Results 1 to 11 of 11
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By kidkboom
  • 1 Post By zxc
  • 1 Post By Deborski

Thread: Plea of a Native Speaker

  1. #1
    Новичок
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    5

    Plea of a Native Speaker

    So I'm probably going to sound like a horrible grouch as I write this, but this has really been bothering me lately. I hate it when native speakers are asked to go through sloppy posts to help/make corrections.

    So for anyone who posts here for help please keep this in mind:

    1. Spell correctly. This site has a spell check built in, please use it. 95% of what you post should be typo/spelling error free. In this day of computerized spell check there is no reason I should be correcting those sorts of mistakes.

    2. Punctuate correctly. If you don't know English punctuation, learn it please. You should learn that as part of learning the language. Several recent requests have included writers admitting they don't know how to punctuate. I want to scream "Go look it up then!" Sites exist in English and in Russian. Use them.

    3. Subject verb agreement. Your basic English should be correct. I no more want to correct "I is running" than you want to correct "Я зовут". And if you cannot figure out those basics you don't need me; you need an English teacher. You should post your best English even if it takes 3 times as long to create. The goal should always be that you do the bulk of the work, not me.

    4. Don't waste my time with something you could look up on your own. My time is valuable and I'm not being paid for it. So please remember that the person on the other side of the computer is busy just as you are. Try to ask questions that a native speaker really is useful for. Those I love to answer.

    /End Rant/

    Seriously, I love answering tricky English questions or even "does this sound right to your ear?" I'm happy to help, but remember to meet me half way. That's all I'm asking.

    PS I wish I knew how to post this in Russian because if your English is good enough to fully understand this, you don't need the post.

    Flame away

  2. #2
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    СССР -> США
    Posts
    17,622
    Rep Power
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by sarah37 View Post
    So I'm probably going to sound like a horrible grouch as I write this, but this has really been bothering me lately. I hate it when native speakers are asked to go through sloppy posts to help/make corrections.

    So for anyone who posts here for help please keep this in mind:

    1. Spell correctly. This site has a spell check built in, please use it. 95% of what you post should be typo/spelling error free. In this day of computerized spell check there is no reason I should be correcting those sorts of mistakes.

    2. Punctuate correctly. If you don't know English punctuation, learn it please. You should learn that as part of learning the language. Several recent requests have included writers admitting they don't know how to punctuate. I want to scream "Go look it up then!" Sites exist in English and in Russian. Use them.

    3. Subject verb agreement. Your basic English should be correct. I no more want to correct "I is running" than you want to correct "Я зовут". And if you cannot figure out those basics you don't need me; you need an English teacher. You should post your best English even if it takes 3 times as long to create. The goal should always be that you do the bulk of the work, not me.

    4. Don't waste my time with something you could look up on your own. My time is valuable and I'm not being paid for it. So please remember that the person on the other side of the computer is busy just as you are. Try to ask questions that a native speaker really is useful for. Those I love to answer.

    /End Rant/

    Seriosly, I love answering tricky English questions or even "does this sound right to your ear?" I'm happy to help, but remember to meet me half way. That's all I'm asking.

    PS I wish I knew how to post this in Russian because if you're English is good enough to fully understand this, you don't need the post.

    Flame away
    It is beautifully written, and straight to the point.
    Kudos to you!
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  3. #3
    Почётный участник
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    84
    Rep Power
    7
    When you write something like that you are bound to get destroyed for mistakes in your own posts. I wanted to point out that you spelled "Seriously" incorrectly. You also used "you're English" when you should have used "your English." I honestly think it was a productive post (maybe a little over the top), but I wanted to point out the mistakes before someone did it really maliciously. So, sometimes people are trying but simply miss things. No reason to get too angry, in my opinion. I fear this will just discourage people from attempting to write in their target language and that will inhibit learning. Those are my two cents.

  4. #4
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    СССР -> США
    Posts
    17,622
    Rep Power
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by kybarry View Post
    When you write something like that you are bound to get destroyed for mistakes in your own posts. I wanted to point out that you spelled "Seriously" incorrectly. You also used "you're English" when you should have used "your English." I honestly think it was a productive post (maybe a little over the top), but I wanted to point out the mistakes before someone did it really maliciously. So, sometimes people are trying but simply miss things. No reason to get too angry, in my opinion. I fear this will just discourage people from attempting to write in their target language and that will inhibit learning. Those are my two cents.
    "И ты прав тоже!" (из старого анекдота).


  5. #5
    Новичок
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    6
    Rep Power
    5
    Corrected thank you!

    That's why I said 95% correct. Everyone typos and I get that (I certainly do that!), but it's when something is full of those sorts of errors that it starts to bug me. You're doing yourself no favors when you write like that. It also makes it harder to catch and correct the mistakes that a native speaker really is helpful for. The small stuff is distracting.

    As for discouraging writing, I disagree. The point is not to discourage practice, but to push students to take the time to pay attention to themselves and what they are doing. It takes way longer, but you learn more. For example, when I write in Russian I look up every verb I'm not 100% sure of to make sure it is declined correctly. I've caught a lot of errors that way. It also takes forever, BUT I don't make the same mistake twice (I make new, different mistakes ). I learn more and it frees the native speaker to help me with the trickier grammar. Besides, when you learn a language mistakes are part of the game. I'm 100% okay with that. It's why my list covers really basic stuff (and you can't get more basic than subject verb agreement). I don't expect you to be perfect, but I do expect you to want to try to be perfect (isn't that why you're asking for native speaker help after all?) and to put in the extra effort accordingly.

    And it was over the top. That's why it was a rant. I promise I'm not normally that harsh. It was just bugging me and building up...

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Phx, AZ, US
    Posts
    336
    Rep Power
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by sarah37 View Post
    Corrected thank you!

    That's why I said 95% correct. Everyone typos and I get that (I certainly do that!), but it's when something is full of those sorts of errors that it starts to bug me. You're doing yourself no favors when you write like that. It also makes it harder to catch and correct the mistakes that a native speaker really is helpful for. The small stuff is distracting.

    As for discouraging writing, I disagree. The point is not to discourage practice, but to push students to take the time to pay attention to themselves and what they are doing. It takes way longer, but you learn more. For example, when I write in Russian I look up every verb I'm not 100% sure of to make sure it is declined correctly. I've caught a lot of errors that way. It also takes forever, BUT I don't make the same mistake twice (I make new, different mistakes ). I learn more and it frees the native speaker to help me with the trickier grammar. Besides, when you learn a language mistakes are part of the game. I'm 100% okay with that. It's why my list covers really basic stuff (and you can't get more basic than subject verb agreement). I don't expect you to be perfect, but I do expect you to want to try to be perfect (isn't that why you're asking for native speaker help after all?) and to put in the extra effort accordingly.

    And it was over the top. That's why it was a rant. I promise I'm not normally that harsh. It was just bugging me and building up...
    Sarah, I respect where you're coming from, but the amount of mistakes that people make when writing in a foreign language is really related to their learning style, and while I respect your attempt to organize the learning styles of those people who come here, it's not a realistic expectation. As a case in point, I study Russian. I've been learning for three years, and I teach myself. Well, I still make mistakes that a) a first-year student might not make, and b) mistakes I've made before.

    This might be aggravating to certain types of people when I work with them, but over three years I've learned that it's absolutely essential to my working style.

    For one thing, it's an oversight to say that a person, when encountering a mistake and having it corrected, has the entire problem solved concerning that mistake. The correction could lead to an understanding which is later discovered to be faulty or incomplete. And this is not a fault of the student, but rather directly related to their learning style.

    I'm not saying this to pick on you. You seem to be a nice person and I'm sure this was meant only in the nicest way. I'm saying this to inspire more patience in you for those who are making mistakes. It's safe to assume anyone who's earnestly trying to learn a language isn't doing it on purpose.

    l/l. kidk
    rockzmom likes this.
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    904
    Rep Power
    0
    Sarah, if everybody would follow your "rules" then why would anybody wanted your corrections?
    Just curious

  8. #8
    zxc
    zxc is offline
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    151
    Rep Power
    8
    1. Spell correctly. This site has a spell check built in, please use it. 95% of what you post should be typo/spelling error free. In this day of computerized spell check there is no reason I should be correcting those sorts of mistakes.

    Spell check can be very unhelpful to someone learning the language. Say, for instance, a person hears an English word and they don't know how to spell it, and thus they come here and write kwench, asking for a meaning. My spellchecker underlines that in red, and gives the following possibilities to correct to:
    wench
    k wench
    french
    backbench
    hench

    Well, that's hardly helpful, considering that any native English speaker could tell you the world they heard is probably 'quench'. Spell check didn't help much there, did it? Not everyone is as familiar with the phonetic lunacy of the English language as you are, and there's no good reason for you to expect them to be.


    2. Punctuate correctly. If you don't know English punctuation, learn it please. You should learn that as part of learning the language. Several recent requests have included writers admitting they don't know how to punctuate. I want to scream "Go look it up then!" Sites exist in English and in Russian. Use them.
    Learning is a process. You can't expect someone to learn an entire language's system of punctuation before asking questions. Think about how you learned English punctuation--you were in school, you went over the topic, and then you made a ton of mistakes that a teacher corrected. After being corrected over time the proper usage of punctuation was more and more integrated into your writing style. But you expect someone starting from the exact same place you were to 'look it up'. How would you feel if every time you had a question in school your teacher told you to look it up? If that was the manner in which people learned, we wouldn't need teachers. We could just dump books on kids, and let them sort it out themselves.

    4. Don't waste my time with something you could look up on your own. My time is valuable and I'm not being paid for it. So please remember that the person on the other side of the computer is busy just as you are. Try to ask questions that a native speaker really is useful for. Those I love to answer.
    Exactly. You're not being paid for it, so if you don't want to help, you don't have to. If someone posts something asking for help but their question doesn't fit into the neat little box you've made, ignore it. Not everyone can afford to go out and get an English teacher, but that shouldn't discourage them from learning English. There are people here other than you that have been to happy to correct basic English mistakes, and likely will continue to.

    I have not seen anyone complaining about the lack of help with English corrections, so I am at a total loss as to why you made this post. If people were complaining, I could understand why you made this, it would've been a handy list of tips to help people learning English on how to get more responses to their questions. But I think that everyone that has a question on English pretty much gets a satisfying answer. It sounds like you have written this to complain. I understand you recently joined the site, and I can appreciate that, and so I give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not just complaining to complain, and I can see that you genuinely want to help. But I heavily disagree with your approach and attitude to this issue.
    rockzmom likes this.

  9. #9
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Чапелхилловка, NC USA
    Posts
    1,987
    Rep Power
    16
    I agree that typos should no longer appear in our posts.My browser is Firefox, and it underlines unknown English words as I type them. Although I see that the spell checker does not know the words "imperfective" and "perfective." =:^)

    But the problem is that you do not know what you do not know. That's why people make mistakes (not counting typos -- and the your/you're error is not a typo, it is an error in grammar). I have been studying, reading, and to an extent writing Russian for 40 years and still can barely put a substantial sentence together without an error. Just yesterday I used an imperfective verb where it should have been perfective and was immediately corrected (on line, that is). And I am still not totally sure that the imperfective would have worked in the context.

    People generally think that they "know" English after studying it a year or two. What most don't understand is the 80/20 principal -- you learn 80% of the material in 20% of the time required for mastery. The remaining 20% of the material takes the remaining 80% of the time. So it's easy to become overconfident. And, as I see it, people post and various errors appear, maybe because of carelessness, maybe true error (as my use of the imperfective -- I originally wrote using the perfective verb, but then second-guessed myself). I personally can't imagine how foreigners learn to spell English. It's on a par with Chinese, where you have one spelling/character that can be pronounced six ways from Sunday.

    As of right now, sarah has made only six posts, so I don't understand why she is complaining either.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Coast, United States
    Posts
    2,185
    Rep Power
    15
    Hi Sarah,

    I too am a native speaker and as some of the others have posted, your points are well taken.

    As a person who over the years has tried to learn several languages and has never mastered any of them, I have great admiration for anyone who attempts to learn a language, especially those who try to do so on their own without a teacher or a partner to speak with, which is the case with most of the English learners on this forum.

    As Kidkboom mentioned, there are many different styles of learning. Some people need to only see something one time and remember it. Some need to be told several times and on the 40th time a light bulb in their head will go off and they will finally understand. Some a harsh word will put them off from learning and others it will make them double down on their efforts. Each person is different.

    It is great that you have come to MR and want to help others learn English, especially as I have made it known that I type/write as I speak and my formal English schooling was lacking so I am often uncertain about some of the reasons for WHY I make the corrections I make. I am NOT a linguist or etymologist. Bitpicker is our go-to guy on the forum for that, and he is from Germany. I have actually learned from the non-natives! Having yet another person from another background and area of the US will be a wonderful addition to the group.

    So please, don't be too harsh on me when you read this (or my other posts) and see all of my punctuation, run-on sentences and other mistakes.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
    Check out the MasterRussian Music Playlist
    Click here for list of Russian films with English subtitles and links to watch them.

  11. #11
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    USA, Earth
    Posts
    1,197
    Rep Power
    10
    I always try to be gentle with people learning a foreign language. God knows the Russians were amazingly patient with me when I was living there! In fact I cannot remember one single time when anyone was ever rude to me because I stumbled or even grotesquely butchered their language! They were always polite when they corrected me. I have seen Americans treat foreigners like crap, to be honest. I am ashamed of how rude Americans treat foreigners who are struggling with English. No wonder some immigrants never seem able to learn it! I would not want to learn a language either if everyone I encountered yelled "SPEAK ENGLISH" at me and treated me like I was stupid because I didn't understand them. Patience is always the key virtue here, and as many have said better than me, everyone learns differently.
    Valda likes this.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

Similar Threads

  1. Russian language native speaker is looking for English native speaker. :)
    By Uhehesh in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: August 9th, 2012, 06:25 AM
  2. Russian native speaker looking for English native speaker
    By Kaere in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: December 23rd, 2011, 10:19 AM
  3. Russian native speaker looking for English native speaker
    By reziden in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: December 6th, 2011, 10:25 PM
  4. Russian native speaker looking English native speaker
    By Rainbow_msk in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: November 24th, 2011, 08:00 AM
  5. Native russian speaker looking for native english speaker
    By Nik in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 2nd, 2010, 03:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary