Our language problems.

swek

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v0od0o said:
I was under the impression that maybe europeans do not care too much about learning a foreign language because maybe they don't need it as much as someone here would

That's partly true for Germany. Try to find someone on the street, who can give you directions in English. It might take you a while. People from smaller countrys are usually better English speakers.
 

Jostyrostelli

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^Oh that's true, when I go to Germany...I have to talk German.


When the Germans come take over our beaches and digg holes with Bratwurst....guess what...

They refuse to talk english or dutch, just german :mrgreen:
 

v0od0o

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SiR_dude said:
Butt-licker works too :)
good to know! I thought ass kissing is what you do to your boss, while butt licking is what you do to your gf, but what do I know :mrgreen:
 

v0od0o

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hehe, now that I think about it, there is also butt-kicking, I wonder why there is so many butt/ass driven expressions in English. We only have one in Arabic, translated it would be "your ass/butt is red", but in reality it is almost the same as Kiss my ass :D
 

v0od0o

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swek said:
That's why I'm here. I represent the "other" Germany. :mrgreen:
I heard that about the germans too and I have to say I was surprised to "see" you a german who's perfectly good at English :)
 

swek

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v0od0o said:
swek said:
That's why I'm here. I represent the "other" Germany. :mrgreen:
I heard that about the germans too and I have to say I was surprised to "see" you a german who's perfectly good at English :)

Well, the problems causing poor English skills is a combination between our school system and the sheer mass of Germans. We teach basic English, but we focus on the written language. I can't recall that conversations were a substantial part of our lessons.

After they leave school most people soon forget everything they have learned because there simply is no need to get into the language. Everything from movies to books to internet boards is available in German. So it's up to you to develop your skills.
 

MXM

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About movies and other media... It's a good point actually. Here every movie on TV or in theaters are translated with subtitles. I think it plays a huge role in learning English. You hear the words and see what they mean all the time.
 

v0od0o

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Well I rarely look at arabic subtitles in English movies cuz they're sometimes wrong, and most of the time just plain stupid, one for one word translations can never get across the meaning.

While for most of the ppl I know, subtitles make them never need to really listen to the words, so they learn nothing and just read the subtitles....
 

MXM

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Well, of course you will not learn language by just watching movies. But it helps greatly when you already have some base from studying English at school.
 

swek

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How did you guys learn English then ?. I started with basic school English, realized that dubbed movies are crap. So I started to watch original versions. When I got DSL I began to download shows like 24 and Top Gear. I began to understand English and American English completly but my written and spoken English was crap.
It's gotten a lot better since I started posting on the site. I bet you can see the development if you read some of my first posts and compare them to the more recent ones.
 

v0od0o

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well what I meant to say earlier is that subtitles just like any other tool for learning, you have to "want" to learn first to use it properly. I think you can learn anything if you have the will.

I started with school English, I was in what we call here a "language school". These schools have either French of English as a first foreign language that you learn from nursery level (4 years old) and the other (french in my case) is taught starting 4th year primary school which is around 10 years old. Also you study science(chemistry, physics, biology) and mathematics in ur first foreign language (English in my case). That gave me a good base, and I love learning languages anyway (Was very good at french but forgot it for lack of use for 7 years). So when we studied novels at school they used to teach the simplified versions, I used to get the full ones and read them on my own (like Tale of Two cities for Charles Dickins and Prisoner of Zenda) And just like swek, used movies and sit coms a lot. And then the Internet.
Plus all of my study in college was in English, Computer science is really funny when translated :) (Try translating bluetooth to any language and u'd laugh your ass off)

But still, many of my friends have been through the exact same educational cycle with even same teachers and curriculums and have turned out to have crappy English skills... It's the willingness and "wanting" to learn I think.
 

freakster_991

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english is really an easy language to pick up i think because you can practice it anywhere...whereas if you picked up french here in malaysia ...the only place you'll ever practice it is in the classroom...language has to be practiced.....oh nd many people have better written english than spoken english....a person who has an A grade for english might not necessarily speak jsut as well....he might have a really funny accent
 

andyhui01

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^I don't think you can generalize that English is a really easy language, maybe all of us on the forum might agree... but if you move to a Chinese or Spanish speaking country and you communicate with locals everyday, you'll improve in the language drastically. In those countries, it might be opposite from what you said where maybe its difficult to pick up english in the classroom.
 

Renesis

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freakster_991 said:
you mean ren can ban me just because i use slang words...ouch..im actually scared to type now.. :|

that post was fine, see, when you do an effort you can do it! :)
 

bihus

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Renesis said:
freakster_991 said:
you mean ren can ban me just because i use slang words...ouch..im actually scared to type now.. :|

that post was fine, see, when you do an effort you can do it! :)

Yes daddy :tease: ;)
 

93Flareside

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Such a fascinating thread to read. The thought to me has come up often. Do those that speak for example, English as a second language, think in their native language all the time or as time goes on when you speak the second language (this example being English) does your brain change over? From what I'm reading, that is not the case, you're always translating internally. This helps me understand from the side of working with European OEM's. We both speak English but it's like we're speaking different English because neither of us can get our point across sometimes. Usually by the 2nd or 3rd day does it finally click at least for me to... break down what I'm saying to more simpler terms. Not that I'm saying the guy I work with is a dumbass, but because the...... complexity? of what we're talking about needs to be broken down to make it easier to understand.
 

calvinhobbes

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It depends on the level of difficulty, i.e. vocabulary, grammar and content. I’m pretty much fluent in a regular conversation, but the more complex the conversation becomes (and the faster it goes), the more mistakes I will make and the more often I will resort to German and translate.

I keep mixing Portuguese into my French and can only hope that my Spanish and Italian don’t offend people too often. :blush: But I think that strangely, I actually mix less German than Portuguese into my French.
 
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