Hello everyone, I'm new here
I'm looking for some advice. This might get long, cause it needs a bit of explanation to get the full story.. I hope someone can help though.
I've been living in Norway for almost two years now, and I've learned to comprehend a good amount of Norwegian for the time that I've been here. However, I can't speak a word. For some reason I get utterly paralyzed by this totally irrational fear when I try to speak Norwegian out loud. Even alone at home using Duolingo, I break a sweat and my throat feels like it's swelling.
It's a bit ridiculous. Even in text, if I try to write something I second guess myself to the point where I'm triple checking every word, and even then I feel sick with anxiety when I press "send".
I can't explain it. I'm not really shy or anxious normally, so this is totally out of character. The best I can come up with is that it's got something to do with me being a native English speaker with no other second languages. Trying to use a new set of words feels so strange and uncomfortable, it's like trying to walk on my hands. It's also far too easy for everyone around me to simply use English as soon as it gets difficult to communicate, so I never truly get forced into using Norwegian. Neither of these explanations come close to justifying this level of stress though.
On more than one occasion I've become frustrated to the point of tears over it. I feel like a failure and like I'm insulting Norwegians by "refusing to try" and speak their language. I hate looking like that stereotypical English speaker who can't be bothered because everyone speaks my language anyway.
I tried taking a Norwegian course once, but it didn't help much. I'm now considering looking for a personal tutor but that's crazy expensive. Alcohol doesn't help, and that advice of "just do it" and just push yourself through it, that hasn't helped either and I have tried. Usually those have been the times when I've ended up in tears.
Has anyone else experienced something like this? Anyone have a success story for me? I really could use some help, even some inspiration or motivation to carry on and keep trying.
Thanks for reading