Sometimes it's hard for me to understand people through the phone?

<p>Everyone says I speak english very well and that I am quite fluent but everytime I have to talk to someone on the phone they say something and I just can't understand? And the more they try or I try the harder it becomes?</p>

<p>When we speak to people face-to-face, we can watch their expression and gestures as well as see their lips. These additional visuals help a lot in understanding what people are saying. You are not the only person who does not like speaking on the phone. I would say just keep practicing and your skills may improve.</p>

<p>There are two other things to consider. Is it possible you have a hearing impairment? If so, you might want to have that checked out.</p>

<p>The other thing is the sound quality of your telephone. If the sound quality is poor, this may be contributing to your difficulty.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I spent about an hour and a half on the phone so far this week with different businesses. Most conversations went perfectly well, but two were absolute communication disasters. All of us were native speakers of English. There are so many variables having to do with sound quality, noisy/quiet environments, attentiveness of the speakers, you-name-it. </p>

<p>Phone conversations are the hardest thing in a second language. Even though I am fluent in their language, there are some of Happydad's relatives who I just cannot understand on the phone. Truth be told, I don't understand them all that well face-to-face, but there I have a lot more context to work with. </p>

<p>If you have a good friend who is willing to help you practice your phone techniques, you could try that. Some ESL textbooks have model phone conversations in them, and if you hunt around at the library, you might find materials that are specifically for telephone work. Now that everyone has cell phones, you could practice with someone who is only a room or two away from you, and you could break for snacks and/or adult refreshments when you get tired.</p>

<p>Wishing you much success as you deal with this!</p>

<p>MINGKY-- I speak fluent Italian and passable French, but for some reason I absolutely freeze on the phone. My husband reminds me of the time, while in Paris, I walked three blocks from our hotel to a restaurant just to make my reservations in person rather than stutter and fret on the phone. Even when I ask folks to speak slowly, my comprehension on the phone is probably only 25% of what it is in person. Maybe we both just need a little more practice? ;)</p>

<p>Is this a cell phone or a regular phone? I find that the quality on my cell phone varies by call...sometimes it's really awful.</p>