Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uh oh... the pressure is on.

My husband's aunt just paid me a visit just now. She was here for some hours. Long enough to give me a headache. :P Nothing wrong with her. She's a nice and kind lady. She can speak a little English but she has decided that I need to learn Hungarian - since when I've lost the prerogative to decide myself?? - so from beginning till end she spoke to me in Hungarian and I was required to reply back also in Hungarian. At the end of the session I felt as if my head was slightly swollen. LOL

You know it's like stubborn against stubborn. LOL The Hungarians require foreigners to learn their language ( my husband lived in Malaysia for 5 years and still couldn't speak Malay and nobody cared). While I on the other hand thought they are the ones who should grab the opportunity to practice or learn English from me. They rather spend so much of money to learn with private teachers or go overseas than speaking at any opportunity they get- for free.

Okay, I'm not that stubborn, I just do not have the patience to sit and learn. I speak it so slowly they just can't bear to wait for me to finish a sentence. LOL Hungarian is a rather difficult language to learn on your own. I am learning still but at a snail pace.

The aunt suggested me to really put more effort in it because I need to go and socialize with the non-English speaking Hungarian to avoid boredom. Me?? Bored?? Gosh I can spend hours and hours reading and blogging if I can. Not even a minute I feel bored. But that's beside the point, why people think I am bored in the first place? I spend so much time polishing my English- Reading, building up my meager vocabulary , blogging , cooking, cleaning, being with Bonnie, playing the guitar (also slow progress), tutoring etc. So much so I wish there is 28 hours a day , need 4 hours of sleep to recharge and have a built-in computer memory in my brain so I can do many things and learn many things at one time a day.

If I may add, in my most humble opinion, it is better to be able to speak one or two languages well than speaking 3-4 languages terribly. My Malay is not so bad and not that good either, my English is plain and yet I need to learn another language which I think would also wouldn't be able to speak so well.

Whatever it is, the visit left me with a bad feeling. I can feel the pressure. The uncle, my mother in law, my father in law all have asked me to sit down and learn.With all the pressure, my brain is simply resisting now. I feel that, to be able to learn a language easily, one has got to love it. Never really had problems learning English because I truly love the language. Perhaps my first move is to tell myself every single day, "Szeretem a Magyar nyelvet".

Anyhow, I'd better get those Hungarian grammar books and start poring over them again. *sigh* In my heart of hearts, I sometimes wish my husband came from an English speaking country or even a Malaysian. But I didn't choose him for his race nor for his citizenship. Ahh... Szerelem... The bitter sweet of it. :)

P.S. = And oh, next time when I'm back in Malaysia, watch out you foreigners who have been more than a year in Malaysia and yet can't speak Malay, I'd torment you people as I've been tormented mentally here. (my husband included) Muaaaa ha ha ha haaaaa... *evil laugh*


comey_lote said...

1. I misread the title at first. I've read "the pleasure is on" LOL if they would learn OUR language if they were in our country. tell them to piss off!!!

3.LOL - for the last paragraph

Mama Tatana said...

Don´t pressure yourself Syari. I cannot stand pressure too. Learn the language at your own pace, biarlah lambat, you have lots of time.

My German still suck! gawd help me!.

Sometimes I also wish living in an english speaking land, less headache.

Syari said...


1. Ohh, ingat apa ahhhh??? Mia ha ha ha.

2. This aunt can speak German too. Lived 3 years in Germany, so I cannot say much. I don't know how good her German is. LOL But her English is not that good. :P I'd rather be able to speak rather good English and no Hungarian than terrible Hungarian and also bad English.

3. Sometimes I feel like foreigners have no respect for our language, but when we are in their country we're forced to learn their language.

Syari said...

Luthie, I think as you said, not my husband comes from an English speaking country but rather we live somewhere where people speak English. But then again you would still have to learn the language to speak to the family.

Frankly telling I don't mind learning a new language it's an advantage in fact. But the pressure is what I don't like. *sigh*

Dyah Ayu said...

Heh I can relate to you. My landlady in Budapest was the same. Everytime we met, she asked to go to Hungarian course. The more I was asked, the more I didn't want to go :p
Well at least my Hungarian is still better than her English. I bet she wouldn't even understand if I asked her to go to English course hee hee.

Mitchie said...

Found your blog by blog-hopping.
Had to laugh reading your last entry. :-)
Been living in Germany since ages but I refuse to speak the language. Only when we gathered w hubby's family did I speak the language. Now I think even my four-year old daughter speaks better than me. Hehe

Anyway do tell me is your daughter's name Bonnie Zuleikha? If so wow. Mine is Hanna Zuleikha and she was 4 last Dec 27th.

Greeting from Germany

Katalin said...

You are right, Syari. It is not possible to learn a language under pressure. Hungarians should know this. When Russian was a compulsory subject at schools, most of the children hated it so much they were never able to speak Russian.

I agree, it is very important to love the language we want to learn. It makes the whole process of language-learning much easier.
I am often laughed at even by some members of my family because I love and learn Malay language. But I don't care... I know it will not make them any happier if I stop learning the language I love:-)

In Hungary, more than half of the population do not speak any languages except Hungarian and make little effort to learn a foreign language. So no wonder they expect foreigners to be able to speak Hungarian:-)

Kalau Syari perlu pertolongan dalam BH, degan percuma, tanpa tekanan, silakan hubungi saya bila saja.

Syari said...

Ayu, when I first came here, it was quite easy to absorb the language, but some people here thinks we are super learners that we can learn a difficult language such as Hungarian all by ourselves within a year. The more pressure, the harder I feel to learn it, and the more resistant I am of the language to the point of not liking it sometimes.

Syari said...

Mitchie, hello! My daughter is born 18 dec 2005. Yes, she is a translator for my mil and myself. LOL

And yes, her name is Bonnie Zuleikha. Hanna is a beautiful name!

Syari said...

Kata, I have always respected you for your persistence in learning a new language and being successful. You didn't even need to go to a Malay speaking country to be able to speak Malay!! And rather well too! My husband's excuse for not being able to speak Malay after 5 years in Malaysia - Nobody speaks to him in Malay. You're the proof that it's just an excuse. :P

When I first came here, I liked to learn Hungarian. I could absorb it fast. But then they start to put pressure. Expecting me to be able to speak somewhat well in a year. Most people I met here are a little bit unsympathetic when it comes to foreigners not being able to speak the language. They all assume I should know the language already. They refused to speak slower, instead they speak louder. Many think the louder they speak the easier I'd understand. LOL

A Hungarian saying that often times repeated to me, "A man is worth as many language he speaks". Seems to me, many Hungarians apply it to non-Hungarians not to themselves. LOL But I think this is changing. The younger generations are learning foreign languages.

Kata, terima kasih atas pelawaan untuk belajar Bahasa Hungary. Saya akan fikirkannya! Samada saya boleh meminta pertolongan dari ibu mertua saya untuk menjaga Bonnie lebih masa.

Petula said...

I hope your brain is feeling better! :D You are so good to commit to learning different languages. It is such a great skill. I wish I had the dedication to that. BTW: I like your evil laugh!

si Dyah said...

I agree with you. We must love the language to be able to learn it..willingly :) Or perhaps when you have a very strong reason/need to learn the language, you are willing to undergo the gruelling process of learning a new langauge.

However, I think some languages really require extra effort to understand and learn ya.

As for my case, after so many years living in Singapore, my Chinese is limited to simple expression such as How are you, have you eaten, where are you, where are you going....*sigh
I guess i just have to find a need to learn the language.

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