wordsmith
Native Speaker or not

John Smith and Jean Pierre

Today, English (the language) does not necessarily, belong to England, alone. Apart from Australia, Canada, America (a few of the well known ones), English has been native to Nigeria (English is the lingua franca there, which is used to communicate between people of different tribes with various different language groups), Singapore (I would dub it as 'Switzerland' of south east Asia, given its financial status, along with its tri lingual or more languages, that it harbours. English is also the lingua franca there and is one of the official state languages), Sri lanka, South Africa, Kenya and a host of other lesser known countries have English as their native language and they tend to be fluent as well.

Just because you do not have 'John Smith' for a name, it does not necessarily mean that English is not your native language. Many make the vital mistake of thinking that native speakers will inherently possess a sound knowledge of grammar of their native language, and be articulate in expressing themselves with an eloquent speech, consisting vocabulary, known only to Shakespeare or such literary figures of such a stature.

Having said that, even if you are English or American or Canadian, with John Doe for a name or Smith, and you are white and you were born and bred in, be it London or Toronto or New York, it does not mean that your English would be perfect! These are just stereotypes, and a proper, native speaker, possessing extensive knowledge for correcting or teaching, would SOLELY depend on his or her educational prowess and NOT race or nationality. This can go either way, whether you are from England or Kenya or anywhere else (whether it is a well known English speaking country or one of the lesser known ones!)

The same, can be said of French, which has a similar history as English, thanks to the colonisation (or, curse of it?) of lands, far and wide. Both have variants of native speakers in faraway lands, with unique characteristics. Just a light example; 'Bob's your uncle' may be readily understood in England, but not so, if it was in America. Same way, 'What's the 411?' may be taken for granted in America, which would baffle people from England. These are just minute examples of the complexities, that can exist in the same language, natively spoken in England, Canada, Nigeria and so forth.

These two languages (English and French) got native and fluent speakers in the far corners of the planet without necessarily possessing the names of John Smith and Jean Pierre (as default), thank you very much! ;-)


Apr 18, 2017 12:24 PM
Comments · 14

OK, my friend, as you wish. Forgive me if I only mention the errors in the first paragraph, I have a limited character count in each message.

Today, English (the language) does not necessarily, belong to England, alone.

All I'll say, why so many commas?

Apart from Australia, Canada, America (a few of the well known ones),

What is 'ones' referring to? You've switched to 'ones' without defining what exactly the 'ones' are (in this case, countries). Hmm.

English has been native to Nigeria

Incorrect use of the present perfect. As far as I'm aware, English is still spoken in Nigeria. 

(English is the lingua franca there, which is used to communicate between people of different tribes with various different language groups), Singapore (I would dub it as 'Switzerland' of south east Asia, given its financial status, along with its tri lingual or more languages, that it harbours.

There should be a definite article in front of 'Switzerland, 'Southeast Asia' should be capitalised and 'Southeast' is typically written as one word. ...'along with tri-lingual or more languages' is simply nonsense. Countries 'harbour' languages? Hmm. 


April 20, 2017

Jerry is right, there are numerous errors. When I say numerous, I mean more than 15. Some of these errors, being generous, could be put down to you not proof-reading what you wrote before submitting.

I cannot be bothered to go through the entirety of what you wrote but let's just take one of your responses to Katarina. It's only three lines. 

@Katarina; Nobody is saying that people cannot choose, that is the main idea, on the contrary. In fact, I am a native speaker, and I am not pinpointing that one set of the teachers is better than the other. Only highlighting the advantages of both the sets. Besides, some of your sentences are off tangent, I am not quite sure what exactly are you getting at. Are you currently learning English? What is your level?

1) The first sentence is punctuated incorrectly and I'm not even sure what you are trying to say to be honest. 2) There should be no article in front of 'teachers' in 'one set of the teachers.' 3) There should be no article in front of 'sets' in 'both of the sets.'' 4) 'Off tangent'... is this a phrase in English? I've heard of 'to go off on a tangent' or to 'go off track/go off topic'. You seem to have amalgamated them. 5) I'm not quite sure what exactly are you getting at? 'Are' and 'you' should be the other way around, the sentence isn't structured as a question. 6) At a push, I'd say 'pinpoint' is a very odd choice of verb for that context.

The ones with the articles strike me as most strange.

April 20, 2017

English is also the lingua franca there and is one of the official state languages), Sri lanka, 

Both words are capitalised in Sri Lanka.

South Africa, Kenya and a host of other lesser known countries have English as their native language and they tend to be fluent as well.

This makes it sound as though the countries are fluent, not the people who live in those countries.

Oh, would you look at that, I had to write two messages anyway. 
April 20, 2017
You say that you are a native speaker, 'wordsmith.' But your article has many errors that are indicative of a non-native speaker.
April 20, 2017

I can read, listen, and decide for myself which English I  prefer. Although there are many exceptions both ways, and although there are other important factors such as education, John Smith's English is, on average, closer to the one I want to speak, bot in terms of grammar and pronunciation. Therefore , I think it makes sense for those whose English is not sufficiently good to evaluate somebody else's English, to choose John Smith as their teacher or a language partner, all else being equal. Yes, there are different variants of English, but people are entitled to have preferences, which variant they want to learn.

April 19, 2017
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wordsmith
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