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Old 02-01-2015, 06:02 AM   #46
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIndependentAquarius View Post
Why do you think that talking with baby
and myself will not help _ even when I
plan to record my voice and keep on correcting it later the day?
Learning and improving language skills is all about hypotheses formation and testing. This can only be done through regular interaction with another (ideally more competent) speaker. You listen (form hyphotheses), respond (test them out) and receive feedback (revise your hyphothesis if need be). Language was originally formed as a way of communicating between two or more people and as such it is best learned when it's used in such a context. There was a linguistic experiment in the 80s when a person tried to learn German only from books (including grammar books). For over 10 years almost every day, he would sit alone and study grammar rules and texts. Eventually, as far as I remember, his reading comprehension was quite good but he had never become a competent speaker. You cannot do without interaction with other speakers if you want to see any progress. Unfortunately (for introverts), the more you speak to people and form/revise linguistic habits, the quicker and better you get. There's no way around it. It is like you are unlikely to become a good programmer if you only read manuals without actually writing programs.
I understand it might be hard for an introvert to do it but that's the only way. Something that I have been repeating to myself recently (in a slightly different context) is: progress begins the moment you leave your comfort zone! I think that applies to most areas of life.

Last edited by sycamorex; 02-01-2015 at 06:05 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 12:49 AM   #47
TheIndependentAquarius
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Much thankful for all the constructive and encouraging replies.

I discussed this matter with some of the colleagues here. They said
that watching English movies will help. I have watched Gladiator
around 20 times but I didn't find any improvement in my English
and one reason for the same can be that at that time improving
English wasn't my aim so I wasn't focusing on the English. I was too
engrossed in the movie.

Would you please suggest me movies and songs of the accent similar
as Gladiator?
Taste will come later on. Currently I just want something to start off.
Probably movies with less action and more dialogues will help.
What do you say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
I learned to speak Thai when I lived in Thailand. One of the exercises that I did when I was alone was to translate the thoughts that went through my mind into Thai. This helped me to reach the point where I could converse in Thai without translating back and forth to English in my mind. In other words I learned to think in Thai when I spoke Thai.

-----------------
Steve Stites
This is what I am about to start. I didn't mention before but
unfortunately I have two habits:
- Talking loudly to myself. (No, this is not a positive sign)
- Stammering. (I stammer when I have to speak a foreign language
or when I am conscious that I am being watched or when I wish to
stressfully say something.)

So, now when I talk to myself, I'll keep a dairy with me.
As soon as I get stuck in the middle of a sentence, I'll jot down
that sentence as it is and continue talking.
Later on I'll look up the phrases which I could have used in that
sentence in a better way and repeat that sentence repeatedly.

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 02-03-2015 at 12:52 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 01:14 AM   #48
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You might like Merchant Ivory Productions. Out of the few I have seen, Howard's End was my favorite.

Quote:
A typical "Merchant-Ivory film" would be a period piece set in the early 20th century, usually in Edwardian England, featuring lavish sets and top British actors portraying genteel characters who suffer from disillusionment and tragic entanglements.

Last edited by linux_walt; 02-03-2015 at 01:18 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 08:29 AM   #49
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIndependentAquarius View Post
I have watched Gladiator
around 20 times but I didn't find any improvement in my English
THIS is hilariously funny!

I've actually not seen that movie, and to wit, you did state that it was not your original intent to pick up English from that movie, but just laughing that some movie about ... Ancient Rome? or some other period would be considered any template for English speaking.

Yeah, probably a lot of American based movies, and sure one's heavy on dialog. Nothing wrong with things like Sci-Fi, just you need to understand that many terms are likely made up.

I'm also approaching this from a totally different perspective.

.... you write EXCELLENT English. That is not a translator program either. I don't believe you could achieve the prowess you show in your posts by using a translator program. I was sort of half amazed to see someone very close to the 5k club/Guru and also with the high level of rep points on this forum echo a sentiment that they don't feel they're very good with the English language. It would seem that you're able to convey your thoughts well and also while talking about technical terms. That alone would make me wonder if it's not command of terms, but rather just accent is your concern.
 
Old 10-08-2020, 07:04 AM   #50
TheIndependentAquarius
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So, I took the advice and jumped on the bandwagon.
At that time most of my peers in office used to speak

in English and I used to reply in Hindi .That itself was embarrassing.


So, I started listening to free audio books from Librivox.com.
That helped a lot. I decided to talk to each and every person in
English. I formally announced that decision so that people didn't
consider me crazy.


Initially it was very difficult but I kept on speaking in
English only, constantly correcting myself, constantly
listening to podcasts, and constantly reading books
aloud to make myself hear English.


All this has paid off. I can speak fluent English now

without any effort. The child is 7 years old and English
is her first language. Even while crying and pretend
play she speaks only English.
Thanks to my efforts and thanks to all the encouraging
words posted here in this thread.


BTW speaking fluent English has also given a boost to
my confidence since here English is preferred over the
native language Hindi.

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 10-08-2020 at 07:06 AM.
 
Old 10-08-2020, 07:22 AM   #51
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheIndependentAquarius View Post
So, I took the advice and jumped on the bandwagon.
At that time most of my peers in office used to speak

in English and I used to reply in Hindi .That itself was embarrassing.


So, I started listening to free audio books from Librivox.com.
That helped a lot. I decided to talk to each and every person in
English. I formally announced that decision so that people didn't
consider me crazy.


Initially it was very difficult but I kept on speaking in
English only, constantly correcting myself, constantly
listening to podcasts, and constantly reading books
aloud to make myself hear English.


All this has paid off. I can speak fluent English now

without any effort. The child is 7 years old and English
is her first language. Even while crying and pretend
play she speaks only English.
Thanks to my efforts and thanks to all the encouraging
words posted here in this thread.


BTW speaking fluent English has also given a boost to
my confidence since here English is preferred over the
native language Hindi.
Congratulations and well done!
One thing about listening to audiobooks or reading books (to learn a language) - ideally, they should be contemporary ones. Listening to, for example, some novel by Charles Dickens, as great as it can be, will expose you to the language that is no longer used (both in terms of vocabulary and phrases), which might make you pick up some weird habits

To learn everyday language, contemporary tv-shows would probably be best as they reflect how the language is being used now.

If you'd like to improve your English in a particular subject (eg. technology or sports), then relevant podcasts would probably be best...

But then again, you've already done it! Well done.
 
Old 10-08-2020, 07:28 AM   #52
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Congratulations and well done!
One thing about listening to audiobooks or reading books (to learn a language) - ideally, they should be contemporary ones. Listening to, for example, some novel by Charles Dickens, as great as it can be, will expose you to the language that is no longer used (both in terms of vocabulary and phrases), which might make you pick up some weird habits

To learn everyday language, contemporary tv-shows would probably be best as they reflect how the language is being used now.

If you'd like to improve your English in a particular subject (eg. technology or sports), then relevant podcasts would probably be best...

But then again, you've already done it! Well done.

Martin, I realized this a long time back. These classic
books are free to read and listen but they contain
sentence constructions which are difficult to understand,
and several words which no one in India would have even
heard. So learning those things won't be helpful in any
case.

I turned to TED talks podcasts and BBC English
learning drama. That helped a lot. And most of all reading
normal books aloud. I read somewhere that brain (not brianL)
learns a spoken language when it hears it.
Enid Blyton helped too though it is for children and
not very exciting.

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 10-08-2020 at 07:30 AM.
 
Old 10-08-2020, 09:26 AM   #53
hazel
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My mother learned English late in life. Her original language was German. Her English was excellent but she never learned the difference between spoken and literary English. I often used to say to her, "You don't say that, Mum. That's book language."
 
Old 10-10-2020, 01:58 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry ghost View Post
Pronunciation in English may be difficult (at least for me, sometimes) because not everything sounds as it's written. This may be funny, but as I've learned English mainly by reading and writing (with very little oral communication), I can spell properly most of the words I know in English, but I don't know how to pronounce some of them. For example, until recently I believed that the word "determine" was pronounced de-ter-mine ("mine" as in a gold mine), whereas it's more like de-ter-meen or de-ter-mean.
same here, i dont speak much English but i read and write all the time.
i have had friends from States and Portugal and with those guys i spoke english, they understood what i were speaking.
 
Old 10-10-2020, 04:29 AM   #55
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All languages contain fossils of their past pronunciation in their spelling, but most languages have periodic spelling reforms to get rid of those. French, for instance got rid of a lot of silent s's and replaced them with a circumflex accent over the preceding vowel. German and Russian had spelling reforms too. English never did. The English were just too stubborn to change their spellings.
 
  


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