30 August 2010

Speaking Russian

For the past two days, my friend Lena has been living in her own room. Since I am living in her Mitbewohner's room, I was her de facto Mitbewohner for a couple of days. It was fun. Since I'm going to Russia in only a few days, we made the decision to speak only Russian. It turns out I don't have too too much trouble with making myself understood, and I only have intermittent trouble with understanding. These problems will presumably fade pretty quickly once I am in Russia. That is, I don't have to worry.

And yet, I'm worried. Although the content of the conversation was all quite normal, I couldn't shake the feeling that Lena was slightly annoyed at me. Pretty much constantly. I don't generally have this feeling when we speak German, so I'm going to blame it on Russian. I have a couple of hypotheses for why Russian would make me feel this way:

1. The intonational contours of normal Russian are similar to contours an annoyed American would use when speaking English. There may be something to this: Russian is, according to my subjective judgment, spoken in more of a monotone than is English.

2. I am annoyed at myself for speaking slow and with mistakes, and I assume Lena is also annoyed.

3. Lena actually finds it frustrating to talk to me, because we get along better when we both use German and can understand each other.

It could be a combination of factors. Anyway, I hope that I can shake the feeling of being a nuisance when I'm in Russia. Otherwise I will probably be sad.

No comments:

Post a Comment