Slovak word of the day

Nervózny (adj.) – Nervous, jittery, irritated, annoyed, tense, restless, uneasy, uncomfortable, nervy, self conscious, neurotic.

It’s been more than a week since I last posted something.  It’s all my fault really.  I got lazy and distracted.  It takes a lot of discipline to maintain a blog.  And discipline is something I lack.  The Slovak word of the day is  nervózny.  There are many Slovak words that look and sound like the English equivalents but they are actually false friends and nervózny is one of them.  Slovakians use the word Nervózny for many situations.  They feel nervózny when they are irritated by their co workers, when the driver in front of them drives too slowly, when they have to wait in a long line, when they are about to sit for an exam, etc.

Nervózny is also how I’ve felt in the past month.  Well, the thing is, I blame myself for this.  To start with, I haven’t been spending enough time learning Slovak. The main reason why I want to learn one Slovak word a day is because I really want to speak Slovak fluently.  I am so tired of not understanding what is going on around me.  Actually, the next time someone asks me why I still don’t speak Slovak I might just kick them in the crotch.  Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive at this point but I find this question a bit condescending.  What am I supposed to say?  That I’m so stupid that I’m not capable of learning a new foreign language?  That I’m as lazy as a …… (fill in the blank)?

I know I’ve been a bit too cozy in my own little bubble.  It’s time to break out of this bubble and to really push myself.  And that’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of this year.  Little baby steps.  Part of the reason I feel nervózny could be because I’m stepping into new unfamiliar territories.  Things appear to be intimidating and scary, people seem mean and unforgiving and even my friends seem to have abandoned me at times.  Such a lonely and scary thing to do when you leave your comfort zone.

I have to keep telling myself that it’s ok to fail sometimes.  Didn’t someone once said, “it’s the darkest before dawn?”  Oh whatever.  At the moment I need a way to control my feeling of  “nervózny”.  Maybe I should go learn a few Slovak swear words and start swearing only in Slovak.

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8 thoughts on “Slovak word of the day

  1. It’s normal to be frustrated when trying to learn a language. Are Slovaks (in general) appreciative that you’re trying and tolerant of mistakes? When I was trying to learn Polish, I was disappointed to find that Poles are VERY intolerant of the slightest mistake and will actually mock you for it. This didn’t exactly motivate me to learn. Hungarians, on the other hand, are so happy when you try that they don’t seem to notice the little mistakes. Hang in there!

    • Yes, the Slovaks are quite appreciative of foreigners trying to speak their language. Sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience with learning Polish. I’m actually quite surprised. How long did u live there? Thanks for your support! Very kind of you. 🙂

      • That’s good to hear! During my visits to Bratislava, I’ve noticed that they seem to appreciate it. I can speak a little Slovak, because we wanted to move there and also my Grandma is Slovak-American. I lived in Poland for 2 years. It was mostly interesting and fun, except for the language thing and the fact that they try to rip you off. But it’s like that in Hungary, too. I think their aversion to foreigners learning Polish comes from their own complex about learning English.

        Regarding language learning, one day you’ll have a sudden breakthrough. My advice is to stop trying to understand everything that people around you say (especially in bars or at parties!!) and just listen to the sound. I can say from experience (I taught myself how to speak French), that straining only makes it worse. Cheers!!

      • Man, you’ve traveled a lot! I really love all the pictures you’ve taken. I’m still waiting for my sudden breakthrough but at least now I know when someone swears at me because I’m pretty fluent with Slovak swear words. 🙂

  2. I commend you on this whole ordeal, don’t think I could master another tongue even if I did go a word a day keep at it! Cheers!

  3. Don’t let yourself get down, man. Looks like you’ve got a lot going for yourself. Just take stock… and take it easy. That’s the best advice I can give. In the meantime, get out and enjoy the great weather! –Dave Stewart (from NYC)

    • Hey Dave! Thanks for the advice! 🙂 It’s true that I’ve been a bit stressed out lately. I have too many things on my plate and it’s overwhelming sometimes. But things should get better as summer approaches. Hope you’re doing well! Take care!

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