Hi, everybody. This is Maya. I was so pleased 2 people left me comments last time. Please feel free to ask me anything. I’d welcome it!
To improve our English, I believe that feeling ashamed is the fastest and most significant way. I’ll show you a good example.
I’ve worked as a volunteer for the National September 11th Memorial since a month ago. I can’t speak English perfectly as I mentioned last time, but I wanted to place myself a situation I have to speak English. Besides I can help the Japanese visitors in Japanese. My chief work is to guide the visitors and answer their questions, like “Where’s a bathroom?” “What’s this?” “Where’s the red line subway?” Yes, they ask me everything! I’m surrounded with English as I wished.
On the Memorial, there’s one tree, which is called “the Survivor Tree.” I was put near the tree to explain it to our visitors last week. I was not confident to do it, so I listened to my co-worker’s talking at the first to imitate his way. He was like, “This is the Survivor Tree. It was found in the luggage a couple of months after 9/11…” “In the luggage?” I wondered because I knew the meaning of “luggage” exactly. (Luggage means a big bag for traveling like suitcases. You would see this word at airports.) At the moment, I thought “luggage” might have other meaning in addition to “baggage”. After that, many visitors asked me, “Tell me the tree’s story.” I told them seriously, like “It was found in the luggage…” Most of the visitors seemed impressed and said, “Unbelievable! What a beautiful story!” Some of the visitors suspected, “In the luggage?” I answered seriously “Yes, in the luggage!” Can you imagine? A tree, the height was 8 feet (= 2.4 m), was found in the LUGGAGE on the site of the World Trade Center. How weird!
Afterwards I asked my husband the meaning of “luggage”. He told me, it means baggage like suitcases. And he was like, “Your co-worker must have said “garbage”. You made a wrong guess…” Oh my god! I told a big lie to about a hundred visitors! I finally realized such an embarrassing misunderstanding. I felt so ashamed. How embarrassing! Shame on me!! I’ll never forget the meanings of “luggage” and “garbage,” thanks to my embarrassing mistake!
I would make loads of mistakes in the future, but I won’t hesitate to make any mistakes. That’s because I’m studying English now. If I can’t speak English perfectly, I take it for granted.
I’m working there tomorrow. If you’re going to NYC and visiting 9/11 Memorial in the near future, please speak to me!
Have a great weekend. See you soon!