I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

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Wanting to be understood is on most people’s wish lists. I, for one have learned first hand what this really entails. Let me explain. What you hear is not always what the person means. Do you get where I’m going with this? Moving to Austria, 9 years ago and wanting to integrate as soon as possible was first on my to-do-list. Now, how does one do this? Join a sports club! Yes, and that’s what I did. Playing ice-hockey. Now, this was a challenge, playing with young sporty university students who spoke Carinthian and Styrian. Enough said, wow! I could not make head or tail of it… Hearing things on ice that I’d never heard before like,

bist du deppert?’
(because I actually thought that I understood this question)  to which I happily replied,

no, I’m Lenka’!

Their reaction was one of deep confusion. As was mine.
Lesson learned: So, if you don’t really understand a question, ask, ‘I’m sorry, what do you mean?’ instead of, ‘could you repeat that’.

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