are probably among the phrases I hear the most (along with "etypically espanish") often directed at me. Usually the speaker is trying to pull me out of my shell and get me to speak more, to make me forget about utilizing correct grammar and and trying to pronounce things as perfectly as I can, however painstaking it may be.
I would like to think that I have made progress in this area, but perhaps what may seem like leaps and bounds to me doesn't even constitute a half step to someone else. In any case, no te cortes is easier said than done. I sometimes wonder how I would interact with people here if I didn't have the language problem. However, then I realize that language isn't the only problem. Many times in group situations, I find myself lost because someone makes a cultural reference. While said reference can bring some of the participants in the conversation closer, at the same time, it can easily exclude those who don't understand it. And that is the position in which I find myself many times. Before coming here, I didn't realize how much language was used to reference and rehash cultural facts. I figure that there is no way that I can get around being in the dark about what people are talking about except to ask. Sin miedo. Don't be afraid.
I suppose that I must do the same that I tell my students: don't worry about making a mistake. The important thing is getting your message across and if you don't understand something, ask.
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