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Wednesday, May 23

Improve Your Fluency: Don't Let Mistakes Slow You Down

Written Language
Formal written English is just one type of English. We can craft our written words into the exact form we wish. We can go back and add, change or delete things until everything is just right. However, we rarely speak formal, written English except in speeches or when making excuses to a police officer. Spoken language has different expectations. Our speech is laced with sentence fragments, false starts, abrupt shifts in topic and so on, and nobody cares. These types of errors
would be unacceptable in written language but are not really errors in spoken language; it is what normal spoken language is.

Just Get your Message Across
Making mistakes in Spanish is nothing to worry about. What matters is getting your message across, not whether you use all the right words, If you get stuck on a word, use other words. For example, if you are talking about the United States and cannot remember the word estadoudinenses to describe U.S. citizens, use other words such as "the people of the country to the south of Canada" instead.

Symbols Can be Anything
Remember that words are only symbols to which we attach and convey meaning. There is nothing sacred about any particular word. Sometimes you don't really need any words to convey a message. We can convey meaning nonverbally. Think of back catchers, gang signs and any teacher in a classroom. The same meaning can be conveyed many ways.

Extroverts Learn Spanish Faster
Act out what you are trying to communicate. Use humour, exaggeration, facial expressions, gestures, tone, pitch and pace of voice - even funny noises, to convey your meaning.

Don't try to sound like a Spanish textbook, talk like a Spanish speaker.

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