Thursday, September 13, 2007

On being "stupid" because you don't speak perfectly

I wrote earlier that when you don't speak a language perfectly, people of that country often wrongly think it is a sign of your intelligence.

It also goes both ways. When you're around a bunch of native speakers, you're used to being the "dumb" one asking for how to say something or having an error in some of your sentences. Then that mindset carries over and causes errors in things unrelated the language - like pouring water or cooking.

Does anyone else have this same experience abroad? I think it's another example of the subtle role psychology plays.


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