Jump to content
Linguaholic
Improve your knowledge of any language online

Speaking a foreign language makes me extra shy


CountRockHyde
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am a pretty shy person anyway, but it seems like my shyness quadruples when I am attempting to speak in a foreign language.  My experience has been with Spanish.  I studied Spanish for 7 years and I am pretty good at grammar and reading, but if I have to speak my brain shuts down.  I have traveled to Costa Rica and was unable to use it at all because I felt so uncomfortable.  Does anyone else have this problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is pretty normal for anyone who's trying to speak a foreign language. I myself am quite shy when I'm asked to speak Korean (I'm not bad at it but not really good either) and it's like I don't know any Korean words when I'm asked to do so. I guess for me I get pressured and nervous when I'm asked to speak in a foreign language. But if I had to do it casually, it's not that bad. Maybe a bit more practice speaking to other people? It's a foreign language anyways so don't beat yourself to it! Practice is key.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@CountRockHyde, you sound exactly like me. I have a feeling there are many others in our boat, though. When I was learning French, I could write and understand a lot better than I could speak it. I knew what I wanted to say, but then I'd just clam up, especially in the company of native speakers. I guess it's the fear of making mistakes and feeling embarrassed about it, which is silly really because native speakers are likely to help and like the idea you're learning their language. The same thing happened to me when I was also learning Italian. Very strange.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know how hard it can be to actually speak a language because you are too worried about the way you pronounce the words. It's all in your mind tho, the only way you can get over it is fight shyness and get to speak it. Try finding language exchange partners and speak it with them, this is the only way you can fight this.  I did this and now I can speak english with no issues at all, I no longer feel afraid to screw up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most non-natives have similar problem with speaking the new language in public. It could be more than just being shy though, it could also be lack of confidence that you won't be able to do well as natives do. Try opening up around non-natives that are learning the same language and that may help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually quite the confident speaker in both English and Spanish; even though in Spanish I genreally make constant mistakes with verbs or pronouns. However, when it comes to Japanese, I get nervous because the other party speaks so fast and I'm still so new to it in a spoken manner that I don't know what to say or I get tongue tied.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's weird but I also always feel like the French speak too fast for me to keep up! I wonder if that's really the case of if it's because I'm too busy trying to keep up and understand what they're saying LOL I know that people who don't speak my language say we speak fast, and I believe I neither too fast nor too slow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most non-natives have similar problem with speaking the new language in public. It could be more than just being shy though, it could also be lack of confidence that you won't be able to do well as natives do. Try opening up around non-natives that are learning the same language and that may help.

Before I started learning dutch I'd have agreed with the shy part, but now I must say that some people don't like to speak the language in public because maybe they have issues building up sentences.  I do now with dutch, I don't like to speak it so much because I have the hardest time with the word order... and words like ''er'', ''wat'', ''maar'', ''het'', etc that if you skip them might change the meaning of what you said.  It's so confusing.  If it wasn't for this I'd be super confident speaking dutch... despite my accent :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I started learning dutch I'd have agreed with the shy part, but now I must say that some people don't like to speak the language in public because maybe they have issues building up sentences.  I do now with dutch, I don't like to speak it so much because I have the hardest time with the word order... and words like ''er'', ''wat'', ''maar'', ''het'', etc that if you skip them might change the meaning of what

you said.  It's so confusing.  If it wasn't for this I'd be super confident speaking dutch... despite my accent :P

I understand clearly how you feel now because I had similar issues with Spanish. My confidence in speaking the language in public was boosted when I started commuicating with my daughter around the house and my friend who teaches Spanish on the phone. This practice does elevate your confidence so go for it and best of luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the very same problem like you guys.  Though I don't have a problem with writing Nihongo, as well as mastering its grammar and vocabulary, I'm left out when it comes to speaking the language.  Most of my classmates in our Nihongo language class had already traveled to or are currently in Japan, while one had Japanese colleagues while at work.  As for me, I've never been exposed to anything beyond what I've learned other than doing the Nihongo language exercises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Languages and myself are not that great. I am always able to read and understand certain languages that I study, but when it comes to speaking, I am always messing up and it takes me forever to figure out what I to say. So yes, I have been in your place and have been shy before, especially when I'm trying to speak a foreign language.

I have been studying Hebrew nearly my entire life. Hebrew is my past, present and future and is the language of who I truly am. I am able to read and understand Hebrew when my family or friends speak it to me, but I never speak back. More or less, I think that it is a confidence issue. You know that you have been working your brain off with this specific language but when you speak to others who are naturally gifted of knowing the language, you feel incompetent. That's how I feel most of the time, however, when I see others who are struggling to know the language, I am able to speak it to them because I know they are perhaps in the same boat as I am.

Just believe in yourself and don't think too much of the person or people you're speaking to conversing in the language. Once you have that confidence, you'll be able to overcome your shyness in speaking to others. Granted, you'll still be "shy" because it's your personality, but you won't be uncomfortably shy (if that makes sense)!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same here. I've got social anxiety, and English is the only language I feel comfortable enough speaking. I don't even like it when my English-speaking friends ask me to say something in German, my native language. It's always a bit awkward. My French is probably somewhat decent by now, but I'm super shy speaking in front of anyone, particularly French people, before I'm fluent. Too much of a perfectionist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...