Non-English speakers

Have you tried to learn another language? Probably you have taken Spanish or French in High School. Or English if you’re from a non-English speaking country. How well do you carry that language?

9 a.m., I always wake up at 9 a.m.

The sun is always bright outside, it never fails to accompany me with the cold air of Australia. It’s so cold with the sun shining at this hour. Wait, that goes against the physics of heat transfer I learned in that Thermodynamics course I’ve taken. Weird, did I even attend the class regularly?

Brrr, my teeth are clenching. I hate the cold in Australia but I hate even more the hot in Malaysia. Inhale. Puff. I’m not even smoking. My friends are either up and have gone to their class or still in their slumber. Probably both. They are not taking this seriously, are they?

I’m not an active person, I would regard myself as unsociable. But I hate to be left out of a community. Being an adult isn’t hard I believed, however, I’m weak on holding the social standard of being a functional grown-up. “Hey, cold day isn’t it?” I would say to passerby. Sometimes I hate it because I need not be an outcast, other times, I like it because I am connected to my fellow warm-blooded human being.

“Are my English speech is error-free today?” said my conscious. My second language always gives me a headache. I’m not a beginner but neither am I an intermediate user. I can read and listen well, but bad at writing and worst at speaking because my brain would explode and the tiny gray-matter would ricochet inside my skull when preparing an English sentence with the right word and grammatically correct. Australian people are nice, sometimes too nice, I wished they would be honest and corrected me. The inaccuracy of my expression tends to linger until someone laughs at it. The burn, it’s painful.

I need to use the bathroom. Be right back, fellows.

Cold water splashed on my face. I looked at the bathroom mirror, wishing, I could speak English with my fellow countrymen. That would be helpful and made sense because we are foreigners.


Japanese. That’s what I heard outside. I’ve taken 2 semesters of that subject. I like languages even though my English is mediocre. Sigh. No, I’m not upset with my current IELTS grade. I’m just disappointed how international students like me preferred to speak in their dialect with, well, non-locals.

Walking aimlessly around our university’s famed duck pond, I’m wondering, why wouldn’t they want to be outside their comfort zone. “Can I not talk to them? I don’t want to speak English” my friend said, last month. Remembering that somewhat annoyed me. Man, your test of English must’ve been a wasteful resource since you’re not trying to retain the language. That’s what I thought. It’s embarrassing.

It’s stupid.

It doesn’t matter how broken the language you are using. As long as you are trying and being sincere, people will listen, mindfully. That’s what I believe. It is not something to be proud of, to be in Australia for at least 3 years, and come back with an English that is untouched.

Sigh. Inhale, puff. It’s really cold outside.

Shoot I just ditched my class.


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