No, not that kind of language problem.  You're probably thinking this blog entry title is about learning a foreign language or about being confused by telemarketers, and them being more confused than you are.

Telemarketer: "Are you Chinese?"
Me: "No I'm American"
Telemarketer: "But aren't you in China?"
I could hear his brain working: "But I called a Chinese phone number... how did I get the wrong country?  What am I supposed to do now?"

OK, I can't really read minds, and that's probably not was he was thinking.  I was mostly worried that he was calling about a recent order I had made on, China's Ebay.  If there were any problems with the order, or if he needed more details, he didn't get them from me.  I didn't understand a word he said.  He's one of those people who doesn't know how to slow down and dumb down his speech for foreigners.  ...and I'm one of those foreigners who gets confused easily and needs to learn the local language better.

But, like I said, that's not the "Language Problem" I'm talking about in the title of this blog entry.  I'm talking about the language problem I developed when I was five years old.  I still remember my dad making me put soap in my mouth.  I think I had said something to my mother that he didn't like.  Sorry mom.

I can honestly say that even though I developed, or discovered, the ability to swear at the age of five, that I've never had a problem controlling it.   I have never spent much time around people who use "bad language," and I usually want people around me to feel respected.

But things are a little different here.  No, I haven't developed a potty mouth, but there's a new temptation here that I never thought about before.  If I'm on the bus, full of people, I can say whatever I want, no one will really understand me.  And, importantly, no one will feel disrespected.  This is not a temptation I expected before I came here.  I've thought about this too many times while riding the bus or walking down the street.  So pray for me.

Also take this as a cautionary tale if you decide to live somewhere no one speaks your favorite language.  You can hear you.  So keep it clean.

Also: Yes, some parts of big cities like this smell really bad, but there's no reason to yell what you think you smell.