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Poll: How well do you speak the local language?
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How well do you speak the local language?

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  #41 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2008, 10:05 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Hi
Having workred in several countries I have made the point of learning polite phrases(survival) menus and absolutley ordering the beer. The joke in Poland was I never remembered 8 beers if the crew were out and had to ask for 4 then another 4. Got a laugh.
But my German goes beyond that, perhaps I worried about some folks having no sense of humour.
Scouse
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  #42 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 18th, 2008, 04:40 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I wonder how many people can actually speak (and write correctly), the language they're teaching (not 'their').
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  #43 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 10th, 2008, 08:29 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

It can't get worse. Priding myself on my rapid reading skills I didn't realize (at one go) that the blessed question's premise was that you were or had to be rather, located somewhere other than your own country. I promptly hit the 'can have a 2 hr debate' option only to bite my nails later! c'est la vie!
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  #44 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 9th, 2008, 03:58 am
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Talking Poor English and Thai skills

I admit my English is flawed... *meek grin*
I am attempting to learn Thai but it is very difficult because I do not hear the 'tones' [being as I grew up in the US]. Sometimes- no matter how I say certain words, certain people will always correct me [and it sounds just like what I had just said ]
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  #45 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 11th, 2008, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I have been in Seoul almost 6 months , all I can speak out are "Hello, How much is it?, subway, train station this kind of word in Korean" I just found not easy to learn new a language
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  #46 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 16th, 2008, 05:44 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

IF you live in Turkey,this is a difficult question.People change local lang.while speakin.also add some words from other lang.esp English.so we cant decide which lang.we re speking?
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  #47 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 22nd, 2009, 06:03 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

When I'm in a certain country, I always make sure that I learn a phrase or too. Natives really appreciate it if you take a time or two to learn their language.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 15th, 2009, 12:52 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Enough to survive.
Juuuuust enough

Last edited by Eric : Mar 15th, 2009 at 01:54 am. Reason: Removed self promotion link from post. Please put personal links in your signature.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 15th, 2009, 04:11 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I have been living in Spain for three years now. Some days I can only order a beer (brain fart much!) other days I can debate with a bank manager over the phone...it depends on the day.

I totally agree though, that if you experience learning a language as well, you can be more sympathetic to the students. It's not just "why don't you understand this!"...it turns into "maybe you are having an off day or I understand that its frustrating when you don't understand".

Sometimes I think my English is getting worse though...I hear so many mistakes teaching all the time, and now that I speak in Spanish daily, I sometimes think to myself. " Is that how you say it???" It is concerning sometimes but for the most part it is ok. I just try to read English books and talk to my friends and family in English. I call my visits home to Canada, a chance to boost my English. Maybe I could deduct my trips from my taxes then. Ha ha!

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  #50 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 5th, 2009, 06:35 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I speak fluent German. . . but with an accent. My wife is German, and we met when I was here studying German and refusing to speak English. That means she thinks it's strange when I insist on speaking English, but I don't want to 'lose' my English. When I have a lot of lower-level courses at work, and my whole conversations are "where are you from" and "what do you do" I begin to feel like I'm losing it. . . and I hate it.

But I agree with "Happy Camper" that language teachers should also be language learners. I think that learning the language of where you live is . . . well, I don't think I'd grant residence visas to people who didn't speak the language. But most of my colleagues fall into two categories: in Germany to learn German (and able to speak it pretty well) or Americans(and Austrailians) abroad with all the stereotypes that go with it.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Unread May 3rd, 2009, 06:04 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

To follow up on the comments of Pix, I, too, try to have at least a basic understanding of the language native to the country I am visiting or habitating. At this time, I live in Paris and my French is extremely fluent, if accented. (I am American, BTW...) I also speak Italian, Spanish, Arabic, English (of course) and am in the process of learning Portuguese. Having a basic knowledge of multiple languages is an extremely useful thing as it enables one to navigate independently and with relative confidence wherever one goes. It is shocking to me that there are so many people who move to other countries withabsolutely no base in the language they will be speaking. The greater part of my students here are people who plan to move to an English-speaking country within a certain time-period and require a crash course in English. At the moment, my students are splti right down the middle between those requiring American English and those requiring British English, but I take my hat off to these students for putting forth the effort to get the best possible base before they depart.

And not to be critical, but the subject of this thread should actually read "How many people actually speak the language of the country 'they're' in?" To use the word "their" indicates ownership, wheras "they're" is the shortened form of they are. Sorry - I tend to be a bit maniacal about spelling! (I say this with a grin, as I often re-read my posts and messages and find to my disgust that I have typos all over the place!)

And to expound on the comments of those who wrote that they often have trouble finding words in their native languages once they speak other languages, I agree. Obviously i am a native English speaker, but after 4 years of speaking French on a daily basis, I often find myself unable to adequately express myself in English on certain subjects because there is just no English equivalent for the feeling I wish to express. I also have the bad habit of dropping into French when I am speaking to my American friends or English when I am speaking to French ones. The subsequent looks of confusion are quite funny, actually, but luckily people are used to my ditziness and just roll their eyes and remind me what language I am supposed to be speaking. On the flip side, for my French friends the conversations with me are helping them learn more and more English as a simple survival skill for holding conversations with their amerloque friend!
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  #52 (permalink)  
Unread May 4th, 2009, 01:50 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I didn't vote because there wasn't a section for me.

I am in between ordering a beer and the philosophy debate. I am functional, but, cannot have long conversations.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 15th, 2009, 06:38 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I don't expect to see this sort of error on a TEFL site!

Dave
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  #54 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 15th, 2009, 05:55 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Quote:
Quote DaveMidgley View Post
How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I don't expect to see this sort of error on a TEFL site!
This is a site for teachers, not a site designed to teach. Here and other forums around the Net don't spend too much time policing their posts, but just try to get the information down.
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  #55 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2009, 05:27 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Hmm. Interesting. From a teacher on a teachers' site I had expected an "ooops, you're quite right<g>" response, not an excuse.
So how does a teacher teach people to do something well if they don't care enough about their subject to do it well themselves.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2009, 07:10 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Quote:
Quote DaveMidgley View Post
Hmm. Interesting. From a teacher on a teachers' site I had expected an "ooops, you're quite right<g>" response, not an excuse.
So how does a teacher teach people to do something well if they don't care enough about their subject to do it well themselves.
apologize for a typo?

I've seen coaches miss shots, drop passes. I've also seen pro baseball players swing the bat and miss the ball. I've seen teachers make mistakes. I have. Doesn't make any of us less competent. Careless, maybe. Human, most likely.

Also, many ESL sites have a lot of non-native speakers on their forums too. It's probably best to just join in the conversation. You don't need to correct it.

I'm sorry if you didn't get the response you were looking for, but maybe reread your comment and see if it was written to get the response you wanted.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2009, 08:31 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Okay, I am a bit embarrassed about this, but, I have lived in Korea for almost 5 years and am somewhat functional in the language. Basically, I know survival Korean (can ask how much, get around anywhere, ask for help, read, write, etc. etc. etc.).

Mind you, I am also fluent in English and Spanish. I learned enough Korean to get by. Now, I don't really want to learn it since I will be leaving in a year or two. Some see it as shameful. I do sometimes. But, this is what I have chosen.

I know I posted before, but I thought this was a more detailed response.
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