I spoke Farsi!

English: Awkward Social Encounters
Image via Wikipedia

I ran into an Iranian guy yesterday that I used to share an office with.  Though flustered, I managed to do two important things: I used what I know and made up a couple new sentences.  I did not follow the Irish Polyglot by making 100 mistakes, but I made several.  In the end I benefited, and the encounter was not terribly awkward.

I greeted him–correctly.  Good!  Then when I tried to say, “I speak a little Farsi,” I was getting a couple words mixed up, so I started speaking too quickly, and then he finally said what I was trying to say.  As a good student of Pimsleur, I repeated after him.

I also used a phrase wrong.  When contradicting someone who says “no,” you say “chera,” which means “yes” in this context.  When he said I spoke well, I said this.  I confused him.

Finally, I made up a sentence, “I have a Farsi book.”  That worked well.

The lesson I learned is that I have what it takes to start having conversations.  These conversations will be short now, but they will get longer–and more fluid and less awkward.  I also learned about holes in my vocabulary.  I need words like “use” and “like” to talk about my learning methods.  I need to re-learn to say “work” so I can find out where he is, now that I no longer share an office with him.

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