Friday, February 11, 2011

Dutch News...the Whole Way in....

Today Kris drove to work and decided to listen to the news on the radio.  The whole way into work, I just got more and more depressed.  I still can't understand the news.  It is so frustrating to have him there listening right next to me while I am sitting there trying and trying to figure out what is going on.  Then when a story comes on that he thinks I would find interesting, he has to translate it for me.  It is nice of him to do that for me, but...it really makes me feel like a little kid.  Man...I spend every night studying this fucking language and I still can't understand a fucking newscast.  It's not like it is some kind of scientific topic that is way over my head...

I really don't know what to do anymore.  I feel great when I am at home and practicing, I'm in a good mood, I feel like I am learning, and I enjoy it, (this is why I am doing it all the time.)  Then, it never fails, I get out into the real world and can't function.  I just don't know what to do.  The only other person who I know that is not Dutch and learned it is Kris.  I tried to ask him before a couple of times what he did to learn and he said he did not really do anything at home, just asked people at work questions.  This makes me feel extremely stupid.  Here I am spending hours every day, day in and day out on this and then there is Kris that didn't really study but can understand everything and communicate, not perfectly, but pretty damn well.

It almost makes me mad at him, but I'm not, it's just a feeling I start to get when I am thinking about this stuff.  It is not his fault that he is good at this and I suck.  I really wish I could be like him and just have it come to me without much effort, that would be so nice.  Now I'm starting to wonder if I will ever get there or if it is even worth it...this is putting me through so much stress and probably taking years away from my life.  The one and only thing that keeps me going is imagining how good it will feel one day to actually have accomplished this.  But, until then...haaaaaa....I just hope I make it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nick,

You whine and wail and I want to smack you upside the head. Chill out, man!!! And give yourself some credit for what you've accomplished so far! In less than a year you've learned to read, converse, work, conduct business, and otherwise get around in Dutch. I think that's amazing!

However, you're expecting to be living, breathing, and dreaming in Dutch and that's what's causing you all this frustration and stress. It's self-inflicted and believe me, you are much too young to start taking high blood pressure medication. That's why I'm telling you to chill out.

Also, stop comparing your progress to Kris and others. They may have had a greater immersion in languages at an earlier age. Most Europeans have. Most Anglo-Americans are immersed in English only. So, you're way ahead of the rest of us back here in the States. Comparing yourself to the native Nederlanders is only a lesson in futility. Think about it--they've had all their lives to learn Dutch and live the culture. You've only had one year. So, relax, give yourself some time, enjoy learning Dutch and laugh at your mistakes.

Aunt Chris

P.S.: I still think you should find a girlfriend.