Dahveed and Growth Through Learning
posted on October 20, 2022
As many of you might know language and symbols are some of the things that make humans very unique; however there are so many languages in the world and so many different accents and slangs for the same language. The very cool aspect of these languages is that anyone can learn them if they dedicate themselves to learning, or going to that country and completely submerging yourself around the language. Coming to the US, being engulfed in the culture and language has been a challenge that I have had to work through these years.
When I first got here I spoke barely any English, OK none. I remember getting to school for the first time here in the US and my mom walking me to class. As soon as I saw her walk away I have never felt so lost in my life, my throat was a knot and I wanted cry. I was in a school where I knew no one, and didn’t speak the language at all. I sat in the class room and I wanted to run away, I wanted my friends, my family, my people. As I am sitting there, this kid named Josh starts talking to me and just look at him. All the sudden he pulls out a penny and start yelling PENNY, I just look at him and say “penny?”. That was the first word I learned here in the US.
As you can imagine it was quite terrifying to do anything because I didn’t want embarrass myself, ridiculous I know, but I was kid. I remember writing a letter in ESL class(English as a Second Language) and I had one goal written on there and it was to be able to have a full conversation with someone and make friends. It was an extremely difficult goal but I achieved it by sophomore year of high school; what made it more difficult was the fact that I didn’t know what to talk about with people. I wasn’t into sports(other than swimming) or many popular things but I tried my best to talk about anything.
Now all those things happened when I was young, you might think this language barrier doesn’t affect me as much anymore because I have been here for more than 10 years, but the reality is that it still does. If you ever get a chance to talk to me for more than minute, you’ll notice my accent gets thicker, I start to mix words in English and Spanish, I stutter quite bit the more I talk. It can be quite frustrating especially when coaching athletes or my clients, I get my cue words confused and I end up saying something completely different. I am not 100% sure why this still happens, it could be that I still speak Spanish just about everyday but again I don’t know.
These are things can be easily be fixed as time goes by and I learn even more English. If you speak Spanish and you would like to practice your Spanish conversation with me, I would be more than happy to help. I don’t want anyone feel lost if you go somewhere Spanish is mainly spoken.