How to fall in love with the English language?

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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#21  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 3:43 pm

Erm, you've heard Geordies speaking? :P
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#22  Postby Blip » Sep 30, 2010 3:51 pm

punter18 wrote:my need to learn more elaborate English,


The most beautiful English is often the simplest. :cheers:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#23  Postby trubble76 » Sep 30, 2010 3:53 pm

I'm With Stupid wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
GenesForLife wrote:

Guess it isn't always that written English should indicate ability in spoken English and vice-versa, I've had first hand experience, have scored 9 and 8 on the IELTS Speaking Test both times I've taken it, but only returned a score of 7 for writing. :scratch:


No, but being adept at one will without a doubt help in t'other.

Not always. The most common reason why you'll fail to understand a non native speaker will be their pronunciation, and written English cannot help with this.


I didn't say all problems would be solved, just that each would help the other.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#24  Postby Mazille » Sep 30, 2010 3:58 pm

trubble76 wrote:
I'm With Stupid wrote:
trubble76 wrote:

No, but being adept at one will without a doubt help in t'other.

Not always. The most common reason why you'll fail to understand a non native speaker will be their pronunciation, and written English cannot help with this.


I didn't say all problems would be solved, just that each would help the other.

Also, it is way easier to watch your pronunciation if you don't have to struggle for every single word, which is where skills in written English help. (A bit. There's nothing like actually using something if you want to get good at using it.)
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#25  Postby Blitzkrebs » Sep 30, 2010 4:02 pm

Watch My Fair Lady.
ikster7579 wrote:Being rational is just an excuse for not wanting to have faith.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#26  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 4:02 pm

You always have 'Erm' and 'Y'know' to buy you time :P
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#27  Postby punter18 » Sep 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Preno wrote:
punter18 wrote:Christopher Hitchens contends his students that they should love English literature as much as he does. I find this an interesting proposition. I'd also want to love English literature. Tell me what should I be doing about it?
Since when is Hitchens an authority on language learning? Personally, I don't give a shit about English literature and I reckon my spoken English is pretty okay.

The idea that your problems with spoken English specifically are going to be solved by reading more is just unspeakably bizarre. What is going to help you is, of course, speaking English. In case you can't find someone to speak to, you can always try speaking to yourself.


That was rather insouciant way of putting it! But you're probably right. Generally, the idea that perfecting writing skills would help in improving spoken skills is rather bizarre. But this seems like the path that I have followed. When I was in school, I couldn't even parse one sentence of English properly while speaking. After school, I got broadband internet at home (which wasn't that popular in India about 5-6 years ago), made Cricinfo my home page and started digging into Wikipedia a lot more. After 5 years of usage of these websites, and add to it numerous online forums I have joined and participated in, I am more confident about my English than before, and that includes spoken English also. My problem isn't that I am unable to speak properly; it's just that I am found wanting for more fluency and being able to speak in the language for prolonged period of time, effortlessly.

Perhaps Mazille's first post on this thread makes sense. But let's just say that it's not feasible enough for me to look out for an anglophone (female) friend because of where I live. (They are not many out here, and I don't know where they live.)

GreyICE,

While I appreciate your advice, I'd say that for most part it's simply not possible for me to volunteer myself for library or school activities. I have a job that keeps me busy for most time of the week.

I'm With Stupid wrote:
punter18 wrote:Probably reading newspapers online of reputed journals of US & UK might help?

Well yeah.

There's also a myth that you need to speak to a native speaker to see any improvement in your speaking. It's bollocks.


I won't say that. Actually, I feel talking to a native is one of the best ways of steadily improving your English. I haven't had that many instances of speaking to one. The most recent one was when two Britons probably my age sat right next to me on a train compartment, and it was best of the experience for me talking to them.

In fact, if you can, find people who don't speak your language, because it will force you to only use English.


That's quite a difficult task. My first language, Hindi, is understood by roughly 85% of the people in the country. Even if I do find one who does not understand it at all (they will mostly be from southern India), English pronunciation will be a barrier, and it's a total turn-off for me.

You might quip that I am a picky or an arrogant person, but at least I am clear of what I want.

I'll give a look into the radio. Sounds like a very good idea! Thanks!
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#28  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 4:59 pm

I'm South Indian, trilingual (including Hindi) and speak posh English :thumbup:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#29  Postby punter18 » Sep 30, 2010 5:02 pm

Obviously I didn't mean to generalize. :)
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#30  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 5:02 pm

Just being pedantic.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#31  Postby Mazille » Sep 30, 2010 5:10 pm

punter18 wrote: After school, I got broadband internet at home (which wasn't that popular in India about 5-6 years ago), made Cricinfo my home page and started digging into Wikipedia a lot more. After 5 years of usage of these websites, and add to it numerous online forums I have joined and participated in, I am more confident about my English than before, and that includes spoken English also. My problem isn't that I am unable to speak properly; it's just that I am found wanting for more fluency and being able to speak in the language for prolonged period of time, effortlessly.


Well, I guess confidence is a key factor as well. If you're being overly careful and self-aware of your possible mistakes you're never going to be good. In fact, most probably you won't be able to use your own language fluently if that is the case.

punter18 wrote:Perhaps Mazille's first post on this thread makes sense. But let's just say that it's not feasible enough for me to look out for an anglophone (female) friend because of where I live. (They are not many out here, and I don't know where they live.)


I have my moments. :coffee:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#32  Postby aliihsanasl » Sep 30, 2010 5:44 pm

I hate that language talking and writing different even when someone say his name he has to spell it. Meaningless names and as if it isnt enough there are many different ways of writing the same name. Rarely people use his real names. Just weird but popular.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#33  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 5:47 pm

That is because pronunciation is governed by the phonetic but English words are written in the Roman script.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#34  Postby I'm With Stupid » Sep 30, 2010 6:09 pm

punter18 wrote:I won't say that. Actually, I feel talking to a native is one of the best ways of steadily improving your English. I haven't had that many instances of speaking to one. The most recent one was when two Britons probably my age sat right next to me on a train compartment, and it was best of the experience for me talking to them.

Of course it was, but the fact is that you don't need to be speaking to a native English speaker to get any benefit. You get fluency through practice, and you get practice whenever and with whoever you can. And since there are more non-native speakers of English out there, chances are this is going to be your best option. You won't find any native speakers who want to go on Skype and practice their English (not for free, anyway). You'll find plenty of non-native speakers though.

Of course, you'll probably progress quicker with a proper programme of English education with a qualified teacher, but even in that, you'll spend most of your time speaking to fellow learners, not the teacher, who is there to offer feedback and correction, not converse with you.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#35  Postby mmmcheezy » Sep 30, 2010 6:20 pm

All right, nonfiction recommendations. This is great, I've been reading a lot of nonfiction lately.
I read a lot of stuff about serial killers. The Ice Man is the best one I've read recently
http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Man-Confessio ... 0312349289
but I also loved The Serial Killer Files
http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Killer-Fil ... 604&sr=1-1
I like a lot of pop culture related things, too. Chuck Klosterman in general is my favorite author for this, but his best work to date is definitely Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs
http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Drugs-Cocoa-P ... 655&sr=1-1
David Sedaris writes some fantastic humorous memoirs. Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim is my favorite http://www.amazon.com/Dress-Your-Family ... 697&sr=1-1

More to come, definitely!
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#36  Postby Saim » Jan 06, 2011 1:52 pm

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned music yet when discussing how to fall in love with a language. Hispanic music made me fall in love with Spanish, and music has also helped me maintain my childhood Serbo-Croatian. Furthermore, it helps you get used to fast speech and colloquial usage, as well as the phonetics of the language.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#37  Postby Saim » Jan 06, 2011 1:59 pm

punter18 wrote:
That's quite a difficult task. My first language, Hindi, is understood by roughly 85% of the people in the country.

Really? That's quite a lot. Ethnologue claims only 120 million second-language speakers of Hindi. Or is this understanding only at a basic level (i.e., not 'fluent' speakers?)?
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#38  Postby punter18 » Jan 06, 2011 5:23 pm

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned music yet when discussing how to fall in love with a language.


I've got that part well covered, Saim. Not a day goes by when I do not wake up to the sound of good music. I know bands ranging from Steely Dan (my current favorite) to the Clash, Depeche Mode, Love, The Doors, Roxy Music to guys like Clapton, Dylan, Van Morrison, Brian Eno, etc (recommendations here too would help though).

Saim wrote:
punter18 wrote:
That's quite a difficult task. My first language, Hindi, is understood by roughly 85% of the people in the country.

Really? That's quite a lot. Ethnologue claims only 120 million second-language speakers of Hindi. Or is this understanding only at a basic level (i.e., not 'fluent' speakers?)?


More or less, yes.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#39  Postby punter18 » Jan 06, 2011 5:42 pm

I've got some arguments to make to some posters. Here goes...

Blip wrote:
punter18 wrote:my need to learn more elaborate English,


The most beautiful English is often the simplest. :cheers:


Oh, come on! Why a proper English speaker say a thing like that is beyond me. Let me simply state here that the reason why I regularly lurk Ratskep more than any other website is because many posters here have shown themselves to be genuine, serious writers and this is one of the several USPs of this site. I would not have been here if it weren't for those people.

trubble76 wrote:Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:


How? Since I've been told that possessing good writing skills does not guarantee an equal conversant skills, I've got much to worry about. One of my relatives told someone behind my back that I can't really be a good speaker since all of what I say seems inspired from some novel. That my English isn't fit for day-to-day, general conversations (which might be true to some extent), say for a job interview. :(
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#40  Postby GenesForLife » Jan 06, 2011 5:56 pm

Shouldn't really matter, Punter, I have at various times been accused of being verbose,tedious,difficult to understand et cetera, hasn't deterred me.
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