Hearing aides and New Language Learner - accents, frequencies, cognitive challenge

I retired to Ensenada, Baja California in 2020- to learn Spanish and do research as geologist. I had been single for many years but a relationship with a Spanish speaker revealed hearing loss. Three years later with hearing aides - found discussion on Hearing Tracker on difficulty hearing foreign accents. I have concluded that some consonants in Spanish are difficult to hear through heavy accents used by Spanish speakers here, especially more casual conversations where parts of words are left off. This, and the non-analog digital amplification of discrete frequencies, has limited my ability to comprehend what is being said. I have used my hearing aides to develop cognitive ability to understand one on one conversations. However, hearing aides do not help with frequency loss in majority of situations. Cannot hear presentations through speakers. Note a word (have bought clip on mics for speakers). Cannot ask everyone to slow down, but I do it a lot. This cannot be a new problem, but I’ve found little in online research on limitations of training your ears to hear digitized lingual sounds that were never learned with analog learned California- non accented english. With background in seismic wave theory, I believe hearing aide digital technology is not yet ready for the analog fidelity required for learning new language.

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Your hearing loss can explain more if you shared it.

All of us have difficulty with speech as our hearing gets worse. Accents just accentuate our hearing loss.

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As my loss is mild, I have no speech difficulties at all except a rare occasion of maybe once in two years :grin:. However, the occurrence is a little greater with males with accents and jumps to great difficulty all the time if males from a particular country. I spent my life thinking I must have some kind of bias and tried my best to speak little to males from said country. I am an immigrant myself with many close female friends from this country…
A few years after my diagnosis, a giant light bulb lit up. I actually wonder if I should find audiobooks read by males from the country to train my ears after getting an aid.

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I have been wearing aids fir about 20 years, as my hearing has gotten worse, hearing aids have improved. I have lived and worked in almost every US state, and in many countries. I wasn’t required to learn a foreign language as i was never anywhere long enough to make it worth the effort. When in other countries I would have an interpreter as needed, but that was also an issue because of the interpreter have an accent that is hard to understand. Now days i am retired but have learnt to use speech to text and even translation to help. I listen to lots of audiobooks that helped me a lot. I have also used programs like LACE to help me to recognize speech to improve my hearing and word recognition. It helps but is perfect. I have just come to accept my hearing disability. And in doing so I have lessened my stress level so very much. Sure I have bad days. Normally when seeing a new doctor, or my doctors hiring new staff.
My first wife could speak Spanish and a number of other languages. She never spoke it at home. My kids learned Spanish and French in school but really haven’t used it. My great grandmother and grandmother were Native American, Apache, i would hear them speaking in their native languages when they thought they were alone and out of ear shot of everyone.

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I must admit, I have hard time understanding these people, worst still, I can’t remember their names either:

If they are from Mexico that more than likely is part of the inka indians. Sorry more than likely my spelling is bad.

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Hi Raudrive and others. Here is my audiogram.

I’ve had audiograms done at the Costco here in Ensenada, Baja and the audiogram hasn’t changed. What is interesting is that in Mexico the audiotest includes hearing using phonemes and consonants from spanish (e.g., Agua, Ka, gato, pato). I should get a copy. In my research, I’ve read that Spanish consonants have higher frequencies than english. And as for PianoJoy, I have more problems hearing the same word pronounced by females (obviously higher frequency). Thanks cvkemp. I too have concluded that my disability will limit how much spoken spanish I can learn, but it won’t stop me from trying. Afterall, I need to communicate with my wife who doesn’t speak English!

Ah you have a cookie bite loss too, it isn’t that easy to fit a cookie bite hearing loss. I have been dealing with it for well over 20 years. It takes patience from you and the audiologist too, to get the best fitting possible.