Hungary, part 2

At this point, I’ve been in Pécs for about a week and a half. Unfortunately, for four of those days I was sick enough that I didn’t feel up to doing anything besides going to class and sleeping (and I had to skip a couple of classes), so I haven’t gotten out nearly as much as I had after a similar amount of time last year. Fortuntely, this time around I have a bit more time, so it’s not the end of the world.

At any rate, although I do enjoy the lessons here, sometimes they are a little bit frustrating. The group I’m in is probably a little bit too advanced for me, but that itself is just a challenge, not a problem. The real issue is that, as a very visual learner when it comes to new vocabulary and expressions, I’m receiving most of the new material in a format that I’m not as well equipped to process — it’s hard enough when the teacher gives us a word or phrase verbally without writing it down, but when the only person to actually say the new phrase is a student on the other side of the room with a fairly quiet voice and a strong accent, I more often than not simply don’t hear it. And I’m only comfortable saying “what?” so many times during a class session, not to mention that if I take the time to write one phrase down, I will miss whatever gets said next.

This, of course, isn’t to say that I’m never guilty of mumbling in class myself, although I’m been trying very strongly to kick the habit after noticing how hard it can be for me when other students do it. Part of the problem, though, is just the fact that non-native students of a foreign language are going to have accents different from that of a native speaker, and there’s really no way around that. However, it would certainly help if our textbook actually gave definitions/explanations of new expressions (they’re generally listed, but you aren’t told which expression corresponds to which definition, since you’re supposed to try and figure that out as an exercize — which is all well and good, except that your choices are only ever verified verbally in class).

Besides all of that, though, I am learning a lot more of the language than I knew previously, so that’s good. Also, at this level, I generally only speak to my classmates in Hungarian, so we get a bit of practice outside of class as well (although roommates are not assigned according to language level, so I often have to speak English with my roommates). Now if it would just cool down a bit, that would be awesome!

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