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  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    as a foreigner

    I often say that "as a foreigner, I don't understand this or that". Is it natural to say so? The reason why I'm asking is that I can't remember anyone ever say this except myself, of course.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: as a foreigner

    Are you talking about not understanding the actual words or missing something cultural?

  3. #3
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Are you talking about not understanding the actual words or missing something cultural?
    I was talking about the language mainly. For example, "As a foreigner, I can't understand all nuances the present perfect tense can convey".
    And now I'm curious if there would be a difference in expressing some cultural not understanding.
    Last edited by GeneD; 23-Oct-2017 at 09:04. Reason: added an example sentence
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  4. #4
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    Or should it be, when talking about the language, "non-native speaker" instead of "foreigner"?
    Last edited by GeneD; 23-Oct-2017 at 09:23.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: as a foreigner

    Yes—I think that would be better. IMO, you're only a foreigner when you're in a country which is not your homeland.

  6. #6
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    I've always had a vague idea what "non-native speaker" exactly means. I've just looked up this word in a couple of dictionaries and found the following:
    1. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/...native-speaker
    2. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ru/%...native-speaker

    What confuses me is that, in the first definition, the NNS is learning a language and, in the second, has already learned it. Do you call an NNS any learner of a foreign language, or is there some hierarchy and in its turn some stage when someone who's learning a second language becomes an NNS?
    Last edited by GeneD; 23-Oct-2017 at 21:27.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  7. #7
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    I believe many NNSs who have learned a language are still learning it.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I believe many NNSs who have learned a language are still learning it.
    Yes, it seems to be a never-ending process. But at what stage does a learner become an NNS, and is there this stage?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    I think a learner counts as an NNS as long as s/he can communicate with a native speaker.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: as a foreigner

    As a non-native speaker, I often mix up some tenses.
    As a learner (of English), I often mix up some tenses.


    Does the second sentence sound natural? And do they have the same meaning?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

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