When learning a new language one sometimes has to step completely out of one’s comfort zone. Especially if you live abroad in a country where the language is spoken.
I can promise you that you will feel frustrated, uncomfortable and down once in a while. You’ll even end up in some really awkward situations, where you make a complete fool out of yourself! ;) But it’s all part of the learning process towards fluency. One day you’ll feel optimistic and full of positive energy, and the next day you’ll beat yourself up for not having progressed faster and learned more.
After 1,5 year in Spain, I still feel like hiding in my house on certain days, when I just can’t face speaking Spanish. There are days when I really miss northern Europe, the languages, the culture, and mentality that I know so well. I’m not saying that all of northern Europe shares the same culture, of course not, but northern Europe is what’s familiar to me, it’s what I know and what suits my (rather mild) personality and ((to some extent) lack of) temper.
It’s just the way it is. Try not to be too hard on yourself when you don’t understand things. You feel a bit left out when you go to a party and don’t understand any of the jokes being told, and rather stupid when you completely misunderstand when sarcasm is being used. It’s SO frustrating! But don’t worry. It takes a long time to become fluent in a language, but suddenly one day you GET IT! :D And I’m REALLY looking forward to me reaching that goal with Spanish :)
I love this “Itchy Feet” comic site and this picture is bang on with language learning and making a fool out of yourself. Don’t know how many times I’ve done something similar, but not realised it until later..woops! If you have some time over, then have a look at their website for a laugh.