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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
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Why native English speakers are the world's worst communicators!

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 29,713 mod
“A lot of native speakers are happy that English has become the world’s global language. They feel they don’t have to spend time learning another language,” says Chong. “But… often you have a boardroom full of people from different countries communicating in English and all understanding each other and then suddenly the American or Brit walks into the room and nobody can understand them.”

Have you found that native English speakers can be hard to understand? If so, what are the most typical problems you have understanding them? Is is the vocabulary, the speed or accent (or all three)?



  • mpassalampassala Posts: 129 ✭✭
    I think the main problem is that they don't make any effort to get understood by people who speaks English as a second language. When you ask them to speak slowly or to articulate their words they often repeat their sentences at the same pace and in the same way as before. Sometimes, from my point of view, it could be just a matter of articulate words in a clear manner. By the way, in addition to these matters i find very difficult when people use slang, there are so many colloquialisms that it is almost impossible to learn all of them and they are pretty often uncomprehensible, unless you look for their meaning on google.
  • zaiymurszaiymurs Posts: 398 ✭✭✭
    As a non native speaker, the problems is, accents, slangs and dialects, the colloquial and the way they make their own sentences and of course i had the limited vocabulary, how could i understand if i only knew some vocabulary.

    The non native speaker usually using simple and basic English, maybe that's why easy to understand. Listening to Cockney, posh, and Americano street slangs make me blurry.
  • zaiymurszaiymurs Posts: 398 ✭✭✭
    Even i don't fully understand while listening to non native speaker on Skype sessions, sometimes i asked them to repeated what they said. My bad :s
  • atif_altaf1atif_altaf1 Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Actually native speakers use slang they speaks fast at the same time so that's why it's hard to understand them
  • atif_altaf1atif_altaf1 Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Acscent and pronoounciation other problems as wel.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,713 mod
    I think many native speakers are bad at adapting the way they speak for non-native speakers. I speak in a totally different way with my native speaker friends - very fast, using more difficult vocabulary and idioms, not always finishing my sentences properly (because I know they'll understand) and so on.

    I think native speakers who live in other countries and integrate with locals however, usually know how to speak more clearly and use simpler vocabulary that won't immediately bambuzal those who do not speak English as a first language.

    Here of course, I am deliberately trying to push you with new vocabulary....
This discussion has been closed.