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are afraid to actually use it in real situations? As my username obviously states, I want to become fluent in Spanish, and am in an area where I could use it on a fairly regular basis here in the US, but if the opportunity presents itself, I DON'T. I get language shy! I think I'm just afraid of sounding like an idiot, or appearing like a show-off or something because I can attempt to speak it. Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone had this problem and overcome it? Any advice would be great.

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Here in my country most people know how to speak basic english, but they are not using it. So if somebody is talking in english it's a bit weird. One time I have to take English exam for employment purposes. I need to speak in english everyday to practice. I also have a friend who are doing the same. so we decided to speak wherever we are. At first it's kinda weird because a lot of people are looking at you but as I go along I get used to it. I don't feel weird anymore. It comes out naturally.

If you really want to communicate in spanish it's ok. Some people might find it weird or feel like your just showing off. Don't mind them. The feeling will pass. Besides you have a good reason why you are doing it. I think that's the only thing that matters. Goodluck.

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Ok, this is me. I had learnt French and I had become quite good at it. But after my teacher left I had no one to freely speak with, I never spoke to my other French class friends in French. Cause I didn't want to make a fool of myself! I wish I was bold enough to not care! Darn.  :bored:

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are afraid to actually use it in real situations? As my username obviously states, I want to become fluent in Spanish, and am in an area where I could use it on a fairly regular basis here in the US, but if the opportunity presents itself, I DON'T. I get language shy! I think I'm just afraid of sounding like an idiot, or appearing like a show-off or something because I can attempt to speak it. Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone had this problem and overcome it? Any advice would be great.

I can understand that it might be intimidating in such situations, especially if you are among people whom you don't know well.  I have felt that way, too, at times. 

Do you have a friend or acquaintance who also speaks Spanish or is learning Spanish?  I know from personal experience that it's easier if you are with someone else in the same situation and both of you were to speak the language with others.  The old "safety in numbers" rule, so to speak. 

Obviously, this may not be the case in every situation -- as there would be times you would be on your own -- but perhaps having someone along those first few times will bolster your confidence for when you try speaking the language on your own. 

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are afraid to actually use it in real situations? As my username obviously states, I want to become fluent in Spanish, and am in an area where I could use it on a fairly regular basis here in the US, but if the opportunity presents itself, I DON'T. I get language shy! I think I'm just afraid of sounding like an idiot, or appearing like a show-off or something because I can attempt to speak it. Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone had this problem and overcome it? Any advice would be great.

I am exactly the same. My mother is Spanish, but me and my brother were never taught Spanish due to some reasons. However, we still encountered the language whenever we had familydinners etc. I live with my grandmother now, and sometimes she speaks Spanish to me. I understand most of the time, but I still reply in Swedish. I get shy too, not wanting to say anything wrong. It is stupid since I actually have the opportunity to learn the language that was supposed to be my second native, but my shyness and low confidence gets in the way of that.

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I wanna be really fluent in English, I really do. While the writing skills has gradually improved over the last 2 years,  when it comes to speaking it fluently, I fumble a lot.

I am determined to do better than native ones and I will do that :)

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I wanna be really fluent in English, I really do. While the writing skills has gradually improved over the last 2 years,  when it comes to speaking it fluently, I fumble a lot.

I am determined to do better than native ones and I will do that :)

That is good! Having a goal and being determined to achieve it is the main ingredient in language learning. If you really have your mind set on accomplishing what it is you want, you are more likely to succeed.

For me, with the Spanish, I am not 'determined' to learn to speak, not yet at least, and that is why, when the situation presents, I shy away from answering in Swedish and use Swedish instead since it is more comfortable for me.

Good luck with your goal! =) The Language Exchange Subforum that Marcel suggested could be of very good use for you. =)

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I get that way all the time. When I have the opportunity to speak French I dry up and just let the other person struggle on with their halting English. It's a personality thing I think. It takes a lot for some of us to put ourselves out there but we have to try.

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Well, at least I'm not the only one who has this problem, I guess. The practicing in numbers thing isn't a bad idea, but I don't really have a lot of friends and my husband isn't learning Spanish, so the only one I could really recruit would be my son when we go out to stores and restaurants and things like that. As social as he is though, he has that language "freeze-up" thing as well, and won't even try with kids his age he hears speaking it.

It's funny though, because people will forget they're speaking Spanish, and often I'll answer them back in English. Then I think, "That was my chance," and by then it's too late, and they never even realize they forgot to speak English because I answered them anyway.

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Well, thank god I'm not the only one feeling this way. I could try and converse with that language with someone who is learning the same thing, but to a native? I'd be really conscious, especially because I might say something wrong and they would be able to point it out, since they speak it. If I'm chatting or writing though I feel more relaxed talking to a native, but that never happens.

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Ok, this is me. I had learnt French and I had become quite good at it. But after my teacher left I had no one to freely speak with, I never spoke to my other French class friends in French. Cause I didn't want to make a fool of myself! I wish I was bold enough to not care! Darn.  :bored:

I wanna be really fluent in English, I really do. While the writing skills has gradually improved over the last 2 years,  when it comes to speaking it fluently, I fumble a lot.

I am determined to do better than native ones and I will do that :)

I get that way all the time. When I have the opportunity to speak French I dry up and just let the other person struggle on with their halting English. It's a personality thing I think. It takes a lot for some of us to put ourselves out there but we have to try.

Well, thank god I'm not the only one feeling this way. I could try and converse with that language with someone who is learning the same thing, but to a native? I'd be really conscious, especially because I might say something wrong and they would be able to point it out, since they speak it. If I'm chatting or writing though I feel more relaxed talking to a native, but that never happens.

are afraid to actually use it in real situations? As my username obviously states, I want to become fluent in Spanish, and am in an area where I could use it on a fairly regular basis here in the US, but if the opportunity presents itself, I DON'T. I get language shy! I think I'm just afraid of sounding like an idiot, or appearing like a show-off or something because I can attempt to speak it. Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone had this problem and overcome it? Any advice would be great.

Marcel suggested a Language Exchange Subforum which could be of great help for all of you. Since you have all come here and shared your problems about daring to speak up - maybe speaking with each other is the best way to overcome it. =) Check it out and see what you can do. =)

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I know the feeling. You are afraid everything you learned will pop out of your head and you wont be able to communicate. That is how I used to feel when I first learned French. What you can do to overcome this is to watch videos in the foreign language to make yourself more accustomed to how it sounds without you learning it in a classroom or online. Another thing to do is make friends with someone who knows the language and practice.

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:amazed:Right now the only, I mean only, thing keeping me from learning a new language is money. If I could afford to, I would sign up at Rosetta Stone right now. It's hell to be broke:)

Are you in the United States? If so, try your local library. Ours have the different versions (levels and different languages) of Rosetta Stone. With your library card, they also have free online access to a couple of different language learning programs on their website. Maybe yours would be similar and have various resources to offer for no cost.

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Are you in the United States? If so, try your local library. Ours have the different versions (levels and different languages) of Rosetta Stone. With your library card, they also have free online access to a couple of different language learning programs on their website. Maybe yours would be similar and have various resources to offer for no cost.

Yes, absolutely.  We are so fortunate these days to have many resources available through libraries. 

There are also free resources online as well.  Tutorials on YouTube and elsewhere, for instance.  You can also find some great resources on college and university Web sites.  Plus there are numerous online dictionaries.  You can also do a Google search for the particular resources you are interested in. 

There are also some suggested resources here in the various language subforums. 

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I definitely know what you're talking about!

I live in the southwestern United States, where Spanish speakers are abundant.  There are lots of people I could practice with, but I always hesitate.

When I speak to friends, I *would* be comfortable using Spanish, but the fact is, they speak English way better than I speak Spanish.  Trying to use only Spanish just gets in the way of communication.  We end up speaking in English.

When I speak to members of the public who legitimately don't speak English very well, I'm always a little worried I might offend them.  Race/ethnicity relations can be a little touchy here.  They likely worked very hard to learn the little English they do know; if I speak to them in (poor) Spanish, what if they interpret it to mean I'm making the (offensive) assumption they don't speak English?  Of course, I know most people are friendly and give others the benefit of the doubt (and might even be tickled at my meager Spanish), but it still makes me hesitate.

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  • 2 months later...

I would only speak in a foreign language if the person that initiated a conversation with me spoke in that certain language, but to simply speak a foreign language casually when it's not called for would be a bit unnecessary for me, even if I'm fluent in that language already.

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are afraid to actually use it in real situations? As my username obviously states, I want to become fluent in Spanish, and am in an area where I could use it on a fairly regular basis here in the US, but if the opportunity presents itself, I DON'T. I get language shy! I think I'm just afraid of sounding like an xxx, or appearing like a show-off or something because I can attempt to speak it. Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone had this problem and overcome it? Any advice would be great.

I feel the same way! I even get shy in my Japanese class. My professor has only recently come to the US and her manner of speaking is so authentic and intimidating I get nervous. The only thing we can really do is "man up". People will understand that you may not be a native speaker and as long as you aren't mocking their language you'll be okay!

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I completely understand this and emphasise with you. I think I will be the same once I start feeling more confident with Portuguese. I just hope I don't get shy, but you have to try and remember you don't know what the outcome of the situation will be until you try it. You just have a negative presumption stuck in your head. I'm the same with most situations.

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  • 2 months later...

I have never thought of learning a new language affecting me in that way. I do understand what you mean though. It can be quite intimidating for those around you who are not as fluent as you are and also the same for you if you are among people who are more fluent than you are. However, you should not let that discourage you from reaching your goals in learning a new language. My advice is go ahead, learn Spanish and see where the road takes you :smile:.

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The best reason to learn a new language would be to be able to converse in that particular language in real situations. Therefore, I do not understand your question fully and why someone would be afrain to learn the new language.

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It's actually the opposite with me! I'm naturally introverted so I usually just keep to myself, enjoy my own company etc. but I definitely speak more in other languages. Don't quite know why.

Haven't been learning as much as I should recently but maybe I should.

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To me it sounds like you are spending a bit too much time in your head. You don't want to seem like "this". You don't want to feel like "that". I absolutely know the feeling and I'm sure many of us have gone through this at one point or another, but you can't shy away from communicating forever! When you were a kid you more than likely made mistakes speaking but those around you would just correct you and move on. Though yes, we are adults now, and still battle being self conscious, we have to give ourselves a pat on the back for at least trying. So my advice, just do it! You can do it!

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