1. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Do you know...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hwaigon, May 31, 2017.

    Do you know anybody whose English is a second tongue and who writes so damn well you went like 'Boy, I'm impressed.' ?
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, yes. Our moderates @KaTrian and @T.Trian. Both of them have an idiomatic grasp of English that constantly amazes me. The other mods are all native English speakers, so I expect it of them, but our two Finnish mods are a wonderment to the linguist in me. We chat all the time and their deft deployment of the most nuanced of English idioms at the correct time and juncture is truly remarkable.
     
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  3. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Aw, you think we write good? That's so suite! :bigoops::-D
     
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  4. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    T
    Thanks for the tip. I shall be close at their heels. Just, kinda, needed to know natives acknowledge foreigners' written command. I probably must have run into wrong people. Or something.
     
  5. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    The girlfriend. English is actually her third language, and I didn't realise she wasn't native until 2 years after I met her.
     
  6. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    That's amazing.
     
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Digging out my Balzac Contributor

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    You didn't ask her where she was from for two years?
     
  8. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    They might have dated after the two years when he had found out.
     
  9. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    Sure. I asked where she was from and she said 'around Oxford', because that's where she'd lived for the last several years (I presume you're not suggesting I should have gone down the 'no, where are you really from?' line ;) ). I knew her family was Russian - fairly obvious from the surname - but her accent is so English I assumed she was second-generation, born here. I only found out she was actually born in Russia when a family friend stayed with her, and I heard her flip into Russian without missing a beat.

    Turned out she'd lived there until she was 14, then came here via a year in France, which is language #2.

    However:

    That is also true.
     
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  10. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    That is pretty awesome. Your gf obviously has an edge over all of us master degree graduates. I've always been dreaming of such level of immersion in a language.
     
  11. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    It is, as is she :D

    Since I've known her, she's added Spanish, Italian, Latin, and German to the mix - though not to quite the same degree of total fluency - and is now starting on Polish.
     
  12. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Now, I started this thread to avoid inferiority complex
     
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  13. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    HELPING \o/

    Though if you fancy feeling superior, I'm pretty certain I can manage that for you too - apart from English, my own language skills extend to a few words of French and about a sentence of Cornish, so you've got me well beat.
     
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  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'm constantly amazed by anybody who can write in a non-native language, because my attempts at learning other languages have been laughable. And English is a particularly... strange?... language. So much about it is nonsensical and can't be learned from fundamental rules, which makes the whole thing so much harder.

    Having had the pleasure of reading some of their work, I concur!
     
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  15. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    :D I guess I was kidding, no emoticon at the end of the sentence :p
     
  16. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Agreed.
    Grammatical rules are merely tools not to geat lost in the multi-faceted sea that English is. They're not an end in itself, though their constant application might be.
     
  17. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Aww, you guys... :bigoops:

    But yes, English is difficult and weird. I have a Master's Degree in English Philology, and before that I matriculated from an international upper secondary school where every subject (apart from Finnish and Swedish) was taught in English, and I still make mistakes! All the time. :bigmeh:
     
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  18. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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    The Finnish are wonderful. Everyone seems to speak fluent English, and there is so much beauty - especially the women - to be seen in that country. Everyone should go there at least once. It is a very forgotten country.
     
  19. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You've been to Finland?? :bigeek:

    I don't mean to derail the thread but...

    What? Really?

    People, please visit us. We are very lonely up here.
     
  20. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributor Contributor

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    Really?
    So all you came away with, is that they speak English well, and the women are pretty?.. except for the pretty women, I can go to England for that.
     
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  21. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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    You have no idea what I came home with.

    Yes. It is a very inspiring place.
     
  22. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My German ex's English is probably superior to mine, and he went to England when he was 15 or 16 and stayed till he dropped out of his PhD.

    My Czech husband's English is near native - here there's a distinct split in types of English, basically. When it comes to fiction, I'm constantly surprised that there are words he doesn't know (when their English is a certain level, you start assuming they know all the words you know). However, when it comes to business English and academic essays, he writes far better than I ever could. Whenever he asks me to proofread his stuff, I actually find it hard to spot mistakes because the mistakes he does make, which are few and far between as it is, are all so close to the correct version that I don't always immediately know how to correct it, or otherwise it would be something that is particularly nuanced that even a native speaker would struggle with in the first place.

    In my experience, Germans have consistently impressed me with their English. The ones I've met usually have native-level spoken English. I've not read their writing but if they speak like a native speaker, I'm gonna assume their writing can't go far wrong either.

    My Bolivian friend from university also had amazing English, also spoke like a native speaker.
     
  23. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Fiction vocabulary can be pretty stretching. I guess not everybody takes a note of every single word they don't know and come back to it later to revise. I do and I've seen a pretty impressive improvement in my English over the last five years. My philosophy is that I might need that one word in the future to express myself neatly in prose.
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I've been twice

    Once whilst i was still in the army - where the main thing I learnt was that UK Army cold weather gear is (or at least was) crap and if we ever had deployed to fight the Russians we would have frozen our bollocks off before we made contact with the red army. (to be fair I also learnt that the Finnish army who were play aggressor for the exercise were not to be messed with. I also learnt that the alcohol is really really strong.

    More recently I went on a photographic holiday and photographed bears and great grey owls in the wild .... it was still fucking freezing but thanks to civillian cold weather gear I wasn't freezing anything off.
     
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  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    On point I know a lady who's Austrian by way of Switzerland and Germany who writes/speaks english really well and is probably a better writer than me... she's a member here but I don't think it would be right to name her...
     
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