Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chilcotin Holidays

Learning english on the job

It's crazy to me to think that a couple years ago I didn't speak English at all. I probably don't consider myself as bilingual or completely fluent yet, but each time I am surprising myself thinking in English or looking for a French word, I feel pride having improved so much in this language. How has this happened? Well I took the decision to kick myself out of my comfort zone to go to work in an exclusive English environment. When you work and live seven days a week in a place where you have to speak and understand English twenty four hours a day, you obviously improve it. Even if you learn English at school, if you travel in another country you will quickly realise that it is not enough. I learnt speaking English working at the ranch and I learnt much faster than I thought. I first started to work in the office, and answering emails everyday has been really helpful for me. Effectively, reading English all day forces you to learn it even if at the beginning you have to look for the translation of every word, I mean almost! But more than that I also learned all the English words about riding and around horses as well as around the kitchen and ranch life in general. I can say that the first months were difficult, especially when you want to say something and you don't know how and others don't understand you. Several times I gave up trying to say something and just said it was nothing or it didn't matter because I was feeling at times that my efforts to be understood was not enough or wasn't considered, and that others didn't try to understand me in the same effort that I was trying to. That was a frustrating time, and maybe it's still like that sometimes. The real test for my english has been when I took the Guide School. I really didn't think I could do it because, I guess, I was afraid I wasn't going to understand everything and be lost, but I did it and, yes, I probably didn't understand everything, but enough to know what I was doing. Anyway, when you have to take care of guests and make sure they trust you enough to guide them into the wilderness, you forget that your English is not perfect and you just jump into this big challenge. I think the easiest part for me has been to learn about riding and horses because I never did anything around that before and so when you don't know the words in your own language, it's easier to just learn it in any other language because you don't look for a translation in your mind. So in my point of view, this is how you learn it faster.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :