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  1. #1
    Karima-19's Avatar
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    Default non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Hello!

    I am a non native speaker, but I have a good experience in learning Enlgish, I'm also very motivated to speak English fluently as long as I can...but there's something I wanna ask about: Is any non-native speaker of English can speak the language fluently as the native one?
    I'm asking such a question because some expectations assume that whenever non-native speakers of English have a good level in English they cannot speak the language 100 per cent as the native one. I want an answer from people who have experience about the topic.

    Thanks in advance

    Karima
    Last edited by Karima-19; 03-Apr-2011 at 22:43.

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    It is my experience that fluent non-native speakers sometimes know a language better than most native speakers of that language.

    Two examples: my wife's native language is Konkani, the language of Goa. Growing up in Kolkata, she spoke Konkani at home with her mother, Bengali and Hindi outside the house, and heavily accented Indian English at school. Now that she has spent thirty-five years in Canada I think she speaks fluent and unaccented AmE as well as a native speaker.

    We have a friend in Mexico city who is a corporate lawyer. His native language is Spanish, of course, but as a corporate lawyer he relies on his excellent knowledge of English to earn his living. Occasionally he will make a small error. For example, one day I was quizzing him about the Mexican drink pulque and he said it was an acquired flavour when he meant an acquired taste. But on the whole I think his English is as good as mine, and I am a native speaker.

    It is interesting to consider the people who do simultaneous translation at the United Nations and similar places. There are special colleges that train such people, and one of the friends of my youth attended one of them. His languages were English and French, and he was beautifully fluent in both, but English was his mother tongue. He told me it is an absolute rule of simultaneous translation that you translate only into your mother tongue. So I guess some experts disagree with me about non-native speakers gaining absolute fluency.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    When you say 100%, it's hard to assess- there are non-native speakers who can pass as native speakers, and there are plenty of others who may have a slight, or even marked accent and make the occasional mistake but can do anything in English that a native speaker can do.

  4. #4
    Karima-19's Avatar
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    When you say 100%, it's hard to assess- there are non-native speakers who can pass as native speakers, and there are plenty of others who may have a slight, or even marked accent and make the occasional mistake but can do anything in English that a native speaker can do.
    That's great, I can do it.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Karima-19 View Post
    That's great, I can do it.
    Yes- that's achievable.

  6. #6
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Karima-19 View Post
    That's great, I can do it.
    Good luck, Karima!

  7. #7
    Karima-19's Avatar
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Good luck, Karima!
    Thank you so much "Birdenn", I'm really motivated to learn more and more about English.

  8. #8
    Karima-19's Avatar
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    I found an excllent website to improve your speaking skill in English, I don't want to skimp anybody who want to improve his/her English:

    Listening downloads - British Council - LearnEnglish - Professionals

    Hope it gonna help somebody

  9. #9
    Opus018 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    Well, in my case. I was born in the United States but my family was born in Puerto Rico. Spanish was the dominated language in my household, when i started school when i was 4, i wasn't registered as a native English speaker so i had to take ESL classes up until i graduated from high school. To be honest with you, i was living between two different worlds for a long time. I spoke Spanish with my family and English with my friends. As an American, i know i can never speak as well as an native English speaker because my vocabulary will be influenced from other languages such as Spanish. Now, that i decided to take a third language, i know most of my words will be coming from Spanish or French. My English will never be "pure" spoken because i grew up bilingual already, so i have to work twice as harder to keep up with a native English speaker, inwhich it should have been my mother tongue. Everytime i express myself in writing, it's never the same compared to a native English speaking. When i was young, i was struggling in English because all i heard was Spanish. I would make the same mistakes as a non native speaker and my teachers would think that i wasn't normal being an American born. Now, I speak Spanish, French, and English. I want to be a translator for the European Union. I noticed that a native speaker who grows up speaking one language has a harder time learning a new language then a non native speaker who has grown up speaking two languages at once. It's very interesting because a native speaker has a harder time speaking a language with out having an accent from his/her mother tongue.

  10. #10
    supernj is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: non-native speakers & Native speakers

    I wish I could speak English as good as a native.

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