View Poll Results: How often does it matter to you when foreigners make mistakes but the text is understandable?

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  • Every time I see/hear it

    4 28.57%
  • Sometimes, when mistakes are too obvious

    8 57.14%
  • When text is interesting, they are less noticeable

    1 7.14%
  • I notice them from time to time

    1 7.14%
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Thread: Perfect English (A question to native English speakers)

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Perfect English (A question to native English speakers)

    How often does it attract your attention, when while reading a text (any text) there are some mistakes in articles usage?

    Do native speakers themselves make such mistakes? How often?

    I'll try to explain why I ask. I'm long since surrendered myself to the fact that proper article usage would forever remain a mystery I'd fail to comprehend.

    I've found a solution - reading a lot of texts written by people who speaks good English will improve my understanding.
    Speaking of which - the good source would be texts containing 'perfect English' preferably of modern everyday speaking style rich with modern idioms, with extended vocabulary and with some part of direct speech.

    What would you recommend me to read, considering the above?
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  2. #2
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    I said "always" and I mean "usually." It seems like I don't really notice them when I'm the author of the text. But to answer your question more seriously, yes, if I'm reading closely, I typically see errors. With that being said, I have to confess, my opinion of the author depends on whether they are perceived to be a native speaker or not. If they ARE a native speaker, and it's not just a handful of errors, then I form an opinion that they are ignorant/lazy and I don't really give the text as much respect. Is that fair? Maybe not, but that's the truth. If it is a non-native speaker and as long as I can follow the basic train of thought, then it's usually not nearly as irritating and I give them the benefit of the doubt in that regard. Does that make any sense?
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    I said "always" and I mean "usually." It seems like I don't really notice them when I'm the author of the text. But to answer your question more seriously, yes, if I'm reading closely, I typically see errors. With that being said, I have to confess, my opinion of the author depends on whether they are perceived to be a native speaker or not. If they ARE a native speaker, and it's not just a handful of errors, then I form an opinion that they are ignorant/lazy and I don't really give the text as much respect. Is that fair? Maybe not, but that's the truth. If it is a non-native speaker and as long as I can follow the basic train of thought, then it's usually not nearly as irritating and I give them the benefit of the doubt in that regard. Does that make any sense?
    Yes it does. Just like I myself feel irritated when I see my countrymen make errors in Russian but I'd say "Perfectly" if I see a couple of mistakes in a text written by a non-Russian.

    By the way, out of 100% (perfect skill) how much would you give me?
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    By the way, out of 100% (perfect skill) how much would you give me?
    I'd say 3%?



    Truthfully, probably like 90ish%? It's an incredibly subjective question, so I don't really know how to answer it. You have some crazy political ideas and your icon looks like a dancing booger , but you have a pretty good command and your sentences are typically pretty clear. There is of course some room for improvement (as always) -- in the opening post there are a few grammatical errors (the ones with verbs stand out). The biggest thing though, is just style. You're completely understandable, but just the way you phrase things can sound weird. I think you have exactly the right idea in mind with reading English-publications if that's something you want to address. Still, I'd say you have a very solid command of the language, which is no small task!
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    By the way, out of 100% (perfect skill) how much would you give me?
    I'd say 3%?



    Truthfully, probably like 90ish%? It's an incredibly subjective question, so I don't really know how to answer it. You have some crazy political ideas and your icon looks like a dancing booger , but you have a pretty good command and your sentences are typically pretty clear. There is of course some room for improvement (as always) -- in the opening post there are a few grammatical errors (the ones with verbs stand out). The biggest thing though, is just style. You're completely understandable, but just the way you phrase things can sound weird. I think you have exactly the right idea in mind with reading English-publications if that's something you want to address. Still, I'd say you have a very solid command of the language, which is no small task!
    So the question is - how do I find out whether am I reading good English or another gibberish written by a dollar worth chinese translator.

    One of the drawbacks of being a translator is the fact that people speaking in different languages think differently. Sometimes it's hard to find out which way of thought posessed the author at which place.

    What shall be correct this time - the 'accuracy' or the 'rephrased sense' in the translation. A question I hate.

    And Barmaley, sometimes I myself think that those 3% is fair.

    P.S. My political ideas helped me with girls in the past so I got used to them with time
    And I've received a PM saying that my avatar is the cutest. I'm not kidding.



    Send me a PM if you need me.

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин
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    There are times when a small thing like article usage can make a sentence at first make no sense at all or appear to mean something other than it does, but if I read it a couple of times I can understand what the writer is trying to say. I agree with barmaley, I don't find esl learners mistakes nearly as irritating as native speakers. For one thing, the mistakes and els learner makes are different from a native. I guess you grow up believing that anyone who can't get there/their/they're staright is a dumb ass and so it pisses you off to see it. "Their are flowers on they're table" is alot more offensive to me than "A train pulled into station".

    So far as your command of english...no natives I know have more than proably an 80% grasp on it. At some point though everthing you say will be correct but it still won't sound 'normal', no one can teach you how to choose words because we all do it differently. Your english is definaly very good though, better than alot of foreigners that live here.

  7. #7
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    The biggest problem for esl learners, I'd say, is the oral stuff. I mean, the speed with which an esl learner speaks is considerably lower than that of a native. Sometimes I blame myself, what the f*ck!, say I to myself, why can some native imbecile speak fast and well, and I can't manage to spit out words so rapidly.

    Of course, I've never been to an English-speaking country and I don't have much oral practice, but anyway...
    -- Да? Коту Ваське, бл##?
    -- Нет, Я кот Васька :-/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layne
    "Their are flowers on they're table"
    Is theyre flours on the table -- I thougth that the vace broke in many peices?

    Let's see if THAT makes Layne's head a'splode!
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Tailors
    The biggest problem for esl learners, I'd say, is the oral stuff. I mean, the speed with which an esl learner speaks is considerably lower than that of a native. Sometimes I blame myself, what the f*ck!, say I to myself, why can some native imbecile speak fast and well, and I can't manage to spit out words so rapidly.

    Of course, I've never been to an English-speaking country and I don't have much oral practice, but anyway...
    That has nothing to do with it being ESL but just ANYTHING-SL. Trust me, I know from personal experience with Russian.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  10. #10
    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    ---
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlestonian
    I have always wondered: If I have lived in the US the most of my life, does it qualify me as a native English speaker? Can somebody tell me?
    I suppose it's something of a slippery-slope. Truly, I'd say yes, but you can probably take two different meanings from the term:
    -someone who speaks a language as a mother tongue (ie the first language they learned)
    -someone who speaks a language at a native level
    Really it doesn't matter, IMHO whether you were techinically born in an English-speaking country -- if you can communicate at a native level that's really all that's important. Again, this whole thing is entirely subjective.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  12. #12
    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    ---
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

  13. #13
    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    The biggest problem for Russians are the articles. They give you away on the spot. Word order is also a big thing. I have a Russian colleague (who has lived in the US the past 20 years) who keeps saying "What it is?" instead of "What is it?"... aaargh
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  14. #14
    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layne
    I agree with barmaley, I don't find esl learners mistakes nearly as irritating as native speakers.
    I agree with you, I'm indulgent toward foreign learners mistakes too. It's always nice that a person made at least that ammount of efforts to learn other langiage.

    But there is opportunity that my enthusiasm will fade a little if the person speaks with a very strong accent and uses wrong stresses all the time turning every his/her word in an enigma.
    Though I'm always admire those who mastered cases, that's my weakness. I usually think to myself that person speaks Russian "(almost) perfect" even if he/she has a poor vocabulary or/and strong accent.
    So: cases are good, strong accent is... not so good.

    Can you tell what mistakes of esl learners are more irritating than the others? Or what aspect of the language (word usage, articles, etc.) is more important for making an impression of "perfect english"?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlestonian
    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    The biggest problem for Russians are the articles. They give you away on the spot. Word order is also a big thing. I have a Russian colleauge (who has lived in the US the past 20 years) who keeps saying "What it is?" instead of "What is it?"... aaargh
    I am sure you wanted to say "colleague"
    Yse, taht si waht I wnaetd ot sya. tahksn fro teh crorecitno!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  17. #17
    Старший оракул
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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    [You're completely understandable, but just the way you phrase things can sound weird.
    That's the point !!! despite of knowing the grammar you may still sound wierd if you're a nonnative speaker, because you still think in your native language. The grammar itseld doesn't guarantee your perfect skills in a language.

  18. #18
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    [You're completely understandable, but just the way you phrase things can sound weird.
    That's the point !!! despite of knowing the grammar you may still sound wierd if you're a nonnative speaker, because you still think in your native language. The grammar itseld doesn't guarantee your perfect skills in a language.
    I don't think in Russian when I write or talk in English. I think in English but it doesn't help because I think incorrectly

    And people what about my question from the original post:
    ...the good source would be texts containing 'perfect English' preferably of modern everyday speaking style rich with modern idioms, with extended vocabulary and with some part of direct speech.

    What would you recommend me to read, considering the above?
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    [You're completely understandable, but just the way you phrase things can sound weird.
    That's the point !!! despite _ knowing the grammar you may still sound wierd if you're a nonnative speaker, because you still think in your native language. The grammar itselф doesn't guarantee _ perfect skills in a language.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    How often does it attract your attention, when while reading a text (any text) there are some mistakes in articles usage?

    Do native speakers themselves make such mistakes? How often?

    I'll try to explain why I ask. I've long since surrendered myself to the fact that proper article usage would forever remain a mystery I'd fail to comprehend.

    I've found a solution - reading a lot of texts written by people who speak_ good English will improve my understanding.
    Speaking of which - a good source would be texts containing 'perfect English' preferably of modern everyday speaking style rich with modern idioms, with extended vocabulary and with some part of direct speech.

    What would you recommend me to read, considering the above?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Yes it does. Just like I myself feel irritated when I see my countrymen make errors in Russian but I'd say "Perfect_" if I see a couple of mistakes in a text written by a non-Russian.

    By the way, out of 100% (perfect skill) how much would you give me?

    So the question is - how do I find out whether am I reading good English or another gibberish written by a dollar worth chinese translator.

    One of the drawbacks of being a translator is the fact that people speaking in different languages think differently. Sometimes it's hard to find out which way of thought the author possessed at which place.

    What shall be correct this time - the 'accuracy' or the 'rephrased sense' in the translation. A question I hate.

    And Barmaley, sometimes I myself think that that 3% is fair. Smile

    P.S. My political ideas helped me with girls in the past so I got used to them with time Smile
    And I've received a PM saying that my avatar is the cutest. I'm not kidding. Smile
    Кстати, твой английский настолько хорош, что мне было очень трудно найти ошибки.

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