Day 24 – A Substitute for No Juan

9 Oct

When I’m speaking English with a foreigner and they don’t understand me, I usually try to rephrase what I’m saying. This is because maybe I’m using words they just don’t know. When a native English speaker doesn’t understand what I’m saying it’s usually because I’m not speaking clearly. When I’m asked to repeat or “say again” I slow down and enunciate my words properly. This sometimes does not work with foreigners as I am usually already aware (or should be) of the need to speak clearly.

This is a trap that many travelers fall into – speaking louder and more slowly when they should really be looking for another way to say what they want. I understand their behaviour, they’re doing what comes naturally when someone does not understand them, but it’s totally ineffective (and hilarious) in most situations.

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