Attaining a 'native' level in the English language
I am an 18-year old engineering undergraduate from New Delhi, India. As you may observe from the tag right above my post, I am quite new to this forum, and I am unsure of the general conventions regarding its usage; please feel free to redirect me to a different part of the site if needed.
My question derives from my recent obsession with achieving a so-called native level of English speech. How does one do it?
While my family is not, for the most part, English-speaking, I have studied (and, to an extent, used) the language since primary school. It is the language of choice for college instruction in India. By the standards of my country, my linguistic ability in English is quite adequate. I do not tend to make major grammatical or syntactic errors. I can speak the language with a fair degree of fluency.
Despite all of that, I find my own writing and speech to be somehow distinct from people who speak English as a first language. While I understand and acknowledge that no two writers write the exact same way, I cannot account for the fact that pieces written by native speakers of English just 'sound' so different from anything that I can come up.
What is the root cause of these differences? Are they purely idiomatic in nature? Are they the result of 'thinking in different languages', so to speak?
Or are they a mere figment of my imagination?
Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Attaining a 'native' level in the English language
As an NES but not an English teacher:
One suggeion that I might make is to use the KISS principle, particularly in informal writing.
As an example, I would say "Hi!" rather than "Greetings, everyone." and:
I'm an .... engineering student ... from New Delhi. As you may gather, I'm new to the forum and not yet used to the rules"
"I aim to achieve a 'native level' of English speech. My problem is - how to achieve it"......
Basically, I try to:
Never to use long words when short ones will do.
Use as few words as possible - "student" is fine - most NES' s know New Delhi is in India.
Unfortunately, I often break my own rules by, as they say, using long sentences "because I don't have time to write short ones"!
Hopefully this should start you off.
Try rewriting your text, on your own, cutting out unnecessary padding, using shorter words, where possible and see if it meets your own expectations of NES style.
Oh, PS: I've not been native for around 20 years now!
Apologies to the teachers if I've broken any grammar rules.