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  1. #11
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Another writer who used English to a high standard was Rabindranath Tagore. There are also a number of brilliant West African writers using English in their writing.

    It comes down to good teaching, considerable reading, and ultimately the desire to do something well.
    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you for your comments. I think I need keep practising reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

    Practice makes perfect. At least, practice makes beterr.

    Cheers!

  2. #12
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils
    I don't understand the words of yours as below. What do gentle blood' and 'bourgeois conventions' refer to respectively?
    Sorry. Sometimes I get carried away. Nabokov came from the gentry, and his distaste for what are still called "middle-class values" is really, really obvious. Lolita, for all its nineteen-fifties notoriety, is very tame, compared to his earlier work such as Camera Obscura. And then there's his autobiography, Speak Memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika
    Another writer who used English to a high standard was Rabindranath Tagore. There are also a number of brilliant West African writers using English in their writing. It comes down to good teaching, considerable reading, and ultimately the desire to do something well.
    Is it strictly correct to consider Indian and African writers foreign? Colonial, perhaps, though that's an awful word, but wouldn't much of their education have been English?

  3. #13
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Is it strictly correct to consider Indian and African writers foreign? Colonial, perhaps, though that's an awful word, but wouldn't much of their education have been English?
    If their native language is not English, yes, I do regard them as foreign. As to education, possibly that is true in the case of Tagore > Rabindranath Tagore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ; but not necessarily for the West African writers.

  4. #14
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Hi all!

    I've read Nabokov only in Russian and enjoyed it greatly. He is fantastic. I've never read anything better in Russian. I mean his style. "How and not what". Unfortunately I don't feel like reading his books in English. I suppose that his English was so good because he had an English nanny in his childhood in St. Petersburg. But I am not sure. I think Russian is worth learning because then you'll have a chance to read Nabokov in his native language.

  5. #15
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    I apologize if this is inappropriately off-topic, but how do you guys feel about 'merely' reading translations of great works? How much is the proze butchered? I still shiver when I think about some of the Gabriel G. Marquez translations I tried in Dutch.

    Polishing up my French and trying some Spanish might be a reachable goal but I draw the line at learning other alphabets. I still have nightmares from my month in the Czech Republic, I got by on sign-language more than anything else.

    In a way it's an advantage to write in your non-native language, some strangely formed phrases might be considered as intentional, falling under the 'poetic license'. Just a thought.

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Translations are better than nothing and there are great works in so many languages that if we only read things in the original we would be missing a lot.

  7. #17
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Re: Post 15 & 16

    I agree with the comment of Tdol's - translation is better than nothing. However, many things will lose from the original works, such as puns, cultural connotations. There're not always equivalences between two different languages.

    I feel funny when I read English versions of some classic Chinese works. It is not due to the language skill of the translator's, but the differet cultural backgrounds between English and Chinese.

  8. #18
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    I think the most important factors that help one acquire a native-like proficiency in a foreign language are:
    - living abroad
    - frequency of language use
    - talent (inherent capability of learning languages)

    Basically, you have to listen, talk, read and write. If you want to talk well, you have to listen to a lot of stuff first (TV/radio, street conversations, casual chats etc.). Similarly, if you want to write well, you have to read a lot. Languages are mastered through constant practice. Living abroad helps a lot. If you're exposed ONLY to the foreign language you're willing to master, progress will be more visible. But it's also about talent - some people have been living abroad for years and they're not too good speakers. On the other hand, some people have never been to an English-speaking country and yet they speak and write perfectly.

    But the basic rule is - expose yourself to the language. Read and listen as much as you can.

  9. #19
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_Q View Post
    But it's also about talent - some people have been living abroad for years and they're not too good speakers.
    .
    Yes. I had a Pakistani net pal. He has been living in the UK for more than 10 years. His writing including spelling is not good, even worse than me.

    Though have been living in the US for decade, some Chinese still fail to communicate people in English well, because they live in the Chinatowns and don't have to speak in English every day.


    On the other hand, some people have never been to an English-speaking country and yet they speak and write perfectly.
    Needless to talk about perfection, I assume just few non-native speakers, especially who never live in English-speaking country for a time, can reach an acceptable level.

    Some native speakers commented on my English is good. But I think they just wanted to encourage me or they compare my English to other non-native speakers'.

    Mod. Anglika used to kindly correct many errors in my writing.

  10. #20
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    Re: How non-native speakers reach native level of English?

    hi
    Lolita is a beautiful piece
    I too am a non native speaker,well tiny tip ---------
    think in your language
    rethink in English
    formulate the same into an English sentence
    and speak
    I am sure you will be able to reach the native level of English soon.
    Whenever you get a chance speak only in English,read English written books newspapers and listen to English News on TV and radio
    You will find the difference

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