When Estonian (me) writing (speaking) in English.
I write this blog in English. I don’t know why, as I make lots of stupid mistakes.
I started to speak English, after I met my husband 17 years ago. I did learn English at school, since I was 10, but never was I brave enough to speak it to other people. I could understand and was always nodding with stupid smile back to the people and hiding behind my friends, letting them to do all the talking.
Back in 80s Estonian schools concentrated mostly to grammar and there wasn’t anywhere to practice speaking really. Estonia was part of Soviet Union and getting out from there wasn’t something you could do easily.
My teacher in the high school made us learn the 20 first irregular verbs most of the lessons and I can’t remember anything interesting or inspiring from her…other than she was secretly eating sweets front of the class, pretending she dropped something under the table. She even stopped talking to me and refused to mark any of my work, as I dared to say something about her teaching methods.
Later on, I tried to learn English in language school, which wasn’t too bad. The teacher was from South America and actually spoke quite good English, at least I think so but as my English was so poor I can’t say for sure.
I’m sure I enchanted my husband because I was so quiet and was listening for hours him talking. (by now he has learnt his lesson 🙂 )
In England, I tried few courses aimed to foreigners (ESL), which gives you qualification needed for applying for the university places. They weren’t very inspiring and I didn’t like the approach.
In the end, I decided to take the GCSE English course in Adult education Center and oh, I was lucky. We had most inspiring teacher, who really made me work hard and I actually made real effort to complete the given homework.
I got “A”, missing just few points from “A*”. I have highest grade in the office and all my colleagues are English 🙂
Despite the high grade, I still find difficult to write in English. I can’t always find juicy words, I admire so much, when reading other people’s blogs. I’m struggling putting “a” and “the” front of the right words. I don’t get order of the words right.
I find speaking in English quite easy, but I still have strong accent and I make mistakes regularly. My job requires giving support over the phone and I’m quite good at that. I’m thinking in English and going back to Estonia, I struggle few days to get my Estonian back in track. I think in English and then I translate it to Estonian and quite often it doesn’t make any sense. My friends think I’ve lost it and wonder, what I’m on about 🙂
I mix up “she” and “he” all the time. Not, that I don’t know, how to use them, but when I’m speaking I just pick whatever comes out first. Realizing my mistake quite quickly. Especially, when I see people staring me with blank faces and wondering, who I’m talking about.
After publishing the last post, my daughter came to correct some mistakes I made. I was grateful but annoyed with myself. How long it takes to learn it’s “how is it…” not “how it is..” ???
Regardless of all said, I will keep writing English and maybe if I would do it more often I’d actually get better.
Please put all corrections to the comments! 🙂 (no hard feelings, will try to learn from them)