Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When it may be time to change professions...

Recently I had the opportunity to hear a speaker and it was an interesting experience to say the least.

This speaker didn't have english as her first language and while her command of it was very good, she did have some interesting pronunciations.

For example, the word "determine" was pronounced almost as two words. "Deter" and "mine" (as in land mine)

She was reading from a slide and this word, determine, kept appearing in the slides over and over again and all I could think was, "is someone going to tell her??"

I didn't tell her either so I guess I have to answer to myself too!

Apart from the mispronunciations, this speaker was interesting to watch because of her lack of patience.
We had opportunity to ask questions at certain point and if you didn't get it, she would grow increasingly frustrated, to the point where she would roll her eyes and you just know she wanted to say "listen you stupid moron, it's simple, just understand what I'm saying"

The trouble was, everytime she repeated herself, she said the SAME thing.

If someone doesn't get it, best practice is to say it another way! It doesn't do anyone any good to just repeat the same thing over and over again. Everyone she did this too eventually gave up and we just discussed it amongst ourselves later.

We were respectful to her despite all that. Even when she decided to mispronounce names.

Our names were all clearly displayed yet she insisted on calling "Joan", "Joanne".

One time when she did this, a few of us giggled a little too loud and she shot her head around and said "what's so funny? what are you laughing at?"

Touchy much?

Probably just as well we didn't point out the "determine" thing.

While it was entertaining, it's a shame we didn't get to learn as much as we might have done if we'd had another speaker...

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