Friday, 21 September 2018

Failures in Communication...

Today has been quite sad for me. It was my last language lesson with my private tutor. I have been very grateful and appreciative of the way she has helped me learn the language. It has also helped that she is a Christian because she has also been helping me with technical Christian language. The reason I have finished learning with her is because I will be starting to learn at the Slovene language school on 2nd October. It will be strange learning in a group setting but I think it will be good for me. It also means that I will have opportunities to make new friends and build relationships with different groups of people. Please be praying for me as I start to learn in a new way.

If you really want to know, these are prepositions and
endings for 4th, 5th and 2nd cases but it demonstrates
the fun that Slovene is!
Although I am making a lot of progress with the language (I have reached the equivalent of GCSE standard) I'm obviously not perfect and this has led to some interesting communications. The hardest thing for me is understanding Slovene when I'm not expecting it. My automatic response is to say that I don't understand and that I don't speak Slovene (ne razumem, ne govorim slovensko). Unfortunately if I'm taken off guard even this can fail. Last week I was stood at the bus stop when a lady started asking me something. I replied ne razumem, ne govorite slovensko. If you didn't spot the mistake, what I actually said was I don't understand, you (formal) don't speak Slovene. Well at least I was polite in telling this poor woman she didn't speak her own language. I did realise what I'd said and straight away managed to correct myself but she did look very confused.

Even today I've had lots of fun with the language. I got phoned at 7.30 this morning by a delivery driver. At first I didn't know who he was or what he wanted. I managed to explain that I didn't understand and he somehow found someone to speak to me in English. I don't know if they were with him or not. I have visions of him wandering the streets trying to find someone to speak with me...

In Slovenia, I have learnt that it is common for items to be passed on to people in some unusual ways. For example sometimes people will give packages to bus drivers to take with them and collected at another stop. It is also common practice for items/ letters to be left at petrol stations. It looked like I might have to pick up my parcel from my local petrol station which is always a fun experience (I have somehow managed it once before). Fortunately I was home when the delivery driver
rang again to say he was outside. He didn't have his friend/ random person to interpret for him so I somehow managed to muddle through enough Slovene to work out what was going on. I was very proud of myself!

Apart from the language, things are getting busy and I feel like I'm getting settled into a routine. The youth group started again last week and I have now had 3 Bible studies with the teenage girls. These seem to be going well and I appreciate that they are starting to ask questions and that we are having good discussions.

My routine will be slightly disrupted (in a very good way) as my parents are coming to visit. I'm looking forward to spending time with them and showing them the country of Slovenia. It is also a very good excuse for me to get to see all the places I've wanted to go to but haven't had the time/ money to do it. It actually will help a lot in learning more about the Slovene culture. Please be praying for them as they travel and for all of us as we drive around the country next week.

I'm sorry I don't have many interesting photos this week. One of the benefits of my apartment block is that we have a roof terrace and so get some amazing views across the city. I'll finish up by adding in a photo of the sunset over the hills surrounding Ljubljana. Apparently they're not big enough to be mountains but I'm from the south of England and they look like mountains to me!

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