i am hearing impaired, which normally doesn't cause too many problems but in
foreign languages it is a disaster.  i showed a fair amount of talent in
high school for languages (especially the one no one speaks, latin) but by
the time i got to college and they put me in a language lab (tapes of people
speaking the french language in 1966), i had a problem.  i could do the
written work just fine but those labs were a nightmare.  after i finished
french in college (my written exam grade bringing up my oral exam grade), i
was done with languages.  the way this persists in modern day life is that
if someone speaks with a foreign accent, i right away have trouble hearing
(understanding) them.  my oncologist is from india and i have to look at my
husband and get the translation about 1/3 of the time from him. my
oncologist's accent is not even very pronounced.  i just tell people about
my hearing problem ASAP so no one gets insulted with my needing

i live in the midwest usa so sound pretty much like what you hear on
american tv and film.  however, stick me in the deep south usa and they
might as well be speaking a foreign language too as the same hearing
problems crop up.  (my father's entire family was from new england though so
i grew up hearing that accent so can still understand it).  this is
hereditary.  it is about a 40% loss, both ears.  the chemo gave me ringing
ears too so hearing aids only amplify the ringing so are of little help.  as
you can probably imagine, i am very strong visually, with the written word
and with computers, probably partially in compensation for this disability.
when i was growing up (1950s and 1960s usa) hearing problems of my sort
weren't even recognized.  you had to be outright deaf to get help in the
schools.  so i think i was compensating at a very early age with visual,
written words, etc.,.  my audiologist told me the first time he tested me as
an adult that i did the best job of compensating of anyone he'd ever met (he
had to have me face the wall to get a true test result so i would stop
compensating).  i listen to music and watch dvds with headphones so i don't
drive other people bats with my volume.  so for any of you aspiring to
foreign language talents, it sure helps if you have normal hearing if you
want to converse with someone in one.  ironically, my uncle was so good at
foreign languages that the army made him a translator-interrogator in Italy
during WWII.  He could pick languages up in a snap, both orally and written,
but he also did not inherit the family hearing disability.  he also didn't
have any visual imagery talent so i guess things have a way of evening out.


On 10/10/07, Leon Brooks GIMP <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Thursday 11 October 2007 00:50:09 J Figueroa G - Gmail wrote:
> > (I dont speak and read english so much)
> Don't worry about it ("No worries!" here in Australia).
> I'd just be guessing if I _chose_ your native language as Spanish
> or something like it (Casablanca?), & would have to patiently
> spend time (days or weeks) learning to _speak_ the language
> in order to say anything more useful than "hello."
> If it's Latin-based I could possibly blunder my way through
> most of it, but it would be entertaining for you (or any other
> onlooker) to watch me try that.
> My knowledge outside of English is almost zero. I was born in
> Canada of Australian parents, & promptly (2 years) imported
> "back" into Australia again.
> I have friends from various parts of Africa, Peru, Laos, Brazil,
> France, Italy, Poland etc but that hasn't been enough to prompt
> me to learn another language. Oh, except for C, ForTran, BASIC,
> PHP, Pascal, Modula2, assembler...
> Cheers; Leon
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