Skype Shyness

I don’t really get to practice speaking any of my languages too often.
Skype seems like the perfect chance for someone like me. I’m not one to have objections talking to strangers on the internet (obviously!)

But with Skype, I just can’t get used to it. I’m not shy in real life or on the telephone, but when it comes to Skype chats, I find it very hard to say anything and I get embarrassed quickly.

Anyone know what I mean? Even in my native language I have this problem.

I understand perfectly what you say. In the beginning, it was kind of hard to talk though Skype, but now I am very happy, because I’ve been used to it, and it’s really helpful in order to practice languages.

Actually, I don’t quite get it, but I am trying to.

If you are not shy talking to stranger over the phone, why would you be shy over Skype?

Or do you mean you become shy when speaking in a foreign language? In this case, it has nothing to do with Skype. And I imagine it would be worse when doing it face to face.

Edwin I have friends that are not the slightest bit shy but just find it weird talking to a computer. I can understand 100%

It doesn’t quite make sense but I think it’s probably a combination of the fact that it’s weird to talk to my computer and some other, yet unknown factor.

Basically I don’t know why but it is extremely embarrassing in any language, including my native.

It’s interesting to see that some people know what I mean even though I’m not even 100% sure why it’s embarrassing.

I’ve managed to overcome my ordinary Skype-shyness (Sky-ness?) but once a video call comes, I cringe again.

I’m not shy and I’d like to speak English on Skype but I can’t start do it. I know that it important for me but i find It’s very difficult to do the first step.I don’t want to spoil the expectations of the conversation to a stranger on Skype because of poor English although I know it’s not right.

That’s why you should try paid tutoring services. You will feel less guilty when you know the other party gets paid.

I am sky in real life but feel more confident on skype

SolYViento: I understand, too. I find it difficult to speak to a computer, especially in another language. Using Skype is teaching me to be a better listener in both French and my native language, English. I really have to concentrate on what is being said by others, and I feel that is very good for me. I’m an outgoing, talkative person who has always been better at speaking than at listening! As I wrote in another post, I am learning much more than another language on LingQ.

It’s good to see that I’m not the only one having this problem! Although I’d LOVE to practise speaking German on Skype, I’m actually to shy to make any step towards it. I would feel extremely embarassed trying to stutter out words and sentences in a language I don’t know well.

What’s more, I don’t even have a camera, so I’m afraid that completely rules out the possibility of practising speaking via Skype.

I don’t have a camera either, and whenever I use a computer where there is one, I sabotage it. I find the camera distracts from listening to the other person wholeheartedly. (But even so, I was SO nervous at first that I could barely speak and I would get my languages muddled up). Please, just give it a try.

Although I am technically a German tutor, I do not offer conversations at the moment, and so I feel free to encourage you towards giving either Vera or Reinhard a try. If you prefer a male tutor, start with alleray (Reinhard). He and VeraI are the holders of the LingQ Quality Control crown for German.

I think a good idea would be to start by having a regular chat (typing) instead of jumping directly into speaking. That way the interlocutor can know what to expect from you and your current abilities in the language. That has helped me overcome the fear of speaking to a friend or a tutor.

Then again, just thinking about having my first conversation in German makes my hands start sweating and I feel a terrible vertigo, but we’ll see how it goes soon. Ha!

I agree with what SanneT wrote. Although I only know 2495 words in French, I participated in my first two group conversations this week. I was very, very nervous and found it difficult to listen and speak. Everyone was so patient when I asked to have something repeated. I never felt any pressure to do a lot of speaking so I was able to concentrate on improving my French listening skills.

My first group conversation was on a subject I knew very little about so I did some research to learn more about it. I submitted a writing assignment before the second conversation and highly recommend doing that. I used the corrected assignment during the conversation. It also helped to know some of the people involved in the conversations. Yvette invited me to the first group conversation, and my tutor, Marianne, was the moderator.

My laptop is old and doesn’t have a camera. I feel it is an advantage to not have a camera because I have to focus on listening. I can’t use the nonverbal cues I might get from watching someone as they speak.

According to your profile, you know 8668 German words. I think that’s wonderful and encourage you to join a German group conversation. Keep up the good work!

I seldom have problems understanding my partner via Skype, but It’s very difficult for me to think about a topic and at the same time to think about correct verb forms, noun gender, etc. What’s more, normally a few times I have some sort of blackout, and I don’t remember simple verbs or nouns… It’s very disappointing.

hape: Yes, it can be disappointing, but I want to encourage you to keep at it. I have found that speaking is the most difficult part of learning another language. Reading and listening are relatively easy, but writing and speaking are very difficult for me.

I see that English is not your native language and want to compliment you on your writing skills in a language that gives me, a native speaker, problems. I am thankful for the English grammar and spelling checkers that help catch most of my mistakes!

@SanneT, Em8649

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement! Now when I think about it, I may give it a try and join such a conversation. Perhaps if I prepare myself for a given topic, I could actually talk for 15 minutes, which now sounds to me like an eternity…

The problem with me is that I may know some words in German, but I would be too scared to use them. I’ve been learning German for 5 years now, most of my learning taking place in school and without any speaking at all (!), so that’s why I’m so nervous about it. I never really got over thinking about grammar rules and syntax when speaking German, although when I use English, I usually don’t pay almost any attention to grammar at all. Perhaps German is more difficult to speak? Anyway, I’ll give it a try and keep you posted. Wish me luck!

Ich drücke dir die Daumen!

customic - I definitely suggest you sign up with Vera. I did it last Sunday.
I’m not going to lie and say speaking in German is my favorite thing in the universe, because it’s not. For me it’s pretty frustrating not to be able to express myself through speech as well as I want to.
But I think Vera is a really nice person and will make it as easy on you as possible.

Also, I did a session with Benno. He was also nice and understanding.

I think all of the tutors at Lingq are probably great, but those are just some suggestions.


Thank you for your comment and your suggestions! I know the feeling of frustration you are describing and I hope that one day I will be past it. Hopefully I will realise that if really want to speak German fluently one day, I would have to start speaking, it’s as simple as that. But thanks again for your recommendation, I’ll make use of it.