Your relationship to languages -- first and second
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
13-11-2011, 04:38 PM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2011 04:47 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
(12-11-2011 08:00 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  If English is your first language -- how do you recognize non-native English speakers from their writing? What are the most typical mistakes even fluent second-languagers make?

Not understanding colloquialisms is a sure sign that "You ain't from around here, are you?" But that doesn't mean English is necessarily your second language since the colloquialisms vary from region to region even among native English speakers. (I had no clue what "knackered" meant before a brother from across the pond - there's a colloquialism - explained it to me. And I got no prayer of understanding some of the Irish ones, 'cause they're like in Gaelic or something.) Homonyms seem to give non-native English writers and speakers problems as well.

(12-11-2011 08:00 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  If English is not your first language, what do you have most difficulties with in the language and how do you try/succeed in overcoming those difficulties?

I think that for some people if they don't learn a second language by a certain stage in their intellectual development, they may never be able to. I studied Spanish for 2 years in High School and 2 more years at University. Received high marks all the way through but still can't understand a lick of it (oops, there's another colloquialism). I was just committing symbol manipulation to short-term memory. Promised myself that if there was only thing I needed to remember how to ask it was "Where's the bathroom?" ... "?Donde es el cuarto del bano?" ... My Spanish speaking friends laugh, "Yeah you didn't get it right." ... dammit ...

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2011, 05:13 PM
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
I was told the phrase you need is "Una cerveza, por favor."

The homonym test doesn't work anymore: we have a generation (maybe two?) of native English speakers who have only a one spelling for all versions "there", "to", "rite", "pray", "4" and "u". Not to mention allways and truely. My personal favourite modern spelling of a common word is "helmut".

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
13-11-2011, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2011 06:27 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
(13-11-2011 05:13 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  I was told the phrase you need is "Una cerveza, por favor."

Si, gracias. But first I need to know where the bathroom is. ... (Yeah, looks like I fucked that one up too. ... No wonder I can't find the goddam bathroom.)

(13-11-2011 05:13 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  The homonym test doesn't work anymore: we have a generation (maybe two?) of native English speakers who have only a one spelling for all versions "there", "to", "rite", "pray", "4" and "u". Not to mention allways and truely. My personal favourite modern spelling of a common word is "helmut".

That's just fucking sad if true. But I don't see it. But my exposure to today's youth is likely skewed towards those that actually give a shit, so I am not in a position to discount it.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 04:09 AM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2011 04:15 AM by Filox.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
@ GirlyMan

- Donde esta el baño?
- Está aquí.

Where is the bathroom? It's there. Smile

OK, so English is not my first language. Funny fact about it is that I never lived or even visited any of the English-speaking countries. Everything I learned was in school or from TV. As a kid I used to have Sky-One and they were showing Transformers at Saturday morning around 9:00 AM. That was my first encounter with this strange new language... I'm pretty good at thinking and writing in English, I never use subtitles when watching movies, maybe English subtitles if I have difficulty with understanding, due to strange accent or something like that. That usually happens only with British street slang, American movies are way too simple to understand. About my accent, I would need just a month of everyday use of English and I can have whatever accent I was practicing. I used to work for a British company for 2 seasons and in the beginning of the season I would have the American accent (movie influence), but by the end of the season I was speaking perfect British English. I was that good that most of my clients were asking me did I live in UK and all of the clients were Brits. So for me it's just about the practice, although I have to admit that my Opera browser has spelling check enabled, it is quite useful for these single-double letters in words. Thing about my grammar is that I always learned to listen first, so I do not have a clue about why is something written like it is, I do not know the definitions, but I just need to read and repeat the sentence one time and I know is it grammatically correct or not. About half of my time I think in English, I have no idea why, everything just sounds cooler if it's not in Croatian.

Today I improve myself here, on Youtube and all over the Internet. My Google and Gmail are set to English, my local forums are all set to English, I just hate anything that has to do with computers if it is translated to Croatian. It all just sounds wrong and abnormal. When somebody bring me a computer with Croatian Language Pack installed I am completely lost, the time needed to do anything is doubled, because I have to translate everything back to English in my head. I just hate translating technical stuff. "Hardware" should be "hardware" in all languages, "software" should be "software", there is no translating of the "hard-disk" word, or "floppy disk"...

Other languages I learned were Italian and German. I learned Italian for about 5 years, I was even good at it for some time, the only problem was that I simply hated the language and the whole Italian "thing". Please don't get offended, if anyone is from Italy, but I simply do not like the language and attitude of Italians. That is why after all those years, high school, college, private lessons and private language school, I have forgotten everything as soon as I have passed my final exam in Italian.

A also learned German, but it was my third language in high school , so I dedicated just enough time to pass the exams and that is very unfortunate, because I like German much more than Italian, I even remember most of what I have learned in school. I understand enough to make some basic conversation.

What I would like to learn is Japanese, for various reasons, but the problem is the learning part, I do not have any schools available here, where I live and I think it is a bit too complex to start learning it by myself, so it will have to wait for now.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 07:12 AM
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
Personal linguistic capabilities:
-Mother tongue: Dutch; mastered different dialects: Limburgish, Antwerpish and some West Flemish. For those unfamiliar with Dutch, the differences are HUGE. When I joined the navy, it took me over a year to understand some people. West-Flemish has almost no consonants, changes every single vowel and sounds like someone trying to speak with a hot potato in his mouth. (The Observer will acknowledge this Tongue )

-Father tongue: French; I prefer 'French' (Parisian) French, instead of the Belgian counterpart; I learned the former while living abroad. Belgian french sounds like scruffy peasants arguing and talking about manure, tits and the uselessness of shampoo. I've mastered both dialects, but avoid the latter.

-Proficient in German; a truly lovely language that just can't seem to get rid off its WWII stigma. Even peaceful words like 'Schmetterling' (butterfly) or 'Gemütlichkeit' (coziness) sound somewhat aggressive. But if you take your time to get to know the culture, you'll soon remark its rich and deep history. Writing is a different story...

-Learned Ancient Greek and Latin in high school, forgot most of it, but it helps with other languages.

-Trying to learn other languages, but I can't find enough time to learn them all: Japanese, Russian, Polish, Spanish etc.

-Proficient in English, although I tend to have a very nasty french accent that pops up from time to time, as I can't seem to get the 'r' to sound the way it should. Furthermore, I make a few errors from time to time, but at least I don't say 'like' in every sentence.


As for the thread:

I often remark grammatical errors or poor word choice when talking with native speakers, the aforementioned 'like' being the most irritating one. In some places in the UK, people don't even bother watching their accent; pisses me off too.
I once had a Scottish boatswain that just couldn't understand the fact that 'Koadenufffooyah?" and "Cold enough for you?" were two completely different sentences for me.
The opposite also exists; people assuming I'm completely retarded (because I'm not a native speaker) and talk to me as if I were a baby. Pisses me off too, especially if they're the one making the most pronunciation and spelling errors.

My own personal problems; well, it's hard to completely master a language. I would need to live in an English-speaking community for a while in order to completely assimilate every detail. I've read 'the greatest show on earth' in English and rarely needed a dictionary, but noticed I couldn't always find a direct translation for every word. Also, when I concentrate on certain words or complicated models, I tend to pay less attention to my pronunciation, which then leads to me sounding like a Frenchie Big Grin

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 10:48 AM
 
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
My first language, is English.
But right now, I am taking classes on Live Mocha


I'm learning
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese

It's difficult & I don't know much, but I am trying.
Quote this message in a reply
14-11-2011, 11:01 AM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2011 11:31 AM by cufflink.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
(14-11-2011 10:48 AM)calmyourtitsbro Wrote:  My first language, is English.
But right now, I am taking classes on Live Mocha


I'm learning
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese

It's difficult & I don't know much, but I am trying.

Good for you!

But as you know, learning another language when you're no longer a child is usually hard work, especially if it's a language that's as far from your mother tongue as Japanese is from English. Have you considered concentrating on only one foreign language at a time? I bet you'd make better progress that way.

Also, trying to learn Spanish and Italian together could be confusing, since they have a lot in common and you'd need to keep careful track of what's the same and what's different.

(13-11-2011 05:13 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  The homonym test doesn't work anymore: we have a generation (maybe two?) of native English speakers who have only a one spelling for all versions "there", "to", "rite", "pray", "4" and "u".

The one I see the most often is "it's" replacing "its." I'm currently reading a professional movie script, and the well-respected author* has mentioned an animal rising up on "it's legs." Possessive "its" seems to be going the way of the dodo. Same thing for "whose"--more and more we're getting things like, "the neighbor who's dog keeps digging up my lawn."

I'd guess that at some point in the future, possessive "it's" is going to become standard, and English teachers will stop marking it as wrong. Not a big loss, I don't think. But losing the distinction in writing between there/their/they're and to/too/two seems a pity, even though the homonyms don't bother us much when we speak. (If someone says, "I have a miniature schnauzer," there's a difference between responding "I have too" and "I have two." The distinction is lost in speech but preserved in writing . . . at least for a while longer.)

*Update: On the next page he's written "its eyes" and "its forehead." Maybe there's hope yet! Smile

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-11-2011, 01:29 AM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2011 01:37 AM by Filox.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
@ Thammuz

Yeah, you just remembered me on this summer when I have overheard some Australian tourists (girls). It sounded like this: "So then, I was like, you know and then he was all like, you know, like, really, but like, you know, then I was all like, you know..."

That was so awful I almost went to those girls and explained them a few things, but I managed to walk away without any comments. The vocabulary of those girls was 50 words all together, I would call them half-illiterate. But they all had iPhone4 and used facebook all day long. On a beautiful island in a small village with crystal blue sea, they spend their whole day in my shop on Internet... Such a waste of oxygen. Like, you know, it's not cool 4 u.

Smile

About "its" and "it's" the difference is huge, one means "its" (Smile) and other is "it is", so it not that small mistake to make, changes the whole sentence and its meaning. It can never be a same thing, it just shows someones literacy.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-11-2011, 06:13 AM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2011 06:17 AM by Thammuz.)
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
(15-11-2011 01:29 AM)Filox Wrote:  About "its" and "it's" the difference is huge, one means "its" (Smile) and other is "it is", so it not that small mistake to make, changes the whole sentence and its meaning. It can never be a same thing, it just shows someones literacy.

Every language has that kind of literacy indicating words/terms, homonyms and other unlogical constructions that ought to be mastered by native speakers (which is often not the case in reality).

Dutch for example:

- leider (leader) and lijder (sufferer) sounds exactly the same, as 'ei' and 'ij' only differ in writing. It's truly impossible for some to do this correctly...

_________________________________________________________________

- Sometimes it becomes even harder: let's take the verd 'bedelen', which can mean distributing or begging, but is written the same way.

In the case of distributing, bedelen sounds like [bədelə] or (buhdayluhn).
In the case of begging, bedelen sounds like [bedələ] or (bayduhluhn).

_________________________________________________________________

- The use of spaces. Contrary to English, Dutch terms aren't split by a space in most cases. For example, 'langeafstandsloper' is written as a single word. It's a common mistakes that really irritates me. The incorrect use of spaces is enough for me to classify someone as a complete retard (if he's a native speaker). In some cases it's outright confusing, in others it's just ridiculous.

If you write 'langeafstandsloper', you're talking about a 'long distance runner'.
If you write 'lange afstandsloper', you're talking about a 'distance runner that is tall'. (Could be correct in a few cases)
If you write 'lange afstands loper', you most probably have an extra chromosome 21. If Dutch is your first language and you make this mistake, I will shun you and smear my faeces in your face.

Another one to make it clear:
'tweejarige paarden': horses that are 2 years old
'twee jarige paarden': 2 horses celebrating their birthday

_________________________________________________________________

- Every teacher's nightmare: the 'dt-fout': a few examples:
Ik vind (I find)
Jij vindt (you find)
Vind je dat een goed idee? (Do you think that's a good idea?)
Vindt je vader dat een goed idee? (Does you father think that's a good idea?)

Verbs can have a 'd', 't' or 'dt' in their conjugation. It's not really that hard, but for some it is... If I read a 'dt-error' in a mail (from a native speaker), I ignore it completely. The human race can rejoice in the fact I didn't choose human resources or recruitment as a career path.






More about other languages to follow Big Grin.
And don't nag about my faulty English, I'm not a native speaker Tongue.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thammuz's post
15-11-2011, 06:56 AM
RE: Your relationship to languages -- first and second
You know how I see things like "its" and "it's" and the differences? If I could learn the difference in Croatia when I was 10-11 years old, then anyone who thinks he/she is native English speaker MUST know the difference. There is no explanation for these kind of mistakes, it is very simple, basic English grammar. There are a lot more complex things than this one and if you see a native English speaker making these kind of mistakes do not feel bad to tell him/her to please go back to elementary school and learn to read and write. Of course, a lot of times it's just a spelling error, caused by fast typing, so that is OK, but for someone to not know the difference for real, it's just unacceptable.

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: