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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Tuvalu
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,860
    #1

    why isn't this sentence ok?

    hi,

    is the following sentence ok?

    "is there a transfer ticket machine here?"

    if so, i wonder why some people here do not understand this kind of question.

    i usually need to rephrase it like "i am looking for a transfer ticket machine, pls" and only then they understand what i mean.

    does the sentence in bold sound odd?

    should i avoid starting sentences with "is there"?

    thanks,
    jc


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: why isn't this sentence ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    is the following sentence ok?

    "is there a transfer ticket machine here?"

    if so, i wonder why some people here do not understand this kind of question.

    i usually need to rephrase it like "i am looking for a transfer ticket machine, pls" and only then they understand what i mean.

    does the sentence in bold sound odd?

    should i avoid starting sentences with "is there"?

    thanks,
    jc

    As a sentence, it is fine. However, if "they" do not understand you, then yes, avoid asking in this way.

    You will just have to see if "Is there a xxxxx" is understood in other contexts.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

    Re: why isn't this sentence ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    is the following sentence ok?

    "is there a transfer ticket machine here?"

    if so, i wonder why some people here do not understand this kind of question.

    i usually need to rephrase it like "i am looking for a transfer ticket machine, pls" and only then they understand what i mean.

    does the sentence in bold sound odd?

    should i avoid starting sentences with "is there"?

    thanks,
    jc
    Are you still in Canada, JC? Maybe the machines are not called that. And one more point. I don't know how strong your accent is [and I'm not saying it's bad/unnatural] but many people, but when first faced with a "foreign" accent, tend to freeze mentally. They may well understand the first question but the look on their face may cause you to think they don't.

    This has happened to me a quite a bit. I thought my pronunciation of the new language was good but I found that it took a few repeats for natives to understand me.

  1. IvanV's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 576
    #4

    Re: why isn't this sentence ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    This has happened to me a quite a bit. I thought my pronunciation of the new language was good but I found that it took a few repeats for natives to understand me.
    Like me in the US...

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Tuvalu
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,860
    #5

    Re: why isn't this sentence ok?

    hi,

    yes, I am still in canada and yes, I am convinced my accent is not good.

    River, you have a good point: maybe the name of the machine is wrong ...

    It's really very difficult to "tune" your accent so that you are understood and speak confortably at the same time.

    I was in a tour and there were also Canadianas, Irishes, Scotishes and Australians. For many (many!) times the Scothishes couldn't understand what the canadian was saying. A little (little!) change in the accent and they can't communicate.

    I don't see this kind of problem happening between Brasilians and Portugueses, for example. Brasilians and Portugueses understand each other perfectly, despite of the huge (huge!) difference in the accent. I wonder why.

    Hey, Ivan, I am happy to know that I am not the only one who have such a problem.

    thanks,
    jc


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #6

    Re: why isn't this sentence ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    yes, I am still in canada and yes, I am convinced my accent is not good.

    River, you have a good point: maybe the name of the machine is wrong ...

    It's really very difficult to "tune" your accent so that you are understood and speak confortably at the same time.

    I was in a tour and there were also Canadianas, Irishes, Scotishes [Canadians, Irish and Scots] and Australians. For many (many!) times the Scothishes [Scots] couldn't understand what the canadian was saying. A little (little!) change in the accent and they can't communicate.

    I don't see this kind of problem happening between Brasilians and Portugueses [Portuguese] , for example. Brasilians and Portugueses [Portuguese] understand each other perfectly, despite of the huge (huge!) difference in the accent. I wonder why.

    Hey, Ivan, I am happy to know that I am not the only one who have such a problem.

    thanks,
    jc
    True for anyone working in a foreign language!

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