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  1. #1
    anupumh's Avatar
    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Smile HOW IMPORTANT IS ENGLISH USAGE

    I feel what distingusihes a native speaker from a non native speaker apart from the accent are these small differences in grammar and usage.

    I remember chatting with native speakers in chat rooms, and inspite of me being grammatically correct they are able to decipher that I am not a native speaker, they would comment, we dont write or frame sentences the way you are doing.

    The question which I face then is that, is this a shortcoming? and if it is, then how can i overcome it?


  2. #2
    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: HOW IMPORTANT IS ENGLISH USAGE

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    I feel what distingusihes a native speaker from a non native speaker apart from the accent are these small differences in grammar and usage.

    I remember chatting with native speakers in chat rooms, and inspite of me being grammatically correct they are able to decipher that I am not a native speaker, they would comment, we dont write or frame sentences the way you are doing.

    The question which I face then is that, is this a shortcoming? and if it is, then how can i overcome it?

    You're very perceptive, Anupumh, and you've got a hard name to spell. Same problem, I venture.

    Often, I think it goes without saying but I have to, people learn a new language from others who are not, themselves, native speakers. The focus, sadly, is too much on grammar, and these teachers, [I'm not knocking them for I see that they produce a lot of fantastic students] don't know a lot of natural English themselves.

    I haven't seen all the bi-lingual dictionaries for all languages but I know that the ones I've seen are often terribly misleading. Direct translations by those who are not native to both tongues are bound to be full of unnatural collocations.

    Obviously, the goal of any language learner is to become as close to native as is possible. I wouldn't worry too much about the corrections. Sometimes people overdo it, especially those who aren't real teachers. I know I've done it.

    You've expressed yourself in this and other postings in a marvelous fashion. You have to realize that there's much more to language than grammar, which you've got. Now you want to focus on usage.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: HOW IMPORTANT IS ENGLISH USAGE

    Usage is a form of grammar, when you take grammar in its broad form. I wouldn't worry about it anupumh, you have the same English as a German professor: just fine, though lacking in the little broken rules we all tolerate for brevity.

    The question is, do you want to pass for a native? A native of where? Or do you just want to be fluent and error-free? These are different levels of endeavour, and the former requires a good deal more insanity.

  4. #4
    pollyanna03 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: HOW IMPORTANT IS ENGLISH USAGE

    i think it is not so important. Language is just a tool for communication.

    Last edited by Anglika; 30-Sep-2009 at 13:30.

  5. #5
    vaand is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: HOW IMPORTANT IS ENGLISH USAGE

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    The question which I face then is that, is this a shortcoming? and if it is, then how can i overcome it?

    In my opinion, if you want to overcome this, you have to live in an English speaking country for several years.
    But as far as I know, even in these countries themselves, the language differs to a certain degree from one area or location to another.

    What is more important is whether you can convey your thoughts clearly and people understand you, and whether you do it correctly enough from a grammar point of view.
    If you do, you should feel pretty ok about yourself.


    Of course, if you produce those “small chords” that make you sound like a genuine native speaker, this is great. But mastering this can take a long time, and this time should be spent in a native speaking environment. This might be good for a linguistic professor.
    But if your primary work is not related to studying/teaching the language itself, you should consider whether it is worth it.

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