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Thread: Native English

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    Talking Native English

    Why do some people prefer native English speaker writers than those who are formally trained in English grammar and syntax?

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Native English

    Welcome to the forums.

    Perhaps because they feel safer?

    Often non-native English experts do not write fluently or idiomatically, and many of the problems people are concerned with are to do with idiomatic English.
    Last edited by Anglika; 16-Oct-2007 at 00:38.

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    Default Re: Native English

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Welcome to the forums.

    Perhaps because they feel safer?

    Often non-native English experts often do not write fluently or idiomatically, and many of the problems people are concerned with are to do with idiomatic English.
    IŽll try doing that, Anglika.
    But what do you mean by idiomatic English?
    Would non-natives desire more to read books full of idioms, which would hardly be understandable?

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Native English

    Well now, Blouen, you [and others] often need to ask about phrases that puzzle you. They are often idiomatic uses which are maybe regional or dialectical, and the grammar books do not necessarily help in understanding them.

    I am sure if you look through the postings in the last 24 hours, you will find examples.

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    Default Re: Native English

    I understand you...
    As far as I could remember, IŽve asked a number of idiomatic phrases here, and it is one I should learn to overcome in my quest to speaking like a native.
    I hope this to happen soon...

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    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Native English

    Aren't all native English speakers formally trained in grammar and sintax? I certainly remember having 14 years of formal training.

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Native English

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    Aren't all native English speakers formally trained in grammar and syntax? I certainly remember having 14 years of formal training.
    Regrettable I suggest that modern schooling in England does not provide rigorous training in grammar and syntax, whereas those learning a language that is not their own generally do have a rigorous training.

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    Default Re: Native English

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Regrettable I suggest that modern schooling in England does not provide rigorous training in grammar and syntax, whereas those learning a language that is not their own generally do have a rigorous training.
    Apparently, natives still speak better than those learning a language that is not their own... But sadly the accuracy of the language think gets watered down in every generation that passes...

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    Default Re: Native English

    Quote Originally Posted by wordwarrior View Post
    Why do some people prefer native English speaker writers than those who are formally trained in English grammar and syntax?
    Possibly due to the fact that we would have phrased your question:

    Why do some people prefer native English speaking writers over those who are formally trained in English grammar and syntax?

    It's one thing to know the rules, it's another thing to, as Robert Heinlein would put it, "grok" the rules.

    Wholeman

    BTW, grok is in the American Heritage Dictionary.

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    Default Re: Native English

    Quote Originally Posted by wordwarrior View Post
    Why do some people prefer native English speaker writers than those who are formally trained in English grammar and syntax?
    Maybe I can answer it this way. Non-native English writers and speakers usually know far more grammar than native English speakers. In Canada, you are taught all the grammar that you will ever normally learn in the first six years of your education. After Grade six you are not taught grammar in English language studies...the emphasis changes to writing and speaking (speeches) as well a reading comprehension.

    This is why native English speakers are often unable to quote a rule or explain why something does not "sound right".

    Non-native English learners who are taught by non-native English teachers often (unless the teacher has lived in an English speaking country for several years) not taught proper pronunciation and they do not understand everyday English slang and idiom.

    When I taught English in Thailand or met non-native English teachers in other countries, I found that if they were exposed to native English teachers during their education, they were very comfortable speaking English and their listening English was also very good.

    Those, that had not been taught by native English teachers or had not been to an English speaking country, had a greater difficulty understanding me as I was usually speaking too fast or using too much slang or idiom in my language.

    To use an analogy, say you were a fighter pilot in the air force. Would you prefer to be taught by someone who had used the fighter aircraft in combat or one who knew the theory of using this fighter aircraft in combat but had never actually been in a combat situation?

    This is a bit of an extreme analogy, but I personally would want to learn from someone who had experience using this fighter in combat. There are things he knows that the other instructor could never know.

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