Monday, July 12, 2010

Small, Small

[Belated Post]

I am still here and as it has been a while since I have stopped by a place that has had an interent connection, the posts are somewhat backed up. I hope that the readers forgive me.

So why title this post "small, small"? Maybe because I say it and hear it every day that I am here. People are always helpful when you try to speak the language that they smile, the politely correct or help you when you need it and encourage you to try more phrases if you can, and then the close with the small small comment. It is just a reinforcement that we who are learning the language cannot rush the job and that you must only learn a little bit at a time and before you know it you will have a good handle of things.

Small, small indeed.

Our Ewe is coming along at that small, small pace. Our small group has had two tries at speaking with a native-speaking Ewe person and each time has given us ample room to find frustrations. We know certain phrases but sure as shoot the person we speak to will use all the words that we have yet to master or learn in their response. Even if we do know the words that they reply with, the likelihood that we can hear them spoken is tiny. Right now I am making out blips and snippets of words I can recognize mixed in with a jumble of encoded syllables and consonants that have me dumbfounded.

To help remedy some of these gaps I went ahead and bought some index cards at the market to help me memorize my vocabulary and to get better versed at remembering the pieces and parts of my diction in Ewe. When a question is posed to me in class I thumb through all of my notes to find the answer which is teaching me not to think and remember but rather to thumb and regurgitate what is written. I hope it will help me out. Most of the volunteers that I speak with feel like they are in the same boat which more than likely means we are right where we need to be in training.

Here's to flash cards and learning small, small.


nrk said...

I think learning the language of the culture you are in is the funnest part of traveling. The first thing I always like to learn is how to count to 10. It makes the process fun.

Then try to learn a really short phrase or quote. It will make you feel proud that you can express a complete sentence.


Phineas said...

If you can learn English, then you can learn anything!