Danes world's best non-native English speakers

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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#41  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 24, 2015 3:06 pm

Did not expect to see Poland that high on the list.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#42  Postby Cito di Pense » Feb 24, 2015 4:59 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Dialogue in American films is much more simpler.


So English is your first language, then, Scot? Let the grunting begin.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#43  Postby Animavore » Feb 24, 2015 5:01 pm

I think you'll find the Irish are the world's best non-native English speakers ;)
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#44  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 10, 2015 3:31 pm

Thommo wrote:In my experience, largely from playing MMOS and time at university scandinavians in general are excellent English speakers, so this is somewhat plausible to me.



From meeting people while traveling and from online encounters, I'd agree but add Dutch in there too.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#45  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 11, 2015 3:55 pm

I find personally the two countries very similar.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#46  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jul 22, 2015 7:03 pm

don't get me started wrote:(It is important to remember here that the written form of the language has been privileged over the spoken form of the language, even to the extent that Chomsky, with typical dismissive elan, labeled the spoken form of the language as 'corrupt' and 'degenerate' (1965) and unworthy of serious study. In this he was completely wrong. Spoken language is deeply orderly, just not in the ways that traditional grammars would recognize.)

Spoken language is just more work. Firstly there's the accurate recording of it. It often changes in the presence of recording equipment, for example. And then it's a massive ballache having to transcribe it. I remember when I was doing A-Level English, I thought it would be a good idea to try and transcribe a scene from Friends. With a VCR. What a nightmare.

In teaching, I find it extremely difficult to get accurate representations of spoken language. You can obviously use TV, but that's almost always scripted (maybe some of the new generation of reality/soap opera crossover shows would be a bit more accurate). The reality is that nobody's recording conversations between doctors and patients, or whatever else you might want to expose them to. Whereas with written material, it's all just there for you. Every genre, every style, even personal things like texts. You can get mountains of realistic exposure to the written form of the language without ever leaving your house, but the spoken form is very difficult to experience in an accurate and sufficiently varied way without going to the country. How often does a TV show accurately include the sort of mundane conversations we have every day, for example?
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#47  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 23, 2015 9:44 am

I agree. Outside the country you can only reach a certain level. Even visiting the country raises that level slightly. Only by living AND working in the country do you learn the colloquialisms.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#48  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jul 28, 2015 5:51 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:I agree. Outside the country you can only reach a certain level. Even visiting the country raises that level slightly. Only by living AND working in the country do you learn the colloquialisms.

This isn't strictly speaking true, especially with English. I know a number of people who speak fluent English despite never having visited an English-speaking country. And by fluent, I mean they either have a full on British/American accent, or they have one of those accents where you can tell they're vaguely foreign, but can't place where they come from, or even the region. They have all worked in English-speaking environments though, which is important. But one guy speaks English to a level where you would assume he's Californian born and bred, yet he spent one month in Alabama when he was a teenager, and the entire rest of his life in Vietnam. I've also lived with 3 non-native English teachers who've never lived in English-speaking countries. Two of them had accents, but nothing that impedes understanding. But they've lived and worked with foreigners for years, they've just not done it in an English-speaking country.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#49  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 28, 2015 6:32 am

Their level IWS is still not the same as a native. Granted it is very very close. English does not use colloquialisms as for instance in Dutch or even German. Getting used to them can only be done in the country.
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#50  Postby Briton » Jul 28, 2015 8:20 am

Scot Dutchy wrote: English does not use colloquialisms as for instance in Dutch or even German.


What do you mean by that?
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Re: Danes world's best non-native English speakers

#51  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jul 28, 2015 4:11 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Their level IWS is still not the same as a native. Granted it is very very close. English does not use colloquialisms as for instance in Dutch or even German. Getting used to them can only be done in the country.

Define colloquialisms. Colloquial simply means informal usage. There are plenty of them in an elementary English text book. At the other end of the scale, there are plenty of British colloquialisms that Americans wouldn't understand. Hell, there are plenty of Scouse colloquialisms that people who live 50 miles away won't get. That doesn't mean they're not fluent in a language. Idiomatic language is typically a far later thing to learn, especially since native speakers don't even have to say the idiom in its typical form to use it. An example from TV show Friends: "Oh I'm sorry. Did my back hurt your knife?" Which is particularly interesting, because you can watch Friends and learn that without ever living in an English-speaking country.

I'm not saying that living abroad isn't going to be how most people reach a fluent level of a foreign language, just that it's not a required condition.
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