The Importance of Resonance in Language Learning
I am enjoying Slovakia. The people are gentle and helpful, even if a little shy at times. The scenery is wonderful, although there is not enough snow for skiing. I enjoy the food even though it is a little heavy at times. I can understand a lot of Slovakian and Slovaks seem to understand me, but the problem I experience is a lack of resonance.
I have been studying Czech for over a year and a half. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of hours of Czech. It is hard for me to get my spoken Czech going when I am not stimulated by an environment which speaks that language. We feed off other people when we attempt to speak a new language. Patient and friendly people help us speak better. The better we understand what people are saying, the better we speak. We respond to this stimulus in an almost musical way, in my opinion. The Slovakian language which I hear around me, even when comprehensible, is not on the same wavelength, nor of the same musical resonance, as the Czech that I am used to, and which I need to in order to warm up to speaking the language.
At least that is what I think. We will see when I get to the Czech Republic in a few days.