Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    English listening competence

    Hi,

    I have been practicing English listening for a while already. Now I can understand 80% of Obama's or Ambassadors' speeches, 70% of CNN or BBC news reports. However, the same can not be said with movies and TV series.

    Actually what bother me aren't really slangs and idioms because I know they are slangs and idioms when I hear them even if I don't understand. So I am not even going to try figure out what they mean.

    However in many movies, people don't really speak clearly, especially in action movies. It seems like actors really try to mimic the ways that people who are inarticulate themselves speak English. With that being possibly true, I understand 0% of their words when they are jabbering or mumbling. For those parts, no matter how many times I replay the clips, I just never get it.

    So out of my sheer curiousity, I just wonder, do you (native speakers with a college degree or above) understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?

    I really thank you for taking the time to reply to this!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 21,533
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    So out of my sheer curiousity, I just wonder, do you (native speakers with a college degree or above) understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?
    I don't, for one. Background music and noise obscure much of the dialogue for me. If I can't put subtitles on (AE closed captions) I don't bother watching.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I don't, for one. Background music and noise obscure much of the dialogue for me. If I can't put subtitles on (AE closed captions) I don't bother watching.
    Lol! That's so true! And also, when I watch some news report on TV, some presenters (anchors) broadcast news in a way that their tones have lots of ups and downs(mostly in weather forcast). It's almost like they are about to rap the news out like a rapper. I found that extremely hard to understand.
    Last edited by LeTyan; 20-Jan-2014 at 10:37.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 11,828
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: English listening competence

    I don't think most actors are pretending to be inarticulate. That's just the way they are. Especially in action movies.

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Spain
      • Current Location:
      • Spain

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 5,560
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Especially in action movies.
    I wouldn't certainly find Mr. Stallone (for one) a believable Prince Hamlet, for instance (just thinking of "To be or not to be..." uttered by Rocky or Rambo cracks me up! )
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I don't think most actors are pretending to be inarticulate. That's just the way they are. Especially in action movies.
    So do you understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 34,370
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    So do you understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?
    I think we're confusing "understanding" with "hearing". If I can actually hear the words in a TV show or a film (ie they are properly enunciated and they are not obscured by music or other noises), then yes, I understand them.

    In many shows, there is so much extraneous noise (music, background noise) that covers up the dialogue, that it is very difficult to hear it all. There is also the problem of people who mumble, people with very strong accents, people using regional dialects and many other factors. I would say that I hear and understand about 99% of the dialogue in all the TV shows and films I see. Occasionally, there might be one character I have trouble understanding.

    For me, the accent/dialect is probably the biggest challenge. I went to see "O Brother Where Art Thou" at the cinema and I understood perhaps 50% of the dialogue. The characters spoke with such a strong southern American accent that I really struggled. I actually rented the film on DVD shortly afterwards and watched it at home with the subtitles. I am at a complete loss when I hear "black streetspeak" but my flatmate understands almost all of it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 11,828
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    So do you understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?
    As long as it is American, yes. Certainly American TV shows do not feature a wide range of accents.

    For some British TV or a movie like "Trainspotting" the captions are almost mandatory.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 52,425
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: English listening competence

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    So do you understand 99 to 100% of what people say in all the movies and TV series in English?
    That depends on how you're defining understand. When trying to transcribe, I often have to listen more than once to get every single word down, but when someone is speaking, you don't have to understand every single word to understand them most of the time. Speech is messy and listening is not a passive skill, but an active one that often involves a degree of creativity. People slur, mumble, mispronounce, chop and change, forget things, use the wrong words, etc, but most of the time, the listener manages to understand, and this may involve filling in gaps, realising that the person has used the wrong word, not being 100% clear about one word, etc. If the person says uhuhuh coffee? when holding a kettle, you've only understood one word and the intonation of a question, but you've managed to understand that they're offering you a coffee- visual and other clues are also important. Sometimes things like slang may lead to a misunderstanding, and I could easily do that when watching an American movie, just as SoothingDave had problems with the Scottish accents in Trainspotting, but rarely does it intrude to the extent that I don't know what it's about.

Similar Threads

  1. Help with English listening
    By learningengl08 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2008, 19:46
  2. could listening english songs be helpful in learning english
    By SOHAIL SHEIKH72 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 28-Oct-2007, 01:44
  3. listening English
    By huyen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2007, 08:38
  4. English listening
    By Fplatzek in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Feb-2007, 12:57

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •