Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Umm...what's the word?

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation and you suddenly can't remember the word that was previously right on the tip of your tongue? I DO! All. the. time. It's ridiculous. I really thought I was going crazy there for a while. But you know what? I'm not crazy. :) Evidently, a lot of people that experience complete language immersion (like, let's say, living in Honduras) experience this "forgetfulness." This "forgetfulness" is called first-language attrition. (read this article if you really want to learn more about it) The good news? Studies have shown that the more fluent you become in the language, the less "forgetful" you become. ...As long as you continue to speak your native language on a regular basis. :)

3 comments:

La Gringa said...

I was so happy to read that article. I thought I was losing my mind. I think that I wrote about this a couple of years ago but it is still happening! The latest words have been scrape and independent. For the latter, I had to say "you know....not republican and not democrat...." The interesting thing is that I usually remember the first letter or two of the word that I'm struggling for.

The same thing happened to El Jefe when he was learning English. He got a little panicky about it.

Enamorada de un Hondureño said...

That happened to me in Honduras because when I was there all I spoke was Spanish. Then when I would talk to my parents on the phone I felt like I was struggling to remember words in English. It was a strange experience~ I was also only there for a week, so I can't imagine how it must be living there.

Hannah said...

Glad I'm not the only one! :)