Is this a conversation?

What makes a conversation?  Is the definition different when it takes place through text messages?  When two people with different native languages converse, especially when neither person is comfortable trying to express themselves in the other’s language, how does that change the communication?

wahwahIs conversation always going to be hard?  Does it require even more sensitivity than usual? Miscommunication happens when you are relying on simple text to convey what you mean.  The other cues that we rely on to figure out what the speaker is saying are missing.  Add in that the sentences are hard to form, the word choice might be inexact, and the second language recipient might be only getting a percentage of what is said.

How do I connect with my Korean mentors/friends?

peanutI have had conversations on Kakoatalk, Skype, and the telephone with half a dozen Koreans.  It is not easy.

Sometimes, I realize that I have sent 10 photos, written 10 long complicated sentences, and my exchange partner has only sent back two smiley faces.  Whoops.  I have overwhelmed.  I thought I was having a conversation, but what I was really doing was talking AT the person and not realizing it was too much for him to absorb.

The reverse also happens.  It does not take much Korean to overwhelm me.

It is a miracle when I can decipher a whole sentence.


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