Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Words of Wisdom From a 6 Year Old



The last two days I have been feeling very discouraged about my progress with learning German.  I’m in two different classes with the same teacher for moms in Ethan’s school and moms in a neighboring school who need to learn the language and I am apparently the one who knows the least.  In fact, it seems as though everyone else can understand and speak the language fairly well.  Our teacher is a German lady who knows very little English and so she speaks only German.  In theory, this is very good because I’m forced to use only German.  However, I have no idea what anyone is saying or asking or doing.  I pick up a few words here and there and am getting very good at reading body language, but typically I have no idea what is going on.  The rest of the ladies are from different countries and so I have no one to speak to unless I can figure out how to say it in German.  I usually tell myself that it’s no big deal and I’m doing great having only been in the country for 5 months and the other ladies have been here for 10+ years, but for some reason this week it has really gotten to me.  I have been really frustrated with it and myself for not remembering the vocabulary and recognizing or understanding words.  I have a lot of stories of idiotic moments I have had in class.  It is a very humbling experience.

After realizing how I have been feeling I started to really worry about Ethan and what he must be going through because he is in a similar situation, but probably worse.  So today after school I asked him if he ever gets frustrated with the language.

Ethan: “What do you mean?”

Me:  “Do you ever get frustrated not being able to understand what people are saying to you or know what is going on around you?”

Ethan:  “No.  Do you?”

Me:  “Very much so.”

Ethan:  “You can’t let yourself get frustrated, Mom.  You just have to know that it will come and keep trying.  I’m understanding a lot more now and it’s getting a lot easier.”

Ethan is a very wise 6 year old!  He amazes me everyday with his positive attitude and his perseverance.  I’m hoping I can be like him someday.


  1. What an awesome kid! Give him a hug for us. We love you guys... Hang in there. You'll get it!

  2. Rissy..you are being so hard on yourself! I probably would too, but you have to remember that E is 6 and at that age...kids pick up other languages very quickly, moreso the younger they are. In short, his brain is still developing and takes everything in..our brains are grown and can take everything in, but it takes more effort, patience, and perseverance. Don't give up!