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Old 12-13-2010, 12:52 AM   #466
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
You have English people there? How is their written and spoken English?
Well, we have a fair skinned guy here. I have been working under him for quite some time now, I assumed him to be an English man because of his skin colour (and I am going to spell colour that way, to hell with Firefox spell checker!).

He speaks English very slowly as compared to Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting and his ascent is easily understandable. Aaahh then I came to know that he is from Romania!

Spoken English for me is not as easy as written English. So while talking in English I have to concentrate on what I say and how I form the statements , so how can I think about other peoples mistakes?? And AFA written English is concerned, I have always stood second in my class during my school days in the English subject!

and the reason why I post so much in this thread is that I am a perfectionist, for me either it is all or it is none!
 
Old 12-13-2010, 01:13 AM   #467
catkin
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If you prefer British English spell checking in Firefox, you could install the extension "British English Dictionary".

Your Romanian story reminds me of when I was travelling in India with a Korean girl. Whenever we needed to speak with local people in English it was much more successful when she did it than I! Her English was not very good, she was keen to learn and carried a stack of postcards with BBC News texts -- a crazy idea because the were full of journalese and dramatised to catch attention. Happily she didn't speak BBC News English with the locals!

"I have always stood second in my class ..." is a bit strange; more natural to use "I was always second in my class ..." or "I always came second in my class ...".

Interesting that you find spoken English harder than written; it is usually the other way round. Simply a lack of opportunity to practice?

I enjoy your striving for perfection
 
Old 12-13-2010, 12:16 PM   #468
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I'm always amazed at how well people do with spoken English, considering its weird vowel sounds and massed ranks of consonants!

Of course, in India you've evolved your own pronunciation; the only problem is that it seems to differ from state to state. My tailor grumbles that his ISP has an Indian call centre and he can't understand their accent. He's got an Indian accent himself, but he says that, as far as he's concerned, they've got the wrong one!
 
Old 12-13-2010, 07:09 PM   #469
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Quote:
I'm always amazed at how well people do with spoken English, considering its weird vowel sounds and massed ranks of consonants!
"Weird" is relative.

I could probably think of several languages that have vowel sounds/consonants that are "weird" to me...
 
Old 12-13-2010, 07:19 PM   #470
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
I could probably think of several languages that have vowel sounds/consonants that are "weird" to me...
Try to speak/understand them
 
Old 12-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #471
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
I could probably think of several languages that have vowel sounds/consonants that are "weird" to me...
Look at Welsh.
 
Old 12-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #472
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Mae'r iaith Gymraeg yn edrych a synau rhyfedd. (Use Google translate)
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Last edited by brianL; 12-14-2010 at 01:41 PM.
 
Old 12-14-2010, 05:48 PM   #473
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
"Weird" is relative.

I could probably think of several languages that have vowel sounds/consonants that are "weird" to me...
True, but if you look at the world's languages there are some which are "mainstream" in phonetic content (Spanish, Malay, Swahili) and some that are unusual (English, Arabic, Georgian).
 
Old 12-14-2010, 09:06 PM   #474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
"I have always stood second in my class ..." is a bit strange;
I always heard my teachers and fellas speaking like that!

Quote:
"I always came second in my class ...".
This looks as if it has been directly translated from Hindi I would have given the word to word Hindi translation for this, but mods would strangle my throat for that!

Quote:
Interesting that you find spoken English harder than written; it is usually the other way round. Simply a lack of opportunity to practice?
I am not used to spoken English, I have started speaking English only for past 20 days with that Romanian guy! I wish I could speak as fluent as you English men do

and Hindi is the national language here but not the official language. I have studied Hindi for 12 years in the school and thats it, and now I don't even remember the various alphabets I am fluent in spoken Hindi, but I have not written anything particular in Hindi since past 10 years!!

I find it surprising that these English men speak and write English throughout their lives, still I don't find many of them to be perfect!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
I enjoy your striving for perfection
This perfection feature has become a problem for me since it is not limited only to English , and now Ive started enjoying you being around!
 
Old 12-14-2010, 09:48 PM   #475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
I am not used to spoken English, I have started speaking English only for past 20 days with that Romanian guy! I wish I could speak as fluent as you English men do
Pretty much my case. Although I can cope fine with written English, I often have trouble undertsanding spoken English (even if I know the pronunciation). For example, if I watch a movie or listen a song, I can understand some phrases, but not all what they say. I'd say, I can understand about 30% or 40% of the speech in these cases. Also, I've had few chances to practice with native speakers, but in these occasions, I think I managed to have a coherent conversation, at least . Maybe I need to take one of these conversation classes, to improve my English at this level.
 
Old 12-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #476
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
I always heard my teachers and fellas speaking like that!
"fellas"? College fellows? It may be an example of retaining old forms; AFAIK it was natural ~200 years ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
I am not used to spoken English, I have started speaking English only for past 20 days with that Romanian guy! I wish I could speak as fluent as you English men do
Should be "fluently". That would explain why you write more easily than you speak! How will you know if you are speaking with a Romanian accent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
and Hindi is the national language here but not the official language. I have studied Hindi for 12 years in the school and thats it, and now I don't even remember the various alphabets I am fluent in spoken Hindi, but I have not written anything particular in Hindi since past 10 years!!
So it would not be unusual for North Indians to need (written) English for official purposes and (spoken) Hindi for general use and a native language at home and with other locals? I knew English is not widely spoken in the North but did not realise it was required at all. How does justice function if the language of the courts is English and few are fluent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
I find it surprising that these English men speak and write English throughout their lives, still I don't find many of them to be perfect!!
For the majority there is little pressure to speak or write perfectly. Diversity in speech is accepted, even embraced as part of a rich cultural heritage, and that diversity means there is no one "proper" English. Partly this comes from a deliberate democratisation in the 80s and 90s as the class system was (partly!) dismantled. For example teachers were instructed to stop correcting students who spoke with local accents. And partly it comes from when English was left to the ordinary people while the rulers used French and the educated used Latin (detailed earlier in this thread). When we want to refer to "proper" spoken English we call it "Queen's English"; when we want to refer to a "proper" accent we call it "received pronunciation (RP)". At school, in English writing classes, expressiveness is valued above correctness and examiners are told not to deduct many marks for spelling and grammar -- much to the annoyance of some other subject teachers!
Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
This perfection feature has become a problem for me since it is not limited only to English , and now Ive started enjoying you being around!
It's a positive advantage when writing software ...? TYVM
 
Old 12-14-2010, 11:06 PM   #477
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77 View Post
... For example, if I watch a movie or listen a song, I can understand some phrases, but not all what they say. I'd say, I can understand about 30% or 40% of the speech in these cases. Also, I've had few chances to practice with native speakers, but in these occasions, I think I managed to have a coherent conversation, at least . Maybe I need to take one of these conversation classes, to improve my English at this level.
Don't worry about it. I don't catch all the words of films or songs and English is my native language. If you have spoken with foreigners in your own land then they have the experience of speaking English with non-English speakers and perhaps of trying to use their basic Spanish so they understand the necessity of speaking simply and slowly and of en-nun-ci-at-ing clearly. This, of course, is not done in films which are intended to be realistic because that is not how people speak normally.

Last edited by catkin; 12-14-2010 at 11:07 PM. Reason: the -> they
 
Old 12-15-2010, 05:20 AM   #478
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When you call someone cheeky does it mean you are saying that he is being disrespectful? or cheeky can have some other meanings too?
 
Old 12-15-2010, 06:07 AM   #479
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If someone's being cheeky, it doesn't necessarily mean they're being disrespectful. It could be that they're indulging in good-humoured banter.
 
Old 12-15-2010, 09:50 PM   #480
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banter: it was a new word for me!

but because "he" added "but I still liked it", the word but says it all!
 
  


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