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Dealing with nerves

I get really nervous when I think about Skype calling with a language partner for the first time. I feel like somehow I should already know how to speak their language before I start. I know that's silly, and the whole point is to practice, but it's just how I feel.

Does anyone else feel like this? And if you do, how do you deal with it?

Sep 13, 2016 12:55 AM
Comments · 16

I believe that is normal and most people experience something similar. As adults, we often worry way too much about what other people are going to think of us and we feel like we sound a bit childlike or, at the very least inefficient and akward, when speaking a foreign language.

One thing to remember with language partners is that they know what you are going through. Even if they speak your language much better than you do, they want to learn and were in a situation like yours probably not long ago. Only people who never tried to learn another language will judge someone else who's clearly labeling themselves as a learner.

One thing I've found helps me is to open the conversation or preempt it by saying flat out how nervous I am about it and how bad I think I sound. So far, the other person has always been very reassuring and I believe there is a kind of instant bond that forms when you show yourself vulnerable to a stranger.

September 13, 2016
Yes! Completely natural. The only way you will be able to push past it is to do it. Just like the book title: feel the fear and do it anyway. 
September 13, 2016
This is really normal :). The first time I went on Skype to have a language exchange, I was so nervous. Whereas now, Ive done so many language exchanges, Im comfortable because you realise the first language exchange always tends to revolve around the same topics lol. You get to the point where you actually lead the conversation, since you are more experienced than the other in keeping the conversation going!
September 17, 2016

I seriously understand this feeling! ><

I'm already decent at Japanese yet the nerves and awkwardness are always there when I schedule a lesson.

My honest advice is to have a drink before hand and I don't mean tea! 

It's soo much easier to talk and relax with a little alcohol in you from my experience!

Give it a go! ;) 

September 17, 2016
Just keep it to a short conversation initially - 10 or 15 minutes each way.
September 13, 2016
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Language Skills
English, Italian, Japanese
Learning Language
Italian, Japanese