

Just a few days ago we had over 30 degrees and now we are down to 20 and a tiny bit more during the day.

Rain in the forecast for at least 5 days.

I don´t like this. I don´t have connection with the power that controls the weather but living in a catholic country there should be someone who can talk to the boss.

My winter clothes are still upstairs. Usually they would be in boxes downstairs, in the garage.

Not many summer dresses have made it this year from the garage to the hangers. Most of them are still in boxes.

Well, at least I don´t have to carry anything upstairs and make my heart complain. There is always a bright sight if I just make it through the day without hoping everything was different!

This morning I slept late. I woke up at half past 10. Seriously! That was really late and I was still tired.

My heart is complaining.

I think it is time to visit my handsome wonderful heart doctor in the hospital if he is not gone on holiday, which I think he is.

Yesterday I managed to go to the supermarket and do the monthly shopping and even managed to carry the bags upstairs. That is quite an exercise.

At the moment the sun is trying to shine and there is a tiny bit of blue flakes on top of the grey massive cloudy sky.

I have to go out but I would rather be in my bed, resting. Not normal. Not good. Not healthy.

I have to do something about this, I cannot change the weather but I do have an umbrella and I also have got a car.

Maybe I will go out and practise my Portuguese.

There is a lot left of the day and I should use it.

The football was yesterday and today is nothing, just peace and quiet.

I wonder, is Portugal going to win? At least Ronaldo can play since he did not get a red.

But the argentine goal keeper was amazing.

Perhaps I should not watch too much football; it might not be good for a delicate sick heart

Hulda Björnsdóttir

Author: hulda9

I am Icelandic but live in Portugal. When I was young I had a dream. I wanted to travel around the world. I wanted to experience different cultures. My dream came true and I went to London. When going through the Chinese display in the British Museum I began to cry. I cried and experienced this longing and sadness. At that moment I knew I had to go to China. Arriving there for the first time I felt finally at home, a feeling I never had in Iceland. In Iceland I was an outsider. My mother passed away and I decided to move. My destination was China. I lived there for a while but had to sell my house and move because permanent residence was not granted to me. I moved to Portugal and that was 6 and a half years ago. In China I taught English and dance. In Portugal I am a retired resident. Now I am 72 years old. I love to write and want to share with you some of my experience in those 2 countries and also just my simple thoughts. Portugal is my final destination on this earth. Even though I have many years behind me, my mind is clear. I enjoy the life and make the most of every day. I love to sing, to study and most of all I love to be alive. I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts that I share with you.

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