Speak, Write, Listen

by Socheat Touch

I have been living in Denver for five years but it’s still frightening. Language is my main concern – it’s what makes me afraid to live here. Why would I say this? There are many languages around the world used on different continents. I come from the Asian continent and I’ve spoken and written the Cambodian language for 25 years, ever since I was born in my homeland. It was easy when I lived in my own country. I was a nurse and worked at a public hospital for 6 years. I used to be a highly-educated person, but now I’m just a person beginning to get a medical assistant degree again. I have a hard time improving my speaking, writing, and listening because I have to go to school five days a week. I’m working in a restaurant just to make money to pay the bills. I don’t need to use a lot of English while I’m working. I live with depression because I’ve become a person who doesn’t understand the people around me, can’t have a conversation. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost my hearing and sight because I can’t understand when people are saying something and I can’t understand what I read. I struggle when I work with people because I don’t get all they’re talking about. It’s hugely frustrating that I can’t use English in my day-to-day life.