Our language problems.

Jostyrostelli

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Swek wrote the first part.

This topic come up during a MSN chat between me and Josty.
I believe I wrote something that he didn't completely understand.
And it struck me then. Communications between us both basically run through different stages.

Beeing a native German, my mind structures grammar, word order and the vocabulary I'm going to use
by the rules that I grew up with. My brain unconsciously lays out the sentences (In German) I want to say and then my
conscious takes over and translates everything I've thought into what I feel like correct English grammar.
He then reads my sentence and his brain processes it into Dutch. So basically we ran through four stages.
From German into English on my side, and he then interprets what I've said in a manner that he learned to interpret English.
From there his brain translates what I've said into Dutch.
It's no direct communication at all, and I believe that it leaves much room for misinterpretation.

Another problem for me is communications with native English speakers. Sometimes it becomes evident to me.
I feel like I'm in no way ready for a proper political debate. When I'm trying to make a point, I find myself struggling for the right words. This might even partly explain the lack of proper debate and the leaning towards the funny side of the boards.
I am definately in the middle of a learning process that has yet to result in a proper debate over more than two pages.

Josty?s bit:
Also, people from England talking to each other and making jokes, don?t come over here.
It?s not like there?s lots of not-understandable English on this board, but sometimes Overheat or Ruuman will throw some English jokes on the board. Very difficult to get them here.

I have a little example, if you come on a dutch forum you might find ?the monkey came out of the sleeve?.
It doesn?t really make sense, although there are stranger ones. It means something like ?and now it?s finally clear-up?

Like Swek said, I?m no good in political debate either, I often don?t know the right words in English and I?ll write something that looks like it and it may offend someone. That causes people to respond on things I didn?t intend to say. Although I try to participate as much as possible on the forum and don?t try to get this language barrier between me and the forum.

Swek again:
However, since this is a pretty multicultural board I'm curious about your side of the story. Did you overcome the language barrier ? And if you say so, what has helped you to overcome it?
Or do you sometimes have problems to express yourself too ? If so what do you do about it ? Are you showing initiative and hit the Books, or do you remain silent and feel riled about you inability to response the way you'd like to ?
 

Renesis

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Interesting, but since this forum has people from all over the world, everyone's at a different level in english, so I think we all understand when someone uses a bad word or fucks up the grammar in a sentence.
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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You guys are better communicators than 90% of the people who speak english as their first language.

Don't worry about sensitive phrasing in the political section either. Political correctness is more of a barrier in my opinion than language translations. ;)
 

mmap

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This is definitely an issue for me, even though I've used english on a daily basis for communicating with people all over the world for years now, I still have to think before I say (or write) anything and even so it's not always right...

one of the issues is that my native language (finnish) is just nothing at all like english I doubt there is a single commonality between the grammar of the two languages and processing from one language to another is not always easy.
 

MXM

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I'm a native Russian speaker, about 9 years ago I started learning Finnish and English, and now I use all 3 daily. And the "stages" swek wrote about... I don't think there are anymore. All these 3 languages are very different in terms of, well almost everything :) Like grammar, sentence structure, use of word-cases and all that stuff.
When I write in English, I start compsing sentence in English, even if I don't know some specific word which I look up later. Like muumipeikko wrote translating from one to another is hard. Harder than writing directly in foreign language. For me anyway...
 

Renesis

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Yeah I too think in english and don't have to translate, but most of my friends, especially the ones in lower levels of english classes, still do.
 

Jostyrostelli

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It's not really a problem to compose sentences in English for me, neither for Swek I think. I can make English sentences about as fast as Dutch sentences, when I keep it fairly simple. I can talk difficult in Dutch and I'd like to in English to express myself better but that would take alot of time here, or I would have to stay in an English country for a while to pick it up even faster.

I too think that this is the problem for many people here, because if you look at the Political Section, there are not that many active users. It's pretty much the same people talking to eachother.
 

Ultra_Kool_Dude

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Jostyrostelli said:
I too think that this is the problem for many people here, because if you look at the Political Section, there are not that many active users. It's pretty much the same people talking to eachother.

I remember we were discussing the abortion topic, and you did an excellent job pointing out your side of the argument.
 

MXM

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if you look at the Political Section, there are not that many active users

Well maybe, just maybe, it's because this is a car-related forum? :)
That's the reason I never write anything there. And rarely read it. It's not that I'm not interested in politics... I'm just not interested in reading yet another debate between Justin and almost all the rest in the forum ;)
 

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English for me. Thought its not my first language, its all I speak. Other than for French(not so good), bengali, hindi, urdu, (almost arabic ;) )
 

swek

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
Jostyrostelli said:
I too think that this is the problem for many people here, because if you look at the Political Section, there are not that many active users. It's pretty much the same people talking to eachother.

I remember we were discussing the abortion topic, and you did an excellent job pointing out your side of the argument.

Take me as an example then. I consider myself a pretty political person but I don't post in the political section often. I can get my point across, yes but I'm by no means ready to discuss topics like the Iraq war the way I'd like to. Complex issues aren't easy to picture if you don't even know the proper terms regarding the issue.

Everything that needs proper structure and a valid argument to back up your position is difficult for me. I mean you're faced with a native English speaker for whom this is no problem at all.
So you end up with a unsatisfying response on your side.
You know what you want to say. It's just that you can't put it in the form you're used to.

I think this is why a lot of discussions with Justin end in Flames. A lot of Europeans just can't get their point across the way they'd like to. So the discussion changes from a factual level to a emotional one.

Just to inform you. I've used my dictionary three times for this text.
 

SPG900

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If you want to improve your English, just watch the BBC more often (with subtitles, page 888). There aren't any better channels anyway. :p
 

Renesis

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swek said:
Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
Jostyrostelli said:
I too think that this is the problem for many people here, because if you look at the Political Section, there are not that many active users. It's pretty much the same people talking to eachother.

I remember we were discussing the abortion topic, and you did an excellent job pointing out your side of the argument.

Take me as an example then. I consider myself a pretty political person but I don't post in the political section often. I can get my point across, yes but I'm by no means ready to discuss topics like the Iraq war the way I'd like to. Complex issues aren't easy to picture if you don't even know the proper terms regarding the issue.

Everything that needs proper structure and a valid argument to back up your position is difficult for me. I mean you're faced with a native English speaker for for whom this is no problem at all.
So you're end up with a unsatisfying response on your side.
You know what you want to say. It's just that you can't put it in the form you're used to.

I think this is why a lot of discussions with Justin end in Flames. A lot of Europeans just can't get their point across the way they'd like to. So the discussion changes from a factual level to a emotional one.

Just to inform you. I've used my dictionary three times for this text.

I understand what you mean..
 

swek

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SPG900 said:
If you want to improve your English, just watch the BBC more often (with subtitles, page 888). There aren't any better channels anyway. :p

Hm, I don't know about you guys but I discovered that this doesn't help with the language at all. You learn to understand everything but when you're typing something down you're unable to find the correct phrases.
I've been like that before I started posing here. I understood most of the TV programme but couldn't write a proper text.
The only thing that helps with written or spoken language is practice.
 

Buba

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Ultra_Kool_Dude said:
You guys are better communicators than 90% of the people who speak english as their first language.

Yeah, I'd second that... Both of you speak English really well, so the basic communications don't seem to be a problem...

Buba
 

zenon

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Swek and Josty, you guys have a better grasp of the English language than a lot of English speaking Canadians I know. I could understand your frustration with political discussions, but your posts are always so good that I forget you aren't native English speakers.
 

Mischief007

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zenon said:
Swek and Josty, you guys have a better grasp of the English language than a lot of English speaking Canadians I know. I could understand your frustration with political discussions, but your posts are always so good that I forget you aren't native English speakers.

Ditto for that. I have a hard time differentiating most of you from native English speakers. It's all good :). English is my third language but since I've been stuck in this country for 13 years I've been able to grasp a good portion of the language. I still have a great grasp on the German and Polish language. Polish being my mother tongue and German my second language.

Left Poland in 1986
Left Denmark in 1988
Left Germany in 1992

Been in Canada ever since.

Although I've only had 4 years of German I have an awesome grasp of the language. :)
 

Renesis

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Stuck in this country?

is this an example of a badly used word you you really mean it as in you'd like to get out of Canada?
 

Mischief007

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Renesis said:
Stuck in this country?

is this an example of a badly used word you you really mean it as in you'd like to get out of Canada?

I'd like to get out of Canada. I was forced to move here. My parents would say I'm taking it pretty hard (the whole thing about not staying in Germany) but things were moving well for me there. And ever since my asthma came back I might as well go back to Europe now. Since my health is no different in any country by the looks of it.
 
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