You know that questioning look you get when you are speaking with someone and they don’t seem to understand what you are saying? It may not be so much their misunderstanding as it is their inability to “hear” what you are saying. Not that they are deaf or hard of hearing, they hear the sounds just fine, they just can’t keep up with all the words coming at such a fast pace.
If you are a native English speaker, your rate of speech is going to be faster than a nonnative English speaker is going to be able to “hear” and interpret the words you are speaking. In the beginning, when learning a new language, your mind is trying to hear a word you are not quite familiar with while interpreting its meaning. As a result, it is easy to “get lost” when words are spoken quickly.
When you are speaking with someone who is not from America, try to make an effort to slow down your speech and give the listening person a chance to “hear” what you are saying. If you are just learning the English language and are having a hard time understanding what someone is saying to you, politely ask them to slow down a little.
Just remember to “bring it down a notch,” or slow down how fast you are talking, or ask someone to slow down their talking and it may make understanding a bit easier.