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Old 01-27-2009, 10:58 AM   #61
tompe
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Sorry, but I think that expecting someone else to learn YOUR language is one of the major failings of those of us fortunate enough to speak English as our native language. English speakers are notoriously bad at learning other languages, and that's a very bad thing, IMHO.
But the foreigner English is not the same. I think English speakers need to practice bad English or foreigner's English. I have notice that if you pronounce a word a bit wrong in English an person that has English as a second language will understand it much better than a native English speaker.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:07 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Wetdogeared View Post
I've often head, and don't ask me where, that you don't have the true grasp of another language if you are knowingly doing the translation in your head.

To Answer Geoff and Wetdoeared.

I speak several languages. I also Teach a few as well. I would say the short answer is as weddog stated. You tend to be able to speak when you no longer have to think in your native tongue.


I try to teach students Not to think in their native tongue from the beginning. It helps immensely at later stages when speaking at intermediate or higher level. Then, as a speaker you answers are quicker and more natural.

As for multi-language speaking. IT actually helps you more than hurts you. I have had French and German words pop into my head when I am speaking Russian. This has helped me as there are many words in Russian from those languages.

When I first moved back to Japan. I had trouble speaking in Japanese, because Russian words kept popping in my head as I spoke ( I moved from Moscow to Japan to marry my wife). However, after a while it became easier.

In short, it can be confusing but most of the time it becomes naturural as does and skill. When I type in this thread I do not look at the keyboard. IT just comes naturally due to the typing class I had in secondary school (granted I do have typos from time to time). Speaking in several languages is similiar. It gets easier the more you learn of the language as well as the more languages you learn.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:10 AM   #63
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A pet peeve of mine is when native English speakers (and this may be true for all languages) try to speak to non-English visitors and leave out words and use improper grammar to try and simplify the language for the benefit of the listener. I can't give you an example because I just won't do it!
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:10 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
But the foreigner English is not the same. I think English speakers need to practice bad English or foreigner's English. I have notice that if you pronounce a word a bit wrong in English an person that has English as a second language will understand it much better than a native English speaker.

many native speakers are not used to "alternative" or unusual pronunciation.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:11 AM   #65
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a pet peeve of mind is people who speak without moving their lips ....
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by hidari View Post
many native speakers are not used to "alternative" or unusual pronunciation.
Yes, I know. And I work at a University were most people are not native speakers but English is often the common language so you do not get corrected when you pronunce something wrong and you hear bad pronunciation all the time and often do not know exactly what the correct pronunciation is.

Is it spelled pronunce or pronounce? Pronunciation or pronounciation? My spell checker thinks pronounce and pronunciation are the correct forms.

Last edited by tompe; 01-27-2009 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:19 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Is it spelled pronunce or pronounce? Pronunciation or pronounciation? My spell checker things pronounce and pronunciation is the correct forms.
ignore me, i'll go away ....

Last edited by GeoffC; 01-27-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:27 AM   #68
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hidari

Would you disagree that mastering a foreign language is sort of a hobby for you? Hobby that you enjoy?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:30 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Yes, I know. And I work at a University were most people are not native speakers but English is often the common language so you do not get corrected when you pronunce something wrong and you hear bad pronunciation all the time and often do not know exactly what the correct pronunciation is.

Is it spelled pronunce or pronounce? Pronunciation or pronounciation? My spell checker thinks pronounce and pronunciation are the correct forms.
I don't think the words "pronunce" and "pronounciation" are words in my dictionary. (Someone may prove me wrong.)

Therefore, I believe the correct forms in the context that you suggest are pronounce and pronunciation.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:37 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Wetdogeared View Post
I don't think the words "pronunce" and "pronounciation" are words in my dictionary. (Someone may prove me wrong.)

Therefore, I believe the correct forms in the context that you suggest are pronounce and pronunciation.
Yes, but it you google you see all the forms. Googling more I cannot find any explanation for the difference in spelling.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:38 AM   #71
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I wouldn't think the ability to read old books was a compelling reason for humanity to keep a variety of languages. The benefits of a common tongue would greatly outweigh such a loss imho.

We have billions of years ahead of us, the sacrifice of a few centuries' cultural tradition seems a price worth paying . A common language would remove a significant cause of division between peoples in the coming millennia.
I can't agree with this. We may or may not have billions of years ahead of us-- we know we have millennia of history, and as the adage goes, "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

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I definitely agree with you but can you imagine of how good your English must be in order to understand the book better than a professional translator can do it? Can you imagine the amount of time one must contribute/invest to achieve this level?
I'm not yet able to read Chinese or Japanese with fluency, but I can follow a fair amount of conversation in both languages. I routinely watch videos in both languages, sometimes with subtitles in English, sometimes with subtitles in Chinese (which helps quite a bit-- I can get a lot of the meaning of a Chinese word, even if I don't know the precise meaning or pronunciation, just by knowing how characters work). I know that I vastly prefer watching videos in their original language, with or without subtitles, especially in languages I'm familiar with, because I get a much better sense of what was meant in the original. Perhaps it's because translations are often so over-simplistic.

A good example is the various forms of politeness in Japanese. I may not be able to carry on a complete conversation in Japanese, but I can spot which forms of address and verb forms are being used, and I know enough of the language to be able to understand a fair amount of what that says about the relationships between the speakers. I don't think I've ever seen or heard an English translation that really captured those nuances (except the ones that simply adopt Japanese terms and expect the English speakers to keep up).

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Ah, just more question
Is there a difference between:
Hug me
and
Give me a hug?
If, yes, what is a difference (it is a serious question, I am not trying to be funny)
I think there is a difference, but it's subtle. The use of "Give" in the second statement softens the meaning, implying that the other person has some choice about responding, whereas the first is a simple imperative, and could easily be perceived as rude. However, the prior relationship between the two people, the tone in which the statements are uttered, and the context would have a lot to do with how the two statements would be interpreted.

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What do multi-lingual members say. Is it an aid or a confusion to think in another language.
I find it very helpful. Again, while I'm not fluent in Japanese, I do think in Japanese for certain functions, especially politeness terms and forms of address, as they have no real equivalents in English. When I am speaking Chinese, I think largely in Chinese (unless I get stuck-- my vocabulary still isn't very large). I have dreams in both languages, though more commonly in Chinese.

For reference, I studied Japanese for two years at university and I watch quite a bit of anime in the original language. My two daughters are Chinese and were not infants when we adopted them, so I learned Chinese to be able to speak with them, and was their primary translator for their first six months or so in the U.S. We have often watched Chinese videos together, as well.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:44 AM   #72
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Yes, but it you google you see all the forms. Googling more I cannot find any explanation for the difference in spelling.
“Pronounce” is the verb, but the O is omitted for the noun: “pronunciation.”
"Pronunce" is not an English word, but it may be in use in other languages.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:17 PM   #73
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a pet peeve of mind is people who speak without moving their lips ....
Isn't there a 'rant about a vent' thread for posts like that?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #74
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:53 PM   #75
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“Pronounce” is the verb, but the O is omitted for the noun: “pronunciation.”
Yes, but why is the "o" omitted? Without the spell checker would never had suspected that the spelling was not similar.
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