I don't understand what you're saying.

United States
December 14, 2016 12:11am CST
There are several reasons you might not understand what someone is saying. It could be that you didn't hear them. They could have been talking too low, or too fast. It could be that you are hard of hearing. It could be a combination of it all. It might not even be the sound level or speed that's the problem. They could be speaking a whole different language. Have you ever had that happen to you? Someone come up to you, and because of the circumstances surrounding you, thought you spoke their language? That happened to me a few times when I'd hang out with Latino Friends. I did understand some Spanish, but well now I hardly understand any at all. Either way, I could never understand enough to carry on a conversation. Though for whatever reason, I am still pretty good with spelling and pronounciation in Spanish. Not so much in Irish though, and that's a language I am trying to learn now. So while I don't understand completely what is being said, I listen to Irish Language Radio atleast once or twice a week, if not daily. I also get a word a day in my inbox, have two apps I can reference, and use a site called talkirish.com. I'm not immersing myself fully in the language, as I don't want to burn out. Right now, I'm enjoying the radio as it plays music with intermittent conversation. Irish isn't as phonetically hands on as other languages. There are some languages, that if you know their alphabet, you can pretty much pronounce anything. So far, that's not the case for me. Though, admittedly, I haven't even thought to learn the Irish Alphabet . I guess I'll go rectify that now....
17 people like this
14 responses
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
14 Dec 16
The most difficult that I have known occurred in Gibraltar. The locals speak both English and Spanish extremely well, but do have a habit of using Spanglish. This consists of mixing England and Spanish in a sentence,which proved very difficult to follow.
3 people like this
@topffer (34091)
• France
14 Dec 16
Their Castilian is also mixed with Andalusian, it is "Gibraltarian".
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
14 Dec 16
@topffer This seems rather odd since Gibraltar is physically attached to Andalusia.
1 person likes this
@topffer (34091)
• France
14 Dec 16
@Asylum Unlike Catalan that you hear often in the cities in Catalonia, it is a dialect that I never heard in any market place in Seville or Cadiz, I had to go to Gibraltar to hear people speaking a few words of Andalusian.
3 people like this
• Singapore
14 Dec 16
Well I know one person whom one day said I'm irritating because I always asked her to repeat herself. At that moment I was stunned and I didn't react fast enough. When I think back to that person, I should have told her, I don't have a hearing problem, it's because your voice is too soft and often slurred so I have to always ask you to repeat. Sometimes people misunderstand what I say but even after trying hard to explain, the idea doesn't get across so I gave it, but generally I have no trouble understanding me, nor getting them to understand me. As for learning new languages, its a very long process!
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (66957)
• Roseburg, Oregon
14 Dec 16
It is hard to learn another language.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 16
When it gets to the point that I don't understand, and I've asked several times? I just nod and say "okay" and hope I haven't offended them. I have a bit of a hearing problem.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
14 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum My friend has a hearing problem and when we get to know each other well, she told me she is hard of hearing the right ear, so whenever I walk with her I know I have to walk on her left, and I will try to speak slightly slower and louder.
1 person likes this
@topffer (34091)
• France
14 Dec 16
It might happen if the accent is very strong. We have an important community from North-Africa in France, speaking Arabic or Berber at home, and their French is not always easy to understand, but with an effort from both side there is no real communication problem.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
14 Dec 16
With a BIG effort from both side, I can understand North-Africans.
1 person likes this
@topffer (34091)
• France
14 Dec 16
@LadyDuck I try to use simple words like for a foreigner, and I was ashamed once when one of them told me that I should speak to him normally.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
14 Dec 16
@topffer I know what you mean, because sometimes I do the same.
1 person likes this
@Hasana (303)
• Mumbai, India
14 Dec 16
An other reason I don't understand is when people speak in their own words even if I know Their language
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 16
You mean like slang?
1 person likes this
• New Delhi, India
14 Dec 16
Very true... How are you? I'm seeing you after long?
2 people like this
@Hasana (303)
• Mumbai, India
15 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum yes somewhat or maybe homely mother tongue.
1 person likes this
@ms1864 (6992)
• Bangalore, India
14 Dec 16
lol...yeah...that happens to me often. More because India is a country with a lot of different languages. There are times I kind of understand the words but i don't know how to respond in that language.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 16
That is something I did not know, that India has several different languages.
3 people like this
• Singapore
14 Dec 16
I am in a multi-language country too and we would mix in our languages and dialects in our daily speech so it might be difficult for a casual foreign person listening to our conversation with each other.
3 people like this
@ms1864 (6992)
• Bangalore, India
14 Dec 16
yes...it's all mixed up.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
14 Dec 16
It happens when I think I am listening to a language and it's another, even if it's a language I know. It happened two days ago that I was listening to an Italian radio, but I thought it was French and I was confused for a few seconds.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
I've gotten Italian and Spanish mixed before, but don't know enough French to get mixed there.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
15 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum My native language is Italian, we lived in France 30 years, we speak both languages as "first" language, I do not know because I was trying to give a French meaning to the Italian words, that are anyway very different, as it is Spanish from Italian. People think they are similar, if you speak both languages (I do), you know how different they are. Of course both come from Latin, that in the old times we studied for 8 years in school.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Dec 16
@LadyDuck You speak, French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin then? Well as well as English? That's astonishing.
1 person likes this
• New Delhi, India
14 Dec 16
I feel irritated when I cannot understand what other is saying
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 16
It can be very irritating. Especially when it is in another language and you feel that they are talking about you.
1 person likes this
• New Delhi, India
14 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum yes that is a matter of great concern
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
@amitkokiladitya Very rude of people who want to talk about others in another language.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118231)
• Boise, Idaho
15 Dec 16
I don't know any languages. Well, a little spanish I learned in school. They are interesting to hear. I especially like to hear Gaelic and French.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
I don't know any languages in full. I love listening to languages, and I haven't found one I didn't like. French is so beautiful.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (118231)
• Boise, Idaho
16 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum .....I don't care to listen to German but that is about all. I enjoy hearing them spoken as well.
@just4him (116780)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
15 Dec 16
I think their alphabet is the same, just the language is different.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
There are a few letters not used, and some pronounced a bit different. I have been so busy with earning online to supplement my income, that I haven't given the language the attnetion it needs.
2 people like this
@just4him (116780)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
15 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum I've been the same with my writing. Though not so much concerned about the earning as I am about missing all my friends here when I'm not.
@nanette64 (17610)
• Fairfield, Texas
14 Dec 16
I think it's a good idea to learn other languages @ScribbledAdNauseum . Now if only the kids in the USA would learn to speak ENGLISH. Half the time you can't understand a word they're saying.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
So sad but so true. It' snot even a matter of them speaking a different language even. There are so many new slang words that I don't understand the meaning of. I've been out of school for 11 years, and with all these new slang words that my niece and nephew are saying? I feel so old.
2 people like this
@nanette64 (17610)
• Fairfield, Texas
15 Dec 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum Exactly. That's another reason why the US went from #1 in the world in English and Math to #27. That's pretty pathetic.
@youless (91495)
• Guangzhou, China
14 Dec 16
It happens to me sometimes. There are many dialects in my country but Mandarin is the official one. Almost all Chinese know how to speak in Mandarin. However, some may have the local accents.and therefore it can be confusing. I remember when we travelled to Harbin, a north city in my country. Sometimes it was hard for me to follow them since they had accents and they also spoke so fast.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 16
I think Mandarin is thee most widely learned here among Chinese learners. I know it's the only dialect I have heard of myself. It's interesting how accents can get in the way of understanding sometimes, even amongst people who speak the same language.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
14 Dec 16
I don't understand the Native language being spoke here. It's scary you never know if they're talking back to you when ever you hear something you don't understand.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 16
You don't understand the Filipino language? There's a heavy Spain influence there too isn't there?
1 person likes this
@sishy7 (27647)
• Australia
14 Dec 16
How exciting it is to learn a different language!
• United States
15 Dec 16
Yes! of course I did pick one that's slowly dying out so that makes things difficult. I know there's a website out there where you can speak with people who know the language natively. I'll have to refrence it when I can.
1 person likes this
@CRK109 (14465)
• United States
15 Dec 16
You can know a language, from learning it in school, but still not understand a specific dialect. When I was growing up, I learned to speak Italian in school, but I still didn't understand my parents who spoke Italian at home. It was all pretty funny! They finally taught me their "short hand" so I could get some insights of what they were talking about.