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  1. Fame's Avatar
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    #1

    Paraphrasing

    I paraphrased the following paragraph in about the same no. of words below. Please help advice.

    The description of bilingualism
    While it is the case that even speakers of a single language (putative monolinguals) control various styles and levels of that language, it is very common that people develop some knowledge and ability in a second language and so become bilingual. The simplest definition of a bilingual is a person who has some functional ability in a second language. This may vary
    from a limited ability in one or more domains, to very strong command of both languages (which is sometimes called balanced bilingualism). The assumption that there must be a single definition leads to confusion, such as when one person is talking about the highly skilled multiple-domained balanced bilingualism of an expert translator and interpreter, and the other the uneven skills of a recent immigrant. Additional confusion is caused by the common use of the term bilingual to refer to a socially-disfavoured minority group: in Texas, for instance, it is restricted to Mexican Americans. (155 words)


    It is not easy to draw a boundary line as to the meaning of bilingual person. There are bilinguals who have just immigrated to a new country and they may have a very limited amount of knowledge of the new language. Another type of a bilingual could be just to communicate orally but not it written. It is because he has picked up the language from his friends. There is another type of bilingual who are expert translators and interpreters. They have high skills of bilingualism.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Paraphrasing

    That's a pretty good summary. I wonder though why a bilingual person cannot simply be mediocre in two languages. I'm sure such people exist.

  3. Fame's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Paraphrasing

    Yes I agree with you. But do you think that this summary has really covered everyhing? I feel something is missing, but I just can't put my finger on it.

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    #4

    Re: Paraphrasing

    I would like to aske what's the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing? I think it's the same and I have paraphrased the above and not summarised. So is there any difference between the two?

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    #5

    Summary?

    I have written a summary of the passage 'The description of bilingualism'. Would this be a summary or just paraphrasing?:
    The description of bilingualism
    Rather than worrying about definition, it is more useful to consider what is needed to describe the nature of an individual’s bilingualism. Clearly the first (and not necessarily easy) element is to identify each of the languages. We will often need to clarify which variety is involved: to distinguish between Cantonese and Putonghua, or between Egytian and Moroccan Arabic, or between High German and Swiss German. A second important feature is the way each language was acquired. It is useful to distinguish between mother (or native) tongue learning, second (or informal) language learning, and foreign (or additional) language learning. Each of these suggest different possible kinds of proficiency. It is useful also to note the age of learning and the time spent using the language. We describe two bilinguals in the way: ‘X is a native speaker of Cantonese and learned English in school.’ ‘Y grew up speaking
    Moroccan Arabic, but was educated in French and has lived in Paris since the age of 15.’
    Another set of distinctions is that of skill — reading, writing, speaking, understanding speech. It is not uncommon for people to speak one language and read and write another. Many Navajos use their own language in conversation, but read in English. Until the literacy campaigns of recent times, Ethiopians who spoke Amharic were more likely to read Gi’iz than Amharic. The receptive skills of reading and understanding speech are often stronger in a learned language than are the productive skills of speaking and writing. Many people obtain reading knowledge of a language at school, but cannot speak it. (262 words)
    Adapted from: Spolsky, B (1998) Sociolinguistics, Oxford: Oxford
    University Press, 45-46.


    Here is my summary:
    According to Spolsky, B (1998), before we think about what type of bilingual a person is, we need to think about what variety of the language is involved. One language could be a mix of many other languages and there may be different varieties of that language. We need to think of in which country the person was born, where he was raised and where he studied. For example, x is Chinese, he studied English. But he doesn’t speak English at home because he’s not good at it.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Summary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    I have written a summary of the passage 'The description of bilingualism'. Would this be a summary or just paraphrasing?:
    The description of bilingualism
    Rather than worrying about definition, it is more useful to consider what is needed to describe the nature of an individual’s bilingualism. Clearly the first (and not necessarily easy) element is to identify each of the languages. We will often need to clarify which variety is involved: to distinguish between Cantonese and Putonghua, or between Egytian and Moroccan Arabic, or between High German and Swiss German. A second important feature is the way each language was acquired. It is useful to distinguish between mother (or native) tongue learning, second (or informal) language learning, and foreign (or additional) language learning. Each of these suggest different possible kinds of proficiency. It is useful also to note the age of learning and the time spent using the language. We describe two bilinguals in the way: ‘X is a native speaker of Cantonese and learned English in school.’ ‘Y grew up speaking
    Moroccan Arabic, but was educated in French and has lived in Paris since the age of 15.’
    Another set of distinctions is that of skill — reading, writing, speaking, understanding speech. It is not uncommon for people to speak one language and read and write another. Many Navajos use their own language in conversation, but read in English. Until the literacy campaigns of recent times, Ethiopians who spoke Amharic were more likely to read Gi’iz than Amharic. The receptive skills of reading and understanding speech are often stronger in a learned language than are the productive skills of speaking and writing. Many people obtain reading knowledge of a language at school, but cannot speak it. (262 words)
    Adapted from: Spolsky, B (1998) Sociolinguistics, Oxford: Oxford
    University Press, 45-46.


    Here is my summary:
    According to Spolsky, B (1998), before we think about what type of bilingual a person is, we need to think about what variety of the language is involved. One language could be a mix of many other languages and there may be different varieties of that language. We need to think of in which country the person was born, where he was raised and where he studied. For example, x is Chinese, he studied English. But he doesn’t speak English at home because he’s not good at it.
    A paraphrase is simply a restatement of the text in different words - maybe to make it simpler to read, or less technical.
    A summary leaves out details.
    What you have written is a summary.

  7. Fame's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Paraphrasing

    Thank you. But is this a good summary, do you think?

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    #8

    Re: Paraphrasing

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    Thank you. But is this a good summary, do you think?
    No, because I think you're misunderstanding what he's saying.
    You have:
    "before we think about what type of bilingual a person is,"
    but Spolsky is saying that "thinking about [defining] what type of bilingual a person is is not worth worrying about."What we should attempt to do is describe the elements of a person's bilingualism rather than labelling it as a type.

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    #9

    Re: Paraphrasing

    Do you think this is better:
    According to Spolsky, B (1998), thinking about what type of bilingual a person is is not worth worrying about. What we should attempt to do is describe the elements of a person’s bilingualism rather than labeling it as a type. A language could be a mix of other languages and there may be different varieties.

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    #10

    Re: Paraphrasing

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    Do you think this is better:
    According to Spolsky, B (1998), thinking about what type of bilingual a person is is not worth worrying about. What we should attempt to do is describe the elements of a person’s bilingualism rather than labeling it as a type. A language could be a mix of other languages and there may be different varieties.
    Given that I wrote it, yes I think it's better.

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