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Thread: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

  1. #1
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    Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    If yes, which sentences make it look so?
    It's from 2004 sample of Russian State Exam on English:

    ========
    During the baking hot months of the summer holidays my mother and I used to escape to one of the scattered lakes north of Prince Albert. In its magic surroundings we used to spend the long summer days in the open air, swimming and canoeing or just lying dreaming in the sun. In the evening the lake was always a bright, luminous grey after the unbelievable sunset colours had faded.
    The last summer before we returned to England was particularly enchanted. For one thing, I was in love for the first time. No one will ever convince me that one cannot be in love at fifteen. I loved then as never since, with all my heart and without doubts or reservations or pretence.
    My boyfriend Don worked in Saskatoon, but the lake was "his place" - the strange and beautiful wilderness drew him with an obsessive urgency, so I suspected it was not to see me that he got on his motor-cycle as many Fridays as he possibly could, and drove three hundred-odd miles along the pitted prairie roads to spend the weekends at our place.
    Sometimes he couldn't come, and the joy would go out of everything until Monday, when I could start looking forward to Friday again. He could never let us know in advance, as we were too far from civilization to have a phone or even a telegraph service. Three hundred miles in those conditions is quite a journey. Besides, Don was hard up, and sometimes worked overtime at weekends.
    One Friday night a storm broke out. I lay in bed and listened to the thunder and the rain beating on the roof. Once I got up and stood looking out over the treetops, shivering. I tried not to expect Don that night hoping he would have enough sense to wait until the storm ended. Yet in my frightened thoughts I couldn't help imagining Don fighting the storm. His motorbike, which had always looked to me so heavy and solid, seemed in my thoughts frail enough to be blown onto its side by the first gust that struck it. I thought of Don pinned under it, skidding, his face pressed into the mud.
    I crawled back into bed, trying to close my throat against the tears. But when my mother, prompted by the deep sympathy and understanding between us, came in to me, she kissed my cheek and found it wet.
    "Don't get upset, Jane," she said softly. "He may still come."
    When she had tucked me in and gone, I lay thinking about Don, about the danger of the roads : you couldn't ride or walk along them safely after heavy rain; your feet would slip from under you. The roads in Northern Canada are not like the friendly well-populated English ones, where there are always farmhouses within walking distance and cars driving along them day and night.
    It was hours later, that I suddenly realized the sound of the roaring engine was real. The storm was dying. I lay absolutely still, relief and pain fighting for ascendancy within me, each in itself overwhelming enough to freeze the breath in my lungs as I heard Don's heavy tired footsteps on the wooden stairs.

    edited - right sample without typos ( hourS later, has/had faded )
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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    I don’t think it was written by a Russian. I spotted a redundant has in the sentence below, though I may be wrong, and a typo, but overall the pattern of laying thoughts into printed word is of no Russian origin. The Russian pattern usually gives us away in every other sentence.
    In the evening the lake was always a bright, luminous grey after the unbelievable sunset colours [s:ql5r2ece]has[/s:ql5r2ece] faded
    .
    you couldn’t ride [s:ql5r2ece]of[/s:ql5r2ece] or walk along them safely

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexB
    I don’t think it was written by a Russian. I spotted a redundant has in the sentence below, though I may be wrong, and a typo, but overall the pattern of laying thoughts into printed word is of no Russian origin. The Russian pattern usually gives us away in every other sentence.
    In the evening the lake was always a bright, luminous grey after the unbelievable sunset colours [s:3v40mjvy]has[/s:3v40mjvy] faded
    .
    [quote:3v40mjvy]you couldn’t ride [s:3v40mjvy]of[/s:3v40mjvy] or walk along them safely
    [/quote:3v40mjvy]

    I don't think it's a redundant 'has'. Rather, I believe it's a typo: 'has' should be 'had' (past perfect). 'Of' instead of 'or' is also a typo, I believe.

    There are many punctuation mistakes, mostly omitted commas.

    I don't know if it was written by a Russian or not, but there's nothing in the text that gives it away as a product of a non-native speaker.
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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    It was hour later, that I suddenly realized the sound of the roaring engine was real.
    An hour later, I suddenly ...

    There may be other mistakes. The piece is not flowing, it's a chore to try and read (so I only skimmed it )
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    Besides, Don was hard up, and sometimes worked overtime at weekends.
    I'd be amazed if a native wrote this sentence...should be "on weekends."
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    The text is written from the point of view of a fifteen year old girl from England. It takes place in Canada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Alb ... skatchewan It is a romance. I think it was written by a native speaker of English. The typographical errors that have been pointed out may have been made by a non-native typist when copying the text. As for "at weekends" I think that is a UK way of saying it:
    at the weekend UK (US on the weekend)
    on Saturday or Sunday, or on both Saturday and Sunday:
    - What did you do at the weekend?
    - We go out once in a while after work and on the weekend.
    Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (2009) http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define. ... &dict=CALD

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    There are a couple of oddities in the text. I can't imagine an American saying "bright" in combination with the color “grey.” Maybe if you were discussing colors on a computer monitor, but not when describing a lake after sunset. Also "at weekends" is odd. The lack of “an” before “hour” in “It was hour later, that” is odd, and the placing of the comma there is definitely Russian not English.

    But there is nothing in the text that screams out "a foreigner wrote this".

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    It was hour later, that I suddenly realized the sound of the roaring engine was real.
    An hour later, I suddenly ...
    Thaks, it actually was a typo - 'hours' are in plural here.
    But is that form "it was hours later that..." also possible - and comma is not needed there then?
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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    Thaks, it actually was a typo - 'hours' are in plural here.
    But is that form "it was hours later that..." also possible
    Yes, absolutely.
    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    and comma is not needed there then?
    No, it is not needed here. "It was hours later that I suddenly realized..." is correct.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Apart from the typos, it seems perfectly native to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by doninphxaz
    There are a couple of oddities in the text. I can't imagine an American saying "bright" in combination with the color “grey.” Maybe if you were discussing colors on a computer monitor, but not when describing a lake after sunset.

    I don't see anything wrong with "bright grey", it's just an attempt at a creative, vivid description. In an everyday conversation it may sound odd, but such descriptions are the norm in figurative, literary language.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Quote Originally Posted by vox05
    Besides, Don was hard up, and sometimes worked overtime at weekends.
    I'd be amazed if a native wrote this sentence...should be "on weekends."
    "At weekends" is what they say in the UK.

    Look, you really need to familiarize yourself with the British variant before you go giving advise like this. Either that or qualify your posts with "I don't know about the UK, but in the US they say...."

    This is something that is going to keep coming up on this board, too, because they primarily study BrE in the former USSR. Just a friendly reminder.
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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot

    Look, you really need to familiarize yourself with the British variant before you go giving advise like this. Either that or qualify your posts with "I don't know about the UK, but in the US they say...."
    успокойтесь котенок, это нечаянный.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    успокойтесь, котенок, это было нечаянно.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    I'd be amazed if a native wrote this sentence...should be "on weekends."
    "At weekends" is what they say in the UK.
    Some native Russian speakers would have probably said "during the weekends." Not because that's the way we say it in Russian, but just because we were taught English that way in school.

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    Re: Is this text written by non-native speaker?

    Sounds like it was written by a native speaker. Too complex for a foreigner.

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