Thursday, 28 August 2008

Soo.... The weather!

Well.. I've been really quiet over the past month and that's mainly due to one reason; I've not given my stutter much thought. Not any thought really... It's so weird how my mindset towards stuttering changes so drastically from when I'm at university to when I'm home. Overall I'm currently in a "good" period with regards to my stutter (this will definately jinx it now) and have been pretty fluent. Obviously I still stutter but I get the feeling that I don't confuse people when I talk.. You know when you stutter so much in a sentence you don't even know what you're saying anymore? Ya.. So that's all been good.

I'm even more fluent in German, my second language which I'm fluent (well obviously I don't mean that type of fluency.. I stutter.. but you know what I mean!) in. Now, what I've noticed is that I absolutely suck at controlling my stutter in foreign languages, maybe it's the stress? The unfamiliarity? Who knows... All I know is that I can't control it half as well as I can in English. Thus, I don't like speaking German or learning new languages, which is a shame because I have a knack of picking languages up. -Funny how a linguistic person has a stutter no?-

I'm not really sure why the sudden fluency came about... I pen it on the girlfriend post I spoke about earlier. The magics of relationships blaaadeeh bla bla. Anyway! My point... I recently had to go to a "refresher course" so I wouldn't have my driving license taken away. It's basically the automotive version of A.A. Naturally talkings required... and first day I was nervous, heart was in my throat and I was using all the "tricks" I knew to come off as someone who didn't stutter. Eventually I stopped caring and would stutter through the sentences in German. Albeit, "fluently"... And as I did this I noticed the stutter less.

Which brings me to my closing point, perhaps what we stutterers need to do is not to fight stuttering, not to use our minds against it, but rather accept it. Go with the flow of the stutter. If the stutter doesn't want you to finish a sentence then so be it. I think that the only reason people will make a deal out of your stutter is if you do. Perhaps this is why it was seldom an issue in primary/middle/high-school.... I didn't make an issue out of it (lets exclude 1-2 years) and so nobody else did. And perhaps the only reason the stutter will overcome you is if you let it to. Something which I have definately done in my opening year of university. I go to university tomorrow, and this time... I'm going to try my best to not worry about the stutter.


Nastassia said...

I stutter worse in "foreign" languages too. It's partly the added stress of thinking about what you're going to say or formulating unfamiliar sounds; my two "mother" tongues, Russian and English, are at about the same fluency, but in French and Chinese my stutter-fluency takes a nose-dive.

Oddly enough, however, I'm almost fluent in French, linguistically, but I stutter far more than in Chinese. Really dunno why. Maybe it's something about how you form all those vowels?

I know EXACTLY how you feel about having a knack for foreign languages but stuttering. Holy crap. I speak four languages as it is, but I'd probably speak six or seven by now if I didn't have this extra issue! So frustrating.

Mike said...

Hey Nastassia, four languages is a pretty good feat! Especially for a stutterer. Well done to you.

I do think it's something to do with the vowels and the "sound" of the word... I've noticed that the words I stutter on seem to be a lot more "harsh" words than "soft".

So a harsh word would be.. "cheese".. the CH sound, whereas a soft word would be something like "love".

I think I'm going to just sit myself in a foreign country where I don't speak the language and see how that goes! But that's just me day-dreaming again :P