Fake it ’til you make it
I have a few colleagues and acquaintances who are currently labouring under the impression that my foreign language skills are better than they are (and I don’t really have a problem with that). Why? Because most of our communications are done in text format, and that makes it much easier for me to make sure that I understand them, and that they understand me.
Besides being able to take my time a little bit more, working via instant messages or email allows me to check both directions of communication using an online translator. Obviously, Google Translate won’t give me perfect sentences, but it will help make sure I’m not getting totally the wrong idea.
The downside of this is that whenever I speak to these colleagues in person, I have to get them to slow down or repeat themselves so I can understand. Nevertheless, working partly in another language is a good step towards fluency. Also, I find that if people don’t dumb their language down for me it motivates me to learn faster!
Do you have any people in your life who are overestimating your talents? How does it make you feel?