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Old 11-03-2013, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

Hello all.

I noticed that there are some non-native English users here and I thought I would start a thread for them (us actually) where we all can share and discuss the language including how we acquired/learned it, how we deal with it in our normal lives, problems we have with it and other issues, experiences or what ever comes to mind.

This thread can also help improving the language.

Native English speakers are very welcome to make any remarks, notes, jokes, or anything else. Actually, their presence and support are highly appreciated.

Lets have this first post only as an introduction to this thread. I'll post how I personally learned the language and my personal experiences in another post. It might take some time, so please bare with me a little.

Mata ne amogos
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

I am native English speaking and greatly admire those of you that can (and do) come to a forum to read and post in a language that is not native to you. I know a few words of Spanish, German and Korean but could never attempt to make a post on a forum in any of those languages.

When I see a post in a forum that uses broken English, misspellings, poor grammar, etc... I check to see if that person is from a non-English speaking country. If so, I have nothing but respect for them. If I see they are from an English speaking country then I am embarrassed for them.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

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Originally Posted by strollin View Post
When I see a post in a forum that uses broken English, misspellings, poor grammar, etc... I check to see if that person is from a non-English speaking country. If so, I have nothing but respect for them. If I see they are from an English speaking country then I am embarrassed for them.
Agreed. Usually I find the non-native English speakers (or writers in this case) have better grammar than most of those who grew up with it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

It kinda goes the other way around. For me at least. That is; participating in a non-native language based community is a proof of respect to that community, its language and its people. On the other hand, I also feel bad when I see native users of my own language mess it up.

It may be true that non-native English users tend to excel in some skills compared to the natives, but when it comes to actual communication, the most important reason language exists, specially verbal communication, they mostly tend to mess up badly. Listening, and speaking (specially speaking) skills and their sub-skills are most of the time bad.

Non-natives tend to perform badly in fluency, choice of words and pronunciation.

----------------- Below is my experience in learning English --------------------

I'm an English graduate by the way, with a Bachelor degree and a minor degree in education. This is what's written on the certificate at least. I noticed in my college study years that so many students get high grades, but when you actually talk to them, you can easily say that their English is bad. I myself scored a really bad GPA (Grade Point Average).

My mother tongue is Arabic, and no other languages are used by the locals. English here is a foreign language so it is not used as much as a second language would be.

I learned English mainly watching subtitled cartoons/movies, playing video games and dealing with technology. Practicing was with non-Arabic users in public places as most of the time they seemed to know English better. At school, and not all schools have English classes, I had the basics only and they were explained in Arabic so it is like getting raw material with refining left to do.

I then joined the English department, which is under the Social Sciences college. Yep, it is not under the Arts as it is in the UK, and maybe USA and Australia if I'm not mistaken. There I had more advanced basics of the language and lecturers actually spoke English, although rather with weird accent. It was a four-year Bachelor course, but somehow curricula and their application did not help much in learning how to use the language, but rather studying it. I honestly did not get out of it with much practical experience.

Upon my graduation, I joined a major building contracting company as a technical secretary. Here is where I found opportunities to practice properly. Requirements were completely different, but the administration needed someone that can use English, as technical departments are full of non-Arabic users and most of the external contacts; e.g. subcontractors and suppliers, do not use Arabic, plus they needed someone with good computer background. Been working here for five years now and the result, in relation to my English learning, is what you read here and on my other posts around these forums.

Well, that's about it for
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

Hey,

Just echoing some of the guys views here, to make an effort to learn a new language and English of all the languages is brilliant.

I am unfortunately one of the ever growing population of English people that have terrible spelling and grammar. I think it's a combination of speed over accuracy and ignorance.

It's not that I don't know when to use There, Their or They're it's just that sometimes I'm typing very fast and thinking more about the context of my sentences than the grammatical correctness.

I'm interested in how difficult non native English speakers find things like They're Their and There.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

just a tip... you would use especially not specially
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

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Originally Posted by ssc456 View Post
... I'm interested in how difficult non native English speakers find things like They're Their and There.
I imagine that, given the sheer number of English speaking natives that misuse those words, it is very confusing and difficult for non-natives. Even though they may have a good understanding of which word is correct, seeing natives using the word incorrectly may cause them to second guess themselves.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

Here's the sad part of this whole thread...

I see better English and sentence structure here than I do in my Online College course discussion boards.

Our education system sucks and is only getting worse.

Then again, who needs education when you have freedom?!?!? MURICA!
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

I don't think it all comes down to the education system. Alot of it has to do with texting and twitter. Where people try to shrink down words and use the shortest form possible so they can fit their whole thought into 140/160 characters. Of course it's bad, but I'm guilty of it to. I can just turn it on and off. On a forum or email where I have unlimited characters, I do prefer to do things correctly. It also helps that I have a professional job, and therefore must sound professional in my emails sent to the staff. That being said, if it's just an email between a co-worker or two, I may slip up and shorten some stuff or add some "lols" or smiley faces. It also depends on the generation you are from. In general the older generation always thinks the younger generation isn't doing things right. If you are in the older generation now, think back to when you were in the younger generation and some of the things you did and how the older generation reacted. Regardless of what we (I'm including myself in the older generation - but really I'm probably not) think, the young generation is going to continue to do it and we can't stop it. The best we can do is tolerate it - or complain on a forum where there are 50(?) active members who will read the post

As far as the topic is concerned, I really think English is a stupid language and there are way to many rules - and exceptions to those rules. Also, in general, I think grammar is stupid. If I get my point across then what does it matter if I say 'my friend and I' or 'me and my friend'. It's the same thing, who decided that it should be one way or the other. And all the parts of speech? What a waste of time. I'm able to talk, read, and write coherently and professionally. When was the last time I considered the verb or noun of my sentence, let alone a preposisiton or adverb.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Non-Native English Speakers Thread.

I haven't studied a lot of languages and don't consider myself an "expert" on my native English language but I know that other languages have their idiosyncrasies as well. For instance, German has the concept of gender specific nouns that are masculine, feminine or neuter (der, die, or das) which gave me no end of problems when I took high school German.
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