I recently had a rather frustrating experience:
In the middle of July, I was in Florida with a couple of people to see the last shuttle launch. While we were in Florida, we also visited Universal Studies for two days. Somewhat surprisingly to me, Universal Studios was absolutely flooded with people from foreign countries. I would probably estimate that out of 10 people, perhaps 2 were speaking English.
It just so happened that there was a German family behind us when we were in line for the Harry Potter ride. We were in this line for nearly an hour and a half, so I had plenty of time to covertly listen in on their conversations. (You know you’ve done it before, so don’t act like you haven’t.) The frustrating bit, however, was that despite untold hours of learning German, listening to German, reading German, I could understand nearly nothing of what they said. I’d occasionally catch a word here and there, but mostly it was like listening to a language I’d never studied at all. Their accent was one I wasn’t entirely accustomed to, but even with that in mind, I found the experience to be really, really frustrating. Living in southern Ohio, it’s not often that I get to hear German spoken on the fly by people in “real life” (okay, so it basically never happens). Hitting a brick wall while in Florida has me thinking that I need to be listening to less “news” type materials and more stuff similar to how people really talk, like in movies and T.V. shows.
Have you had any similar experiences where you thought, alright, have I learned anything in all this time? The whole thing had me seriously considering throwing my hands up in the air and calling it quits. But I’m far too stubborn for that.