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Old 01-20-2002, 09:24 AM   #16
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i speak eng lish with a malaysian accent (actual ly malaysians don't think i do while foreigners can't place my accent, so i am alien). and the most annoying thing for me when i'm in a western country is to change my accent slightly so that i articulate my t's, d's etc perfectly since they don't understand me somtimes. perhaps this is why i don't have close wes tern friends as it's a pain to converse with them. i wish i had stephen hawking's talking mach ine. i am also bilingual and a half (half becos there's one language i can't speak well but understand perfectly when i hear it - any other people klike this?)

i am typing with one finger, alright, with a stupid ergonomic keyboard and a puppy on my lap, hence my typing ,istakes...


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Old 01-21-2002, 06:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
(half becos there's one language i can't speak well but understand perfectly when i hear it - any other people klike this?)
Me too, foray! My mother tongue is acutally Cantonese, a kind of dialect(is it the right word?? ) in China. I can understand Mandarin(or Putonghua, the 'official' language in China) perfectly, but I don't know how to speak it at all!!!
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Old 01-21-2002, 06:47 AM   #18
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Thats weird Risti, you just reminded me of something. When i was in college, I was one of only 2 Aussies in my course. All the others were from Asian countries. Anyways, a couple of them spoke Cantonese, and sometimes, i could kinda work out what they were saying. Same with some girls that were Indonesian. it was weird! But cool.
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:28 AM   #19
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I think that english is a pretty easy language
I've learned German too at school (for 5 years) but, BELIEVE ME, i can't speak (or write)German at all...it's really complicated...

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Old 01-22-2002, 12:39 PM   #20
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Even though I grew up in a different country (Indonesia) I am not bilingual, to my great consternation. I did speak Indonesian well as a child, but then we moved to a mountain area where they spoke a completely different language...not even a dialect of the main language. I started to learn that, and then by the time I was getting it, I went off to boarding school where we all spoke English. So, while I can pretty much "understand" Indonesian, I am not real good at putting my thoughts into sentences in it. I've also studied French and Japanese and got to a "conversational" level in both languages, but I want to go live somewhere where I could immerse myself in them.

As for hearing others speak English? I know how it feels to struggle through another language, so I always try to do my best never to patronize, but to use alternate words and maybe clearer ones if it seems we are having trouble communicating. I have a lot of respect for anyone who has learned my language and is trying to use it. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there when you're learning a new language...you have to be willing to be foolish and awkward.

Here on interference, I am really impressed with how well people who are not native English speakers can communicate. I know that I could not do as well in any of my "second" languages. The only time that the differences become a bit more apparent is sometimes in the translation of "humor". I've found that it is really very cultural and does not always translate appropriately to someone who speaks the language but doesn't necessarily understand the nuances and idiosycnracies of it. But that's to be expected. I know my Japanese friends shake their heads at my blank looks when they crack jokes. hehe.

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Old 01-22-2002, 01:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
The only time that the differences become a bit more apparent is sometimes in the translation of "humor". I've found that it is really very cultural and does not always translate appropriately to someone who speaks the language but doesn't necessarily understand the nuances and idiosycnracies of it.
I'm going to use that as an excuse from now one

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Old 01-26-2002, 12:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem:
I gotta ask a dumb question, how many of you, U2girl, Klod, Slomey, Risti, anyone else, how many of you speak English everyday? Im curious how many countries actually use it on a regular basis.
Sorry for not replying earlier, but i was away this last week.

That's a good question, not at all dumb. I don't speak English everyday - i use it on a daily basis here. I did talk and read English any time we had English classes in elementary/high school.

Additionally with being lucky with having good teachers and being even more lucky for having a bit of a talent for foreign languages (i also studied German during my high school, also no major problems), i think watching movies and listening to music helps in getting a bigger vocabulary, and learning the pronounciation.

As for my accent (zoomerang II), i don't know - i guess you'd have to ask my teachers what accent i have. At school the teachers used British accent English, i think when talking (probably due to music/movies) i tend to sound closer to US English.

PS: Of course it's easier typing English like this than talking to a native speaker. I met one or two English speakers in my life so far and even though i understood everything they were saying, i was too shy to speak.
Also, there are certain words in English which i'll never pronounce right - for the life of me, i can't say the "rl" combination right - you know, words like "girl" or "world" - i always end up saying something like "gil" or "wold"!
Or the "th" combination - i just can't do that. "beneath" - it just ends up way too close sounding to "beneas" for some reason.

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[This message has been edited by U2girl (edited 01-26-2002).]
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Old 01-26-2002, 01:01 PM   #23
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I hate my accent (Northeast PA flavored native English) and I'd do anything to change it. I'm really working on sounding like I'm from nowhere, kinda like Peter Jennings.

I also speak French and Spanish, though I'm not fluent in French; I only remember some basic phrases at this point. I can read and speak Spanish pretty well, but my writing of it is fairly weak.

I know a guy who was born and raised in Scotland, and he didn't move to the States until he was 13. Now, HE has a cool accent. Mrrrrroooooowwwwww.

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