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  1. #1
    belly_ttt is offline Senior Member
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    Default I don't understand this sentence

    In The past many intelligent and useful members of scoiety did not acquire the skill, and even today many who speak languages with writing systems never learn to read or write, while some who learn the rudiments of those skills do so only imperfectly.

    I don't understand about "speak languages with writing system": Do they mean that some ppl speak a language based on the writing system? I think my interpretation does not make any sense in this context

  2. #2
    Neillythere's Avatar
    Neillythere is offline Senior Member
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      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
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      • Thailand
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    Default Re: I don't understand this sentence

    As a Brit and mentor, but not a teacher, I would advise as follows:

    Firstly, most spoken languages have a written equivalent.
    Some, like "Gulf Arabic" (unlike standard Arabic, as used in books, newspapers, TV, radio etc), may not.

    Through modern travel, people learn to speak some (or maybe more) of the vocabulary of the countries they visit.

    Unfortunately, not many of those who do actually learn to speak a foreign language go that one step further and learn to read & write the written version of the language, particularly if the new language uses character sets not used in their native language (e.g. for Brits: Chinese, Japanese, Thai etc).

    I hope this helps.

    PS I'm currently struggling with the Thai language that:

    has some 44 consonants,
    28 vowel sounds (that can be written before and/or after, above or below the consonant(s) they follow in speech.
    is a tonal language (i.e. the same word can mean many things, depending on whether it is spoken high, low, rising, falling or not) and
    if a letter is at the end of a word it can be pronounced differently.

    Just to add to the confusion, there are no spaces between words!

    Please forgive us!

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